Monday, October 20, 2014

Some random thoughts after turning forty six

I was really glad that D liked the birthday surprise treat I planned for his milestone birthday. A weekend staycation of R & R. 

A few days later it was my dearest sister's turn to add another year to her age. We had fun, food and family bonding moments to mark the occasion.

A month into D's fifth decade, he got really sick with symptoms of the flu. Marked with high fever and the chills, yet he was being very stubborn about going to the hospital. Thankfully after almost a week he recovered and was restored back to his healthy disposition. But it goes without saying that I was beyond myself with anxiety and worries and I had to summon all the saints to make me strong to endure the ordeal.

On the other end of the spectrum, my sister is back in town and her surgery has been scheduled for this Thursday. It has been hectic prepping for all the tests she needs to undergo before the operation.

But she took a much needed time off to celebrate my 46th birthday, yesterday. Truth be told I was not in the mood to feast as D had sustained an ankle injury a few days ago. His right leg is terribly swollen, and his mobility is greatly limited.

But birthdays have always been a big deal in our family so naturally I put on my happy hat and a smile on my haggard face to enjoy my 46th year. Never mind that we spent half the day at a clinic for a doctor to examine the hubby's swollen ankle. The power of persuasion worked this time as he finally agreed to go to a doctor.

Now as the surgery is just a few days away, I'm really scared and fearful especially when my sister gives me a notebook listing down all her personal belongings, stuff like bank accounts records and her important documents etc. I know she is just being realistic but it certainly is not easy to put up a stoic stance and not show any emotions.

It seems like all I've done nowadays is ... worry, worry and worry some more. I stay up at nights and my mind wanders into dark places that offers no comfort. I'm weary but certainly not tired of assuming my caregiver role over and over again.

Since I have to admit, there are still some instances and glimmers of hopeful anticipation! So much so that I can't help but still be enormously grateful for the abundant blessings I enjoy and continue to cherish.

On that note, my 46-year-old self says: 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An update is in order

I can't believe it has been over a month since I've posted an entry on my now fully neglected blog. It makes me sad to see how bereft "My Little Moments" looks every time I open it.  Then I realize hey I'm the author of that sad, pathetic and lonely blog so it is entirely my fault it looks so abandoned.

Well since my last entry, my dad turned a year older (August 22).  He doesn't really ask for much just that we meet up for lunch, all be merry and celebrate his birthday. We had Singaporean fare for lunch and Persian cuisine for dinner. 

September rolled in and the climate has been a tad cooler.  I notice this as I don't perspire as much as before although I still sweat (but that is a given!) no matter what.   Strange!  I chalk it up to the tons of fertility drugs I had to take back then. Never mind that it was like almost 2 years ago. I believe the 'drugs' messed up my body system and all those toxins manifest themselves through my pores by means of perspiration.  Weird theory, I know but that is how I logically explain my very active sweat glands. 

The second week of the ninth month, we had to rush Mom to the ER as she had another severe asthma attack aggravated from a very bad cough. Seeing her hooked up to an oxygen tank and a nebulizer to control her breathing is always very hard to fathom. She has aged a lot recently and has been quite frail (lost her appetite and barely eats!).  

I can handle physically taking care of her, feeding her, giving her medicines and just looking after her welfare.  But the emotional and psychological part is where I am weak. It is very difficult for me to see my mother who was once a very vibrant and fashionable lady become so frail.  But I needed to be strong and not show any signs of emotions yet every night in the darkness of my room, I would sob uncontrollably just to release the heaviness and tension I felt from the emotional pain. D keeps telling me it is a reality we need to accept as both my parents are in their late 70s. But it is a very emotionally charged reality and one I can never truly embrace with an open heart. 

Speaking of D, he is turning FIFTY (50!) this coming weekend (September 28). I planned a staycation for both of us so he can just chill and relax. He made me promise that (1) there won't be any singing of happy birthday from the service crew where we will dine and (2) it would just be immediate family, period!  Sure sure ok so I had to comply as I still want to be a happily married wife. He he he   So I am keeping it simple as simple as his no-fuss attitude in life possible. 

Next month - I am looking forward to my sister's visit BUT I am certainly not going to enjoy seeing her in the hospital as she might schedule her much postponed hysterectomy during her visit. It all depends on her check up, though!

Also I'm turning 46, heh!

I'm not sure if I can update as frequently so I want to but I will pop in every now and then ... until then ... you all take care, be safe and God bless!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014


It is the 6th of August in the year 2014 at half past eleven in the morning. It is the first time in weeks since the sun has made an appearance. It is the monsoon season, after all.  But boy has the weather been so bleak and gloomy, it affected my mood. It also ruins my errands days so I've had to adjust or limit time spent outdoors lest I get caught in horrendous traffic just to make it safely home.

I tell you once you are stuck in 4 hours of traffic just to get home which is just a short distance from my point of origin - factor in the amount of time I had to stand in queue at the taxi stand - you feel like strangling the person who coined the term  "It is more fun in the Philippines"!!!

Aside from that, I've been saddled with joint aches and pains. Some which lasted a day, others several days but nothing that an ointment or a pain reliever won't heal. I guess it is part of aging gracefully. 

In conclusion, it only seemed like yesterday when it was the scorching month of May that befell us. Now it is the rainy month of August already. Wow time sure flies by so fast, I tell you! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A son's farewell

My mother in law passed away last July 13, 2014 past noon in California. 

It was early morning Monday and I was awake and watching the last few minutes of the World Cup finals between Germany and Argentina. 

Germany won and just as I posted on Facebook my joy at their triumphant win, I received a message about the sad news from my sister in law.

My mother in law was 83 years old and lived a full and colorful life. She is survived by her 3 children and their spouses and her 8 grandkids.

Since my husband is the only one who lives here in the Philippines and it isn't easy to procure a US visa at the drop of a hat ... he just composed an eulogy for his mother which was read at her viewing last night.

First of all, good evening to everyone who are here and in one way or another have that special bond or relationship with our dearly departed mother. 

We deeply regret that we are not able to personally join our family and friends in paying our last respects for Mama. As much as I, as a son, and my wife Net would have wanted to come, it is no secret that it isn’t easy to secure a visa to the United States. 

A visa allowing a person to enter the United States, especially if that person comes from the Philippines has become one of the hardest things to achieve in one’s lifetime as a Filipino. Not even a demise of a close relative or a dear loved one can be enough reason to acquire that elusive US visa. 

Well, it’s a good thing one only needs a visa to enter the United States and that, it’s not a requirement in going to Heaven. It is very comforting to know that in all the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, each and every one of us automatically acquired a visa to enter Heaven in the goodness of God. So all of us have the assurance that our Mama De as our mother was affectionately called by most family and friends, will get her new visa, and new citizenship, once God’s angels guide her, to the immigration officer named Peter.

Our mom would never be our mom without her devotion to the Black Nazarene in Quiapo Church. Whenever she finds the opportunity to visit the Philippines, she would practically make time to go to Quiapo Church almost every day. Quiapo Church and the Black Nazarene for her was a lifetime devotion. In fact, even when it was already a struggle for her to travel, she would always insist to my sister Ate Min and Jun our younger brother that she wants to come home so she could visit the Black Nazarene in Quiapo.

Now, there’s no need for her, for our Mama De, to come home.

She’s home.

Ma, we will all miss you. We give our thanks to God for choosing you in bringing us your children and grandkids in this world to partake of the precious life that He has given to us all. 

Enjoy now the eternal light of God and His eternal peace. We love you.

Rest in peace, Mama De.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Walang tulugan (No Sleeping)

During my single days I was quite the night owl.  I would sleep at around 4:30 A.M or when dawn was slowly creeping in. I used to waste spend my hours chatting with my friends who were scattered all over the world. Thus the different time zones.

When I got married in 2008, my lifestyle took a drastic change. With all the never ending chores to do, my body rhythm would shut down early. I would be dozing off by 11 P.M. My sister found it amusing that I would be in bed by 10:30 P.M while she was still wide awake and we would chat on Skype. My eyes were half close by then and sometimes I would drop my smartphone on my face. Heh!

Therefore I need to condition myself to stay up late so I can watch the knockout games of the FIFA World Cup 2014. Here is the schedule of the games in this part of the globe.

So I could either add my intake of caffeine, or I could take a nap in the afternoons. No matter what I need to be up, wide awake and in my right senses to catch all of these games live broadcast.

By the way, now that some of my favored teams have gone home (Spain, Italy, Portugal) I would be rooting for FRANCE.  For old times' sake ... Allez Les Bleus!  =)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

World Cup Fever

There are only two sports that I am passionate about.  

Soccer and Tennis.

I played tennis for a very brief period in my life in Dubai, of all places.

Then I semi-fainted due to the extreme humidity and heat of the desert climate.

I say semi because I was half conscious but felt really out of it.

So I stopped playing.


Call it trauma or lack of motivation or a fleeting fancy.

Whatever the reason (till this day I'm not sure), I just couldn't bring myself to actively play, ever again.

As for soccer I never played the game.

Although back when I was studying in Brussels, Belgium - soccer was the main PE course.

Now for someone who was wearing thick glasses, balls flying can be quite frightful.

I wasn't good at it - even back then I had two left feet.

But I developed a keen interest in it.

I got hooked on the FIFA World Cup.

I remember during the 1982 World Cup held in Spain, I collected all the cards of every player.

From every team that qualified and I pasted them on this official World Cup scrapbook.

It was fun, exciting and I stayed up to watch all the games.

I was 14 years old back then and the WORLD CUP consumed my entire being.

Fast forward to 2014 - the FIFA World Cup is now in its second week.

The games are now held in sunny, warm and welcoming Brazil.

The live broadcast of the matches are shown at midnight, 3 AM and 6 AM, Manila time.

I'm too tired and dare I say too old to stay up that late.

So I just catch the replays in the afternoons.

Even though I already know the final scores.

Because it is the first thing I check on my smartphone upon waking up.

The thrill I get from watching the replays is just as exciting as watching it live.

The FIFA WORLD CUP always brings fond memories of my childhood.

Days of yore when everything stopped and football reigned supreme.

The nostalgia always bring a smile to my face.

Friday, June 13, 2014


The past 5 weeks was pretty much a blur.

But in between the numerous hospital visits where various blood tests and ultrasounds were performed on my sister, we managed to treat my dear Mom for her 77th birthday last May 30.  Yes the double 77 as we like to call it.

We had lunch at a Thai restaurant named Soi for her birthday lunch.

For dinner, it was at HK Chef which serves Chinese food.

Then before my sister returned to HK, we treated dad to an advanced Father's Day treat at Tony Roma's his fave restaurant.

June 10, the doctor cleared my sister for travel so she returned to HK where she has a ton of work to do. Her biopsy results were benign (Thank God!), but she still has uterine bleeding and was given meds to regulate the flow. Her myomas are growing by the day but the hysterectomy would have to be postponed for now.  She still has to clear her sked as well as seek permission from her boss for a longer leave of absence from work.   So in short, even though the nightly fevers have subsided and her infection is cleared, she isn't really cured just yet. 
The long road to recovery is just temporarily shelved as she needs to earn a living which in turn pays for all these procedures. 

June 11 - I returned to our lil nook in QC. I miss having my sister around but for now she is just a Skype video chat away.  I have tons of household chores waiting for me to tackle but I'm still in my lazy mode and I'm actually quite tired and exhausted from the ordeal.  

Meanwhile ... life goes on and we are all moving onwards! 

Thanks so much everyone who sent their good wishes for my sister's recovery.  Much appreciated and may God bless you all.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A trooper!

So let me see as of today, my sister has gone through 3 ultrasounds, several blood tests, an ECG, a chest Xray, and CBC (Complete Blood Count).

As the tests results come out in printed form (which can be checked online, thankfully), there are certain improvements in one area while other issues are still either infected or need more days to heal.  She has stopped all antibiotics as the doctors deem it would be too much to go beyond the prescribed 2 weeks of dosage.

Every time we go to the clinic or the hospital for these tests, my parents (who are in their late 70s, mind you!) and I ALWAYS tag along. Even though I keep telling them they should not bother as they might get tired going out in this extremely hot weather.  They refuse to take NO for an answer and insist they are doing fine and can bear the severe climate.  

I am sure they are worried sick as no parent wants to see their children in pain or sick with an illness.  But they are strong individuals and I know they are putting up a brave face amid such trials.  I worry about my sister's health but more so I also worry about my elderly parents well being every single day since they are in their twilight years.

But this family has always been a strong force of 4 members and we have this very close bond that has sustained us since I was born.   Plus we have an extra member now (my hubby) and his mere presence lifts my downtrodden spirits.   By him, being patient and very understanding of my need to be at my sister's side, even though he himself had a health scare (which he had to handle by his lonesome self) is more than enough for me to know that I can push through any challenge that comes my way.

The 'last' hurdle to tackle is a biopsy on Monday, June 2.   This ultimately will determine our next course of action although her doctors have made it perfectly clear that a hysterectomy is the ONLY solution to her incessant uterine bleeding.

But she would need to take a longer leave of absence from her work and AS OF THIS MOMENT, this isn't viable just yet.  In fact, she needs to go back ASAP and attend an important trade fair next month.  So despite being saddled with medical tests and bleeding, my sister WORKS from home. She has a whole June issue of her magazine to publish as well as two trade directories to print.  All this despite my vehement request for her to rest and concentrate on getting well and on her recovery.  She insists.  If she didn't do her job, she won't have money to pay for her medical fees, her lab tests and her hospitalization.  So I guess she does have a valid point. 

I know I am just rambling at this point as this post is all over the place but I just wanted to document it so I can one day look back and recall these tough days.

To be continued ...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

6 years

This merry month marks two special occasions for our family. My mom's birthday on the 30th.

And our wedding anniversary today, the 15th.

6 years now.

We have this agreement that whenever my sister is in town, I would stay with her at the condo. It would save us from daily commutes to and from our apartment in QC.

This sort of understanding is one of the reasons I attribute for our strong marriage.

He truly comprehends that I need to be by my sister's side when she visits. More so now that her health is in jeopardy.

My trust, respect and love for my husband grows a thousand fold not only today but every single day even though we might not always be physically together!

Sugar, iron and wood are the symbols for the 6th wedding anniversary. 

As we enter our 6th year of wedded bliss, may we continue to be "sweet" to each other by putting the "wooden" Cross in the center of our marriage. With the aim that the love, respect and trust we share will be as strong as  "iron". 

Happy Anniversay Hon!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Confined spaces

Today my sister was scheduled to fly back to her workplace after 10 days of R & R.


Drastic change of plans.

Because you see she was hospitalised for 5 days at St. Luke's Hospital, in their QC branch.

Flashback - She arrived early morning of Labor Day, May 1, 2014. But by that time frame, she had been battling a severe case of gastroenteritis for five days already. Painful abdominal spasms, vomiting, unable to keep her food down, and she also had nightly high grade fevers.

When she arrived at the airport, she was so pale and exhausted from the flight but was so happy to be home with us, her family.

During the weekend, she got worse with her fever reaching 40 degrees, she had chills and was in so much unbearable pain.

So on May 5, Monday morning we rushed her to the hospital. Her doctor deemed it necessary to confine her and keep her under close monitoring. 

She spent a total of 4 nights and 5 days with several antibiotics fed to her intravenously. Her fever was on and off and I spent every waking hour of those days attending to her every need as she was too weak to fend for herself.

One night, I got the scare of my life as the nurse came in to take her temperature. Her body temperature had dropped to 35 degrees!!! She experienced hypothermia and was literally freezing!

I wrapped her under two blankets, lowered the aircon unit and kept rubbing her all over as she began shivering violently. All this time, I kept talking to her and told her to stay awake!  I was fearful that she might fall asleep, lose consciousness and not wake up. I really panicked but managed to stay calm and focused on getting her body temp back to normal.

Thankfully it did ... after an hour!

Well after her confinement, the doctors found out that aside from the abdominal flu, she has several cysts in her uterus and also a few myomas had developed again despite the fact that she had them removed in 2011 in Singapore. 

She might need another major operation to address this issue which is now causing her to bleed beyond the normal days of the monthly period.

She is resting now, still very weak and has to return to the hospital on May 19 and 20 for further tests and consultations.

Although she is having all these health issues I am glad she was able to make it home and is recuperating here so we can take care of her.

I am also grateful that her boss is considerate enough to extend her leave and is giving her all the time she needs to make a full recovery here or until the time the doctors deem it is ok for her to travel.

The road for her full recovery is still a long way to go and it worries me that there is a possibility that the cysts might be malignant.

But I want to stay on the positive path and keep praying with all my might for some good news to emerge from this latest health crisis my poor sister has to endure.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Time to escape and re-bond with my sister as she recharges her batteries here in her home sweet home.

It is about time too as I miss her terribly.

Keep cool everyone as it seems summer is showing us no mercy!

It keeps pelting us with the harsh rays of the sun.

Gawd ... it is hot!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Positive Thinking

Although March is one of the longest months of the year with 31 days, it flew by so fast. 

I was saddled by mostly negative vibes. The death of a beloved aunt, the common colds that would recur every after week, computer woes which basically means I am pretty much offline for the simple reason that my PC conked out

I am still paying off my credit card dues so even if I am itching to purchase a replacement, I need to exercise maximum restraint.

Thankfully I have my smartphone so I have access to my emails albeit on a limited basis. 

But all of these setups are surely nothing compared to the full blast onslaught of the intense summer heat. 

Temperatures hit the 35 degrees Celsius mark today and I swear it felt like I was back in the arid desert of Dubai all over again. Yet unlike in Dubai where our apartment had centralized airconditioning, our tiny two storey flat here in Project 8 feels like you live in a furnace!

I don't thrive in hot temperatures. I get all sweaty, really cranky and believe me you don't want to be in my company in this deplorable state of perspiration.

I try to think positive and imagine I am all bundled up in some chilly environment but lately it has not been working in my favor. Not when I am enveloped by a thick layer of sweat that seriously is giving me headaches.

I am surprised I managed to even compose this post entry (using the tiny keyboard of my smartphone, at that!) but seeing how much I have neglected this blog just further adds up to my anxiety.

Golly gee!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. It signifies the start of the Lenten season which culminates with the celebration of Easter.  This year Easter falls on April 20, 2014.

But I am getting way ahead.  

Aside from strictly observing the no meat on Fridays rule, I have not come up with a valid 'sacrifice' to offer for the 40 days of Lent.

This brings me to an observation. For me, growing up in the Catholic faith and having been educated in Catholic schools run by nuns, the meat-less Fridays of Lent was strictly enforced by my parents.

So I didn't know any better and up to this day, I still follow this 'rule'.  I always thought it was a tradition that was observed by all Catholics, worldwide.  It wasn't until I came back home for good in 2001 to our mostly Catholic nation, that I noticed some parishioners don't adhere to this tradition.

In my younger days, I used to be quite upset about seeing people eat meat on Lent Fridays.  At first I thought perhaps they were of a different faith. Until I saw the person who was seated beside me in Church having lunch at a KFC outlet. Heh!

Now I am more tolerant as I accept the fact that they may eat meat on Fridays but it still doesn't make them any less Catholic than me.  They were perhaps reared differently from my upbringing.

Luckily, I married someone who also adheres to this no meat on Lenten Fridays rule. In fact, I remember it was one of the very first questions I interrogated him on when we first started dating almost 7 years ago.  It turns out my fears where unjustified as he is much more 'holier' than I imagined so we are a good match! =)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Coffee, please!

It was quite chilly when we were in HK so after we strolled our feet off, we would find a decent coffee shop to warm ourselves up.  Well to rest our tired feet as well.

But the problem is everyone had exactly the same idea so seats were limited or not available. Most of the cafes were full and since there were 5 of us, it was always so difficult to find vacant seats. 

So what we did was to go for coffee at a later hour say around past 5 or even past 5:30 pm. Usual orders are cups of coffee along with some slices of cake.  I also got addicted to macarons, the French variety. So colorful and quite flavorful in just one bite.

I overdosed on coffee and sweets because days after I returned from our trip, I had trouble sleeping and I need to get my blood sugar checked as I'm sure it is way too high now.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

D is in the house!

Ok alright, I didn't mean to abandon this blog.

You see my sister made a last minute decision to spend the Chinese New Year holidays here with us.

So for over a week, we had great bonding moments filled with laughter shared over great food.

It was also my parents' 46th wedding anniversary so we had double reason to celebrate.

Just be merry and have fun together as a family.
Yes, my parents have been married for 46 years now.
This means I am turning forty six in October.
But this isn't about me.
It is about a couple who are still quite content with each other.
There have been ups and (very few) downs.
Every time I ask them what is their secret.
The key words that keeps coming up are tolerance and acceptance.

So that's something to keep in mind, this coming V day.

I should be more tolerant whenever I tend to focus on the flaws of my hubby.

I should accept him for what he is and who he is, as a person and as my partner for life.


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Macau after Dark

It was our last night in Macau so we decided to explore the massive Venetian Macao complex.  After we 'deposited' the parents at the Casino, we went off for our photo shoot.

It was time to go outdoors, braving the chilly air to explore the Winter Wonderland of The Venetian Macao.


Friday, January 31, 2014

Christmas Dinner: Restaurante Platao, Macau

After the 6pm mass at the Cathedral de Se, we proceeded to Senado Square in San Malo which is the main plaza in Macau.  We opted for authentic Portuguese food to sample dishes from the land of the colonizers of Macau before it was handed back to China. There was a long queue but it was nice and cold so we didn't mind waiting.  RESTAURANTE PLATAO is as Portuguese as you can get.  Bacalhau (Cod Fish) is the main ingredient in its menu.  I'd have to say it is similar to Spanish cuisine as most dishes are heavy on the sauce.  But there is a peculiar taste I can't quite describe.  So it might not please every palate.

Grilled Sardines

Grilled Portuguese Sausage

Dinner rolls and butter

Stewed Bacalhau Tongue

Fried Rice Portuguese Style

Baked Bacalhau with Mixed Seafood

 Poached Vegetables

Most of the service crew are Filipinos.  One of them kindly suggested we try their Biscuit Mousse for dessert which is like an ice cream cake with sans rival flavor.  It was yummy.

He was also generous enough to take our group picture.
One ... Two ... Smile!