Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Its  mid-day and my boys are sound  asleep….

It’s a holiday today. I hearken back to the holidays of past and most times would mean I’m out on some adventure trip or probably catching up on the latest happenings at the mall. Today, however, I am in front of my computer in the bedroom standing watch over my sleeping boys. It takes much effort from me to tear away my gaze from the two figures that lie so peacefully in our bed. I am simply amazed how my little baby seems to be just like a mini replica of my husband. The way my Mike’s mouth will seem to pout at something only his dreams would know about is mimicked by my Bonn’s pursed lips suggesting deep sleep and a warning to not disturb. There were some instances that they will make a “grunting sound” almost at the same time and this would bring a smile on my admiring face. They would even roll over to one side exactly the same time.

These days, however, Bonn rolls multiple times and ends up sleeping vertically across the bed. At 5 months old, he stopped sleeping in his crib and moved over between me and Mike on the big bed. Given such new sleeping habit, it has been a challenge for both my husband and I to sleep on very limited space without moving. Bonn’s sleeping needs extend to having a warm body he could easily grab and hug. He would raise up his little fingers unconsciously in the air with that full trust that they will be entwined and reassured by bigger fingers or they would have the feel of a human face he could explore until he falls back to slumber land. With eyes closed, he will feel each finger of yours or the contours of your face and engulf entirely with his tiny hands as if inspecting them for their sincerity and true value. In some instances that he reached out and found nobody there, his disappointed and fearful cries have been heartbreaking.

Sometimes he will have nightmares and his frightened screams albeit asleep have been quite disturbing for his first-time mom. I often asked why should babies have bad dreams given they had such little time to live life yet and develop unpleasant experiences. Still, nightmares or bad dreams are the only explanation I can come up with when he half awakes in the middle of the night demanding immediate comfort. In the morning, however, last night’s unpleasant moments seem to vanish as he opens his eyes and upon gazing at your staring face, he smiles. He is a very happy baby that loves being surrounded by people and loves to smile a lot. He is fascinated by people’s faces and amazed at how the face can come up with a thousand expressions and the mouth move in different ways creating different interesting sounds. He would listen attentively to hours and hours of adult talk probably fascinated and at home with all the chattering. He would prefer to watch adult talk shows over Mickey Mouse with a serious intense focus that parallels someone who understands the conversation and is truly engaged. And yet when he wants to play, he is embodied with a free spirit that lets him just scream and shout in glee. He is so strong and active and he loves to walk around using your feet and jump up and down with your arms lifting him as high as you can. He is quite a handful and at the end of just 30 minutes or so, I would be more exhausted than he is. He will let out a big yawn but would refuse to fall asleep as he is afraid that life will pass him by while he rests. It is these times when I would have to hug him real tight against my bosom, rock him sideways and sing him lullabies. Within minutes, he will close his eyes and fall asleep in my arms comforted by the smell of his mother’s presence and her soft voice.

Mike will arrive home quiet late from work as his travel time usually reaches past two hours one way. I would want him to sleep after dinner but probably given the noise I make with the computer as I work from home at night and the online audio calls I participate in, he prefers to watch TV for a bit so that when he comes up near midnight for bed from the living room, his eyes will simply close from exhaustion and he will fall into deep sleep. That would have been ideal but with Bonn sleeping with us, he wakes up as well with our baby’s hunger cries. The next thing he knew, it will be 530 AM already the following day and it’s time to get up already and go to work. But I guess that is the caveat for working parents everywhere that has to work outside their homes. With this, I slowly realize the importance of a work from home mom like me to our child’s daily development especially with a child like Bonn that yearns human attention 24/7. That is why holidays and Sundays, I make sure my Mike rests and he spends ample time with his son. Because taking care of Bonn and playing with him during these days becomes his vitamins.

I hear my husband stirring from my sleep. He might have been sensitive to my typing sounds and would most likely wake up anytime soon. He usually gets energized with just a 15 minute power nap. My Bonn, however, especially when he sleeps along somebody beside him will sleep for a much longer time. Left alone, he will content himself with 5 minute sleep energizers during the day.

My boys are asleep. I am overwhelmed how I have been entrusted to guard and protect life’s genuine treasures. This is my family. It is with great happiness and joy that I revel in my duty as a wife and mother. Every time I feel discontent creeps in, one look at my husband’s kind face and my baby’s trusting gaze and everything else fades in the background. All is well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"The Brightest" - A book review

Universality is a concept although widely accepted today has been revolutionary back then.

One of the more major barriers identified has been language.

We are lucky today that language is not as much a barrier now with the technologies that have proliferated the global world assisted by the internet age.

Still, despite these developments, it is a bit disconcerting to have to learn that misunderstanding and confusion leading to the path of war and hate remains.

It is with these thoughts that I believe we hang on to the basics so as not to lose track of the path of good that leads to "home".

This book, "Brightest" captured my attention through its simplicity as it narrates a very familiar storyline of overcoming adversity through just visuals.

In an age where whoever manages to shout the loudest gets immediate attention, this book is refreshing for its  idea that often it is the most quite that actually reaches hearts.That sometimes it is only through  silence that we are allowed  to see the brightest star.

Kids, teenagers of this generation prefer to lock themselves up against what they perceive as the "noise" of the world to a point that sometimes they exclude their own parents.

But in a generation where "visuals" are out in high regard, graphics and illustration seem to be the best way to teach them universal concepts and virtues.

This is exactly what "Brightest" do. It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words.If that is the case then this book of a few beautifully illustrated pages speak volumes.

It is a book I will give a child that has been deafened by the words of today's indiscriminate media to ensure he doesn't lose sight of what's important.

I imagine a child of 3 or 4 raised in the US sharing this book with a foreigner child who does not know English and still have that instant connection.

I highly recommend this children's book to parents and child educators to reiterate concepts of friendship, self-determination, perseverance and Divine guidance.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Finding Credence

Book: “The Seven Book 1 – Key of Credence”

When Jo asked me to review this material, I was a bit hesitant given I felt that I might be too old to appreciate a fantasy book especially when nothing like having a baby almost always ground you to reality. However, after I’ve gone past chapter two, there was no stopping until I reach the ending. It has the innocent charms of Harry Potter that transcends age when it comes to potential reader fans and it has the mystical allure as well of “ The Lord of the Rings”.

“Intero Regnum” has echoes of “Middle Earth” with a dash of Filipino folklore while its “ Ikhortors” are as demonic and creepy as the “Death eaters” that terrified the Hogwarts school. The difference lies, however, in essence to the seemingly more urgent tone of the book and apparently how this town of “Sanctae Mundus” represents our world today, more reflective of modern day humanity peppered by Facebook, Twitter and the internet phenomenon. Closer to home, in the sense, that it brings to a different level the inner battle between good and evil and how our decisions figure prominently in the outcome of things and this beloved earth of ours. More than dependency on one group of heroes or one bespectacled adolescent wizard for the survival of humanity, it places the responsibility back to the rightful owners, the “collective”.

The concept of the Seven Holies, pitted against the Seven Lords of “Helles”, is an interesting and creative take into the task of delineating virtues against sins for the youth of today. I find it brave of the author to also venture into questions of “religion” in this make-believe world and how it plays into the salvation of all souls on earth not just of select ones.

“… Will God only save those people who served under the church He chooses to be the right one, when the End Time comes? Is there actually a true church of God? How about those non-Christian, will they be saved?”

Interesting as well is the question that follows such query …

“You must understand that the most important thing besides a religion is your faith Trish, your faith on Him. And when you believe, you would follow what He had said. And that is to spread love everywhere around you. When you do, what possibility for you not to be saved then when it comes?”

This is just one of several universal thoughts interspersed into a gripping adventurous plot of four adolescent girls as they come to terms as well with their own individual family struggles.

The psychology of youth is exposed and offered to those genuinely interested to understand this new generation amidst the chaos of London and the Middle East as we continue to dissect the real truth of the oneness of Mankind. We are indeed God’s “Favored” ones. And as the book unfolds, we become more aware of the reasons for that.


The Key of Credence is the first book in a series called the “The Seven” written by Caitlin Mist, a pure blooded Filipino living in the Philippines. It will be released by Isshin Dream Publishing sometime October 2011.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pre-Delivery Pebbles

Today is May 15, 2011, a Sunday. I was supposed to have my caesarian operation this morning but for some reason, we had to delay it to tomorrow morning. Its 430 AM and like every day for the past week, I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t go back to sleep. And like always, writing helps in tiring my mind back to slumber mode.

I have been filled with anticipation and excitement for the birth of my son. In the past days, I have been staring at his photographed face from the ultrasound we had a couple months back. Last night, I also got to watch National Geographic’s “In the Womb” special detailing very vividly all the graphic details of fetal development to actual footages of live vaginal birth. I squirmed at the sight of yellow mucus and blood covering the baby’s hair as it eventually squeezed its entire body miraculously head first out of the small vaginal opening. It is at this visual presentation that I was glad I am having a CS operation. Even my OB-GYN doctor felt it was the right thing for me as she considered me the type with low pain tolerance. I smiled remembering now her remarks. Thoughts of my father, color drained out of his face and breathing rapidly to calm himself at the sight of his own blood coming out of a small cut from his hand, returned to me. I don’t think I am worse than my dad but surely I am indeed averse of physical pain. At the slight onset of pain, my mind panics and imagines the worse triggering more of the pain. That was indeed the case when I used to have those severe migraines from the cavernous angioma in the middle of my brain or when my blood pressure shoots up to 140 and more just days prior to my wedding. I can be so stressed to a point that I won’t be able to think things will be better. But they do get better particularly during the 9 months I was carrying my baby. Migraines, allergies and high blood pressures all became things of the past. I am, in fact, seemed to be healthier. Maybe it’s because as most psychologists and health practitioners of today and yesterday would agree to, our state of mind determines our physical state of being. The happier we are, the better our bodies’ immune system becomes.

The idea of dying during the operation did cross my mind. But unlike my previous thoughts of death, I don’t dread its coming. In the event of my demise, I would have been at the happiest point in my life. And I don’t worry about my son’s future as well. I know that he would be loved so much by my husband’s family as well as mine that negative thoughts at this time are completely unnecessary. In truth, I always look at the future now with much excitement and jubilee because I know for a fact that as long as we submit to HIS will and live our lives under HIS guidance, we need not know of worries and fears of tribulations to come.

A couple of years back, I remember questioning myself on whether I will be a good mother given my forgetfulness and selfish tendencies .And I know the answer now… “YES”. It’s really just a matter of choice and sticking to that decision. And I never thought it would be that simple. Of course the answer came with a lot of prayers and self-reflection but in the end, you will just know in your heart of hearts that we, instinctively and subconsciously have been created by GOD to be the best parents we could ever be. We should be really pretty screwed up in our childhood years to veer away from such destined calling. Fortunately for me, I can say I was brought up well and to the best knowledge of my parents. They may have had some hiccups in the process but we all do and in the end what would matter is that a child is loved.

Tomorrow I will be a full-fledged mom. Tomorrow I officially start my worldly duty to raise a child of GOD. Tomorrow begins my journey of service to mankind through the education of HIS precious gift.

“…I dedicate that which is in my womb unto Thee. Then cause it to be a praise-worthy child in thy Kingdom and a fortunate one by Thy favor and Thy generosity….”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Everyday Love

I fall in love with my husband several times a day every day.

It starts when I open my eyes in the morning and lay my sight beside the sleeping figure beside me.

He would lazily then turn his face towards me and starts to open his own eyes and instinctively draw me near to him with a warm embrace. Most days he will mouth the words “I love you” before he slowly gets up at 6 AM to prepare for work. Those moments before I myself slowly extricate myself from bed to cook breakfast, I would be like a happily giddy teenage girl. I would be giggling at the thought that I am going to fry some eggs and hotdogs and brew coffee for a very handsome and sexy man with charming eyes that causes my eyes to smile when he stares. I would often tell my husband he looks like Derek Ramsey but of course, he always thinks I’m pulling his leg.

I will hear the water splashes in the shower room and treat the sounds as accompaniment to my own culinary masterpiece. An orchestra bustles in low and high rhythms as the hot water for coffee boils and the sunny side up eggs crackle in the bed of canola oil they lay in. Then somewhere in the middle, outside our humble confines, I will hear the ensemble joined by a slowly rising crescendo of horn sounds “poot poot poot poot” accompanied by a deep baritone voice of a man singing “ PANDESAL”. I rush outside the door to greet the man with glee saying, “Manong, bente pesos po.” As I go back to my small kitchen to arrange the bread in a nice small bowl in the center of the table, the sound of electric whirring is heard from nearby as my husband toggles with his razor to help him keep off the black little hairs starting to grow over his bare skin head.

I would then rush to get the hotdogs off the frying pan and replace it with either chicken, pork , stir-fried vegetables or whatever I could find from our refrigerator that can serve as a decent lunch mate for my beloved. The rice cooker is a buzz with brown rice ready to be transferred to stackable airtight containers from LOCK and LOCK. And as my husband steps off his morning bath ritual, I will set the table for two making sure his bread knife and fork lies beside his favorite square plate and a little teaspoon can be found beside his cup of coffee for sugar to taste.

And as we settle to consume the blessing before us, I will find myself momentary still and staring at him as he gaily take a piece of bread and spread blueberry jam with dari crème inside it. This happy man is my husband and I will feel that certain pride inside that causes me to be aglow with silent joyous songs running in my head.

“ Basta’t tayo’y magkasama, laging meron umagang kay ganda. Pagsikat ng araw, may dalang liwanag sa atin at pag-asa…”

That song, however, comes not from my head but reverberates from the open LCD TV screen in our sala . It will be followed by voices of local reporters greeting us with news of recent yesterday and show us the latest way of spicing up our standard meals.

He gets up to leave but not before we say our morning prayer together.

“Oh my Lord! Make the eyes of my husband to see. Rejoice Thou his heart with the light of the knowledge of Thee, draw Thou his mind unto Thy luminous beauty, cheer Thou his spirit by revealing unto him Thy manifest splendors….”

My husband’s brief silence reveres His Divine presence and I bask beside said communion. He kisses me goodbye on the lips as I wrap my arms around his neck a bit hesitant to let go. I will peek from inside our window for the figure that walks away on the start of day until I could no longer see it.

I will clear the table and start washing the dishes, a sudden glum threatening to descend upon my being. I will walk to our bed after and turn the TV on to remove the feeling of suddenly being alone. As I do that, I will feel a strong kick from my tummy followed by several little bumps from the left side of my stomach. I will gently lie down in the mattress and converse with my unborn angel. Our angel will remind me that our little one also misses daddy. And my husband’s face all excited about the coming addition will cross my restless mind and create a smile where it is needed. And I remember how much I love him and how much I want this baby so I can always look forward to gazing at a proud father’s face for years to come.

It is imagining images of his smiling face and recalling his little thoughtful ways that sends me off sometimes to a much needed mid-day slumber. I remember one time when he came home and gave me GLEE cupcakes from Goldilocks knowing how much a fan I am. Every time he comes home with a bottle of Minute Maid from 7-11, I just could not express how I am delighted with such. The long distance travels to Manila that forces him to drive long hours while he lets me cuddle up beside him in the passenger seat in a vertical position ready to grab sleep if sleep so much as visit. I would remember fighting to get a glimpse of him from the view down where I lay combating sleep wishing I could soothe his tired neck and shoulder muscles myself but would be too tired myself.

After sometime, I will be bolted out of sleep and I will be checking the laundry box. And there I find his shirts, his pants, his socks mixed with a lot of dusters from my end. I slowly sort them into whites and darks beginning the cleaning process. I will make a mental note that we need to buy him new shirts because his shirts are starting to shrink and cling to his muscular chest. He is not fond of tight clothes. He wears though what is there much like me and I am kind of surprised I’ve found a person who can let me just be baggily comfortable with any clothing without a care in the world. And despite that, he will always look at me as if I’m at my most beautiful. And then I will silently laugh at the thought that because of me, my husband now knows who Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift is and even Katy Perry, names that used to be so alien to him but he will go on and listen gamely to me with interest as I recite to him their many merits. Amazing, I say to myself. To love someone who loves you back as much.

The day will start to slip by as I ration my time amongst house chores, STARWORLD TV shows, Baha’i books, writing and project management work interspersed by daily FACEBOOK checks.

And then its 4PM, a single thought erases everything else in my scattered mind. My husband will soon be home! What to cook? What to cook?

And most times, I will be injected with a familiar adrenaline that courses through my veins and I can’t keep still. Move …Move …move ….there is little time to create perfection. And yet sometimes, the heavy load I carry front slows me down. I will sit down for a while, close my eyes and I see my husband again, his tired face when he comes home with a silent hurried inkling to relax and be comforted with good food and a wife’s love. And I get up again and try to get everything perfect in time.

I hear the metal gate squeak and I knew he is home. I rush to open the door the same time he will. And with a beaming face, I hug him like he has been gone for such a long time. He will hug me back just as tight. A few minutes before that, I will be sure to have showered, change my duster into something clean and sprinkled just a bit of perfume or powder. I wanted to look pretty and nice and not sweaty or lazy like I normally feel when my Michael is out.

I would silently crave for comments on my cooking and he never fails to deliver. Not with words but with the hearty way he gobbles up whatever dish I lay before him. From a simple pumpkin soup to a complicated arroz ala cubana to just plain spaghetti from a can, he will always be appreciative and my heart just fills with more love for him.

We would watch TV briefly together as he readily switch the channel to AXN or any ballgame that’s on for viewing. But when I say I want to watch this show instead, he will with slight hesitance let me check that show momentarily. But of course, he knows it will be fleeting because I will be working in the other room soon.

It will be hard to tear myself away from him and concentrate on work. I will get back from work into our bed with him soundly asleep already. I will stare once more for a long time at this sleeping figure and I can’t help but kiss him on the cheek or head. I have two babies. He is my big baby and my little baby is on the way.

Each night I will find it hard to sleep immediately because of a lot of things in my mind that keeps it awake. But I will look at this wonderful person beside me and I will stretch my right arm to hug him on my side and that singular touch wherein he notices I’m in and squeezes my hand unconsciously that I knew there is nothing to worry. A silent prayer is uttered for the child that is in my womb. And I close my eyes to sleep, a woman in love, a fortunate maidservant blessed by our Lord of Great Favor.

And the next day when I wake up, I will fall in love with my husband all over again. And I pray it never ends.