That Day in Spring

I patiently waited for the next bus that will take us back to Busan, South Korea. It a was cold night back in April. I was in Jinhae Bus Station, happy and contented after experiencing my first cherry blossom festival.


We were not the first persons in line so I thought my friend, Ate B, and I might not be seated together. True enough, when the bus arrived, the window seats got filled quickly. We ended seating across each other in aisle seats. I glanced at my seatmate and noted he was probably a European based on the language he was speaking while on a phone call. A few seconds after his call, he was sniffing and he took out a roll of tissue. I thought to myself he probably has colds due the weather.

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A Grandmother’s Story

I still find it unfathomable that I have no more grandparents waiting for me to come home. Barely two weeks ago, my paternal grandmother, my last living grandparent, succumbed to coma and eventually death after suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke. What’s even more even more difficult to comprehend was the rate at which life surprised us. Lola Flor  just celebrated her 79th birthday last February 23 and I was even able talk to her through the phone. Three days later, our entire family was dumbfounded with the news that she suffered a stroke. 

On the last night of the wake,  our family  organized a short program to honor Lola Flor. The family members were requested to share their fondest memories of her.  I placed myself then on a time machine trying to recall significant moments, and I can’t help but be sad because I can barely recall them. During the program proper, I cried ever more, because  I gathered that among the grandchildren, I was the only  who never had a chance to live her. As I hear my  brothers, uncles, and extended relatives speak, I realized that there were many facets of my grandmother that I never knew of. 

I knew she gave birth to my father at  a young age. Yet, I didn’t know  that while taking care of her own children, she also attended to her siblings and even to to her nieces and nephew. She also took a lot of other people under her wing, the testament of which are the people who were present during her wake introducing themselves as either “adopted son” or “adopted daughter”. 

I wondered then, am I no different from a stranger? Every time I go home to Bicol, I visited her. Yet, I never asked or learned about these aspects of her life. I never got to ask how I behaved as a child, or if she remembered the days when I would spend some days at her home during summer vacations. As my uncle had carefully laid out during his eulogy, “I was probably very busy growing up and thinking about my own I life that I forgot Lola Flor was also growing old.” 

I feel sad  that I wasn’t to able to appreciate Lola Flor more when she was alive. However, I am still happy and thankful because in ever in her death, I still got to know her more or perhaps even better. 

Lola Flor, I hope you are at peace now.  And… forgive your grandchild for being so callous and carefree. 



Road Trips

I’d choose an eight-hour trip to Bicol anytime over a one-hour plane ride. Aside from the fact that there’s too much hassle in checking-in at airports, the scenery on the way to Bicol is just too good to miss. In general I love long rides, may be it be on boats, on a motorcycle, in the open sea or even in rough roads. My eyes simply crave for sceneries and time to absorb them.

My love for road trips was greatly influenced by my late father. When I was around five or six, we just had a motorcycle but he would take me and my brothers as far as Buhi Lake, home to the smallest  freshwater fish. There, we would make quick stops on the resorts around the lake. We never paid entrance fees because we barely stayed on each resort for an hour. My dad would simply talk to the owner that we were just visiting and off we go jumping from one resort to another.

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Dear November

November is just around the concern and what does this mean? Trip to Bicol to visit those who have already gone ahead of us. For working people like me, it’s like hitting two birds with one stone as I get to have some vacation too.

There was a time when I totally loathed November. Why? Because it’s the month that one of the most important people in my life was taken from me. November is a painful reminder of what I’ve lost and how my life has turned upside down. But time is kind. Wounds heal. Pain subsides. People mature.

Nowadays, I am looking at November with more optimism. It’s because I’ve also received so much blessing during this month the past years. My mom celebrates her birthday during November. I have enough reason to thank God for giving me such a good mom. November 2011 will also mark my 2nd year at PCHRD. While I feel I am getting farther and farther from where I initially imagined myself, I could not ask for better workmates.

So November, come fast! I can’t wait for you to come.

The Vague and the Unspeakable

I hate talking about it because it’s the inevitable. It’s man’s ultimate destination. I’ve seen and felt it six times but still don’t fully understand how it fully works. Maybe, I will never understand it… unless it actually happens to me. But then again, there is no use for that happen since I will have no way of communicating with world of the living.

Vague, isn’t it? Yes. It is supposed to be vague and you will never get me unless you’ve seen it yourself. You don’t know it if it is going to be sudden or slow. Sudden can be so shocking. Slow can be so excruciating. Either way, it’s bound to be very painful. How you will come in terms with it is entirely a different issue. It will depend on how forgiving and prepared you are.

You can probably get by now what I am talking about. The next questions is, why be like this? Because I hate the feeling of waiting and knowing that you can’t do anything… that at the end of the day it all boils down to acceptance. I respect people who can readily accept. It means they already have that maturity to understand how life really works.

I had a very hard time accepting the first time… and sadly, after six times, I still don’t have the maturity needed to deal with the vague and the unspeakable.

It will trickle until it is no more.

Day 05: Ending My Own Life?

Challenge for Day 05: A time you thought about ending your life.

End my life? Never. We all joke about it sometimes… when we’re facing something difficult or  when we want to run away from reality. BUT have I ever thought about doing it seriously? NO. First, I don’t have the courage to do it. Inflict pain on myself? Just thinking about it makes me puke. Second, my life is not mine for me to take. It’s a gift. It’s something He lent to us. Third, my life may have been tragic at some parts but I’m blessed enough to have overcome all of them. I have no reason to end my life and I’m looking forward to what God has planned for me everyday.


Lastly, when you have seen death and feel how painful it can be,  you’ll realize how short and precious life is. Death can turn your life upside down in the blink of an eye. You’ll never wish for the pain it brings. When someone leaves, he’ll take a part if not almost all of you. Imagine doing this to someone you love by committing suicide.

I love life. I love living. Death is our inevitable fate so while we are still alive, let’s enjoy life and never put it on our own hands.

The Messengers of Death

The Messengers of Death

by Pierre Magnan

When a house has just lost its soul, a stricken silence falls over the sudden emptiness that no one will fill again. And all the noises that may be made later in that house will be like a scandalous din, ugly echoes from one room to another, from one corridor to another, sharp and discordant as if the walls are no longer able to absorb any music once the source of harmony has been taken away. But this strange detail about the power of death can only be picked up by ears that are very attentive to the smallest murmurs of life. Rational people go through these empty spaces with the serenity of a lawyer, and their indulgent smiles categorise you if you decide to point out in their presence that there is something lacking in the atmosphere.

Rest in peace, Ala.

Born: November 13, 1916

Died: May 27, 2010, 12:00 mn.

You shall be always remembered  for you have shaped a significant part of my life. I hope you and papa are now in eternal peace.

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