Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Chronicle...November 18 Events

The morning of November 18, 2017 - Lucas and I, Roy and Martha were to meet with Emil and Sui and the wedding coordinator at Abaca Restaurant near Ayala Mall for breakfast. Since the place was kind of classy,  I opted to wear my more presentable semi stiletto Naturalizer shoes. Ayala was walking distance from Tom's place, so we took to go on foot. But where exactly was Abaca Restaurant? Roy and Martha took different paths to find it. Lucas was walking slowly and I was my usual self, always in a hurry. As I was walking down a building stairway, in my hurriedness, I failed to see one step down the way, so I stumbled. My semi stiletto heels did not support my heaviness, so I twisted my ankle first and fell. It was a heavy fall, my buttock was hurting but it was superficial. My ankle was sprained but I got up and continued walking. I thought I would be fine but Roy told me to recheck after an hour or so, since he said my Adrenalin rush after the fall must still be working. It actually took about two to three hours before I felt the pain and my right foot started to swell. I could still walk but with a limp. Thankfully I had packed some pain relievers in my medicine bag. After the breakfast meeting with Emil's wedding coordinator and lunch at Tom's place, Lucas and I transferred to Quest Hotel and the children to Marco Polo Hotel. Upon reaching my room, I took a light dose of Arcoxia and rested.

In the afternoon of November 18, 2017, the museum tour was scheduled at 3PM. The meeting place was at Quest Hotel lobby. Roy and Martha came along to help Lucas and me host the affair. The lobby at Quest Hotel was a cheerful meeting place. My guests for the tour began trekking in at different time after three PM.  I purposely divided the big group into three sub groups: 1. The Ledesma  2. The Tan/LCT group and 3. Lucas and heddy and guests. There were likewise three vans to shuttle the properly assigned groups. Each van was respectively labeled 1, 2 or 3 with their numbers posted on the windshield to be identified. My daughter Martha was very efficient. She got all the names and cellphone numbers of the van drivers, as well as their van plate numbers for further identifications and instructions. I actually had a paper copy list but I was kind of slow with my mobile and thankfully Martha took over. So Roy and Martha came with us for the tour, while Marion went to fetch her boyfriend Marion Olmillo who was arriving from Manila. Tom and Angel and Luz decided to stay home to clean up and send our used clothes to the laundry mat. Emil and Sue on the other hand were at their abode, waiting for us to visit them after the museum tour. Some guests were disappointingly unable to join due to delayed flights from both Manila and Cotabato such as Marion Olmillo, Ben and Adele Siy, Lucio and Conchita Tan, Ledian Ting and Ivy Tan. My cousin Nelly and her husband Abraham Co however decided at the last minute to join, but separately in their own company bank car. Abraham Co was by the way the president of Asia United Bank and he came in, just in time after his bank meeting.

Meeting my kins at the hotel lobby.

We departed in 3 vans. In Van 1 were Imelda, Jeanette and her grand daughter Kay, Jun and Jean, Helen and her son Bernard, Wilson and Diane, Ollie and Solan. Inside Van 2 were Tina, Apollo and Liezle, Dominic and Carol, their son Calyx and his yaya; Joan and James and their 3 kids, and Jocelyn and Jackie. Van 3 were seated Roy and Martha, Lucas and I. In a separate car were Nelly and Abraham Co.

We got to our museum at around 4 PM. Jesuit House was a museum inside an existing, working hardware bodega. I visited and blogged about it some two years ago. It was the most unique museum I have ever visited, hence I specially chose to tour my visitors there. I was sure they would find this place very interesting. I meant for this tour to be cultural and educational to all concern. So I divided ourselves into two groups with one guide per group. Apparently the tour guide of my kinsmen was better. I could see them getting engrossed except for Imelda and Jeannette who wandered around and about and getting lost. Hahaha. The LCT group though, I reckoned, coming from the same hardware business, related well to the old rusty and musty surroundings. Hahaha. I wonder which of the group enjoyed more?
At the end of our tour, we were brought to the museum library, where we were met by the owner of the museum and hardware himself, Mr. Jimmy See. It was was really very nice and gregarious of him to meet us. Thank you Mr. See.

 At the Museum office waiting for my guests to arrive. You could clearly see me in slippers with my right foot swollen. I was very excitable though and animated. The adrenalin rush maybe. Hahaha.
 First batch of tourists, my kinsmen. Hahaha.
 Martha horsing around. Hehehe.
 The second batch of tourists, the Tan's family.
 Inside the hardware warehouse is the entrance to the museum.
 My relatives were all ears!
 Photo opportunity for the Tans. Hahaha.
 Walking the museum: the walls made of sea corals, the posts from original molave trunks, the wooden floor planks, old furniture pieces and the Ano 1703 sign on top of the door passage.
 Martha horsing around, hehehe.
 Mr. Jimmy See the owner meeting us at the museum library.
Photo opportunity with Mr. Jimmy See, Abraham Co and Nelly Co.

To be continued. The day's account is not yet over. Hehehe.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Continuing the Chronicle...Belated Birthday Celebration

In the evening of November 17, 2017, my second son Tom belatedly celebrated his birthday at Mansion Grill. Since my siblings and some of their children had begun to arrive Cebu separately on the 17th, Tom took this opportunity to belatedly celebrate with his office mates, family and maternal kins. I did not know until the singing of the birthday song, that Tom had included me as a celebrant. That was the reason why he invited all my siblings and their children. My siblings in attendance were Theng, Helen and her son Bernard, Boy and Diane and their sons Miguel and Martin, Ollie and Solan, (Jeannette and her grand daughter Kay, Jun and Jean were still on flight) but Jeannette's daughter and her husband Raffy were present. 

It was a fun party. Very lively and gay. Tom's office mates were happily not ill at ease with us. The Ledesmas were a rowdy group, moveable and cheerful. Everybody was happily greeting everyone as though we hadn't seen each other for a long time. Hahaha. But most of all, they were very happy to see Roy and Marion, coming all the way from USA and New Zealand. On the other side of our tables, the office mates of Tom were equally enjoying their Friday night out. Hahaha. (Sorry was unable to take pictures of them.) It was indeed a fun night but after dinner and the chitchats, we had to get on moving soon. Many were still having travel lags. We could not stay too long at the party because tomorrow the 18th will be a busy day.

Tomorrow, November 18, in the morning, the bride and groom and the parents, would be meeting the wedding coordinator at Ayala for breakfast. Next item, after lunch, we would all be checking-in at our respective hotels. In the afternoon, Lucas and I would be hosting our kins to a museum tour. And in the evening, we would also be hosting a pre-nuptial dinner for our relatives and guests, who flew all the way to attend the wedding of Emil and Sui. Emil upon my instructions had actually arranged for 3 vans to shuttle us on November 18 for the tour and dinner.  Ciao,"See you all tomorrow!"

 The birthday boy and his kuya Roy.
 Me and my family were seated at this side of the room.
 Tom and his family and mother-in-law Luz.
 With Ollie and Solan, Wilson and Diane
 The young ones with my husband Lucas. Hahaha
 Helen, Desa, myself, Raffy and Theng
 Blowing our birthday candles. Wishing for more good times to come.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Chronicle of Happy Family Events

 Arriving Cebu:
The wedding of Emil and Sui was to be held on November 19, 2017 in Cebu City. Since Lucas and I were in Cotabato, we had to fly to Manila first for the wedding preparations. We went to Manila on November 12 so as to be able to fit my gown and bring all my shoes in one duffle bag. Also to properly wrapped my family engagement package to Sui and to prepare for other errands. Hehehe.

On November 16, together with Martha, we flew to Cebu. It was a hectic day for Tom and Emil (both of them residing in Cebu) who took turns fetching all family members arriving from different places in one day: 1. Roy arrived in the early morning from Seattle. 2. Luz Co (Tom's mother-in-law) arrived before noon from Manila. 3. Marion arrived in the afternoon from New Zealand. 4. Mr. John Sarmiento (Sui's father) and his family arrived Cebu from Vietnam on the same night flight with us.

My family (except for Emil) was hurdled at Tom's condominium apartment. Lucas and I, and Roy took the guest room. Luz Co slept with Tom and his family at the master bedroom, while Martha and Marion and Ann (the househelp) slept at the sala. It was crowded but it was family. We were actually living the cramped and camping liked life style of the past. Nobody complained. Hahaha.

I brought food for the family. Our first breakfast was homemade suman with pork, brought all the way from Cotabato. My children just loved them. I also bought special siopao from Manila. Wow, my food once they were laid out on the table, were all gone. I also cooked bihon guisado and made herbal native chicken soup. I loved to see all of them eat with gusto. This was my family and I love to feed them. Maybe it was just the mother and home maker that was me.

 Having breakfast at Tom's condo unit.
 Going to the grocery for supplies.
 Mother and daughter: Luz Co and Angel Co Tan

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

I Am Back.......

Wow! I have been away for more than a month now. Mainly for the wedding of my son Emil Gabriel  and Sui-Ling last November 19, 2017. There were lots of preparations for the big event and all my family members flew to Cebu for the wedding. It was kind of like an out of town event. After the wedding, we took the opportunity to vacation across Cebu. As Martha my daughter said regarding our trip, 'this vacation is one for the book'. Yes indeed it was. We enjoyed family bonding, eating, swimming and being together as one big family. However after all the hullabaloo, and everybody has gone back to his respective place and work; so as the saying goes, there is no place like home. Home sweet home! From here I will be posting lots of pictures and events in the following days to bear with me......

Saturday, October 21, 2017

End of the World

There are countless doom's day prophesies in modern times. As far as I can remember, my first encounter was when I was 9 years old. I was a grade 3 pupil then and my sister Helen alerted me about it. During those days, specially in Manila, there were wanton sales of blessed candles and matches. There was even a movie made entitled "Posporo, Kandila" to depict the said madness. My parents and family in Cotabato were not superstitious though, we did not talk about it nor prepared for it. When the supposedly day arrived, I was at school. I was inside a classroom together with my classmates and my grade three teacher Miss Dahlia Padua. In the afternoon, the sky began to darken and rain began to fall. The atmosphere was ominous. Everybody was looking out of the window. I did not know who knew about the supposedly apocalyptic day aside from me, but definitely Miss Padua was in distraught. As the sky grew darker, she stopped her reading lesson and began teaching us the Guardian Angel Prayer. This beautiful prayer sank into my heart. It was the first rote prayer I ever learned. I continue to pray it to these days.

All along the years until now, there are many more other prophetic end-day pronouncements, but people now take it in stride.

In 1976, during the big earthquake in Cotabato City, while my husband and I covered ourselves with blankets when the earth shook forcibly, I thought. "So this must be the end......". Yes, that night it did seem like the end of the world to me.

But Jesus said. "Regarding that Day and that Hour, no one knows when it will come, not even the angels or the Son, but only the Father." But he also said. "Be alert and watch, for you don't know when the time will come."........"And what I say to you, I say to all: watch."

And so people have been watchful. We ask ourselves. What would cause the end? Great earthquake, nuclear war, cosmic upheaval, meteor devastation, extreme climate, etc???

Several years ago, when the evil insurgence of the Isis in Raqqa began, one Christian friend told me, that this event has been depicted in the Bible, specifically from the Book of Revelation. Everything about Isis is a symbol of evil, no doubt about it. According to her, it was prophesied for evil to rise in Raqqa and Armageddon to begin. She said that this was the sign that the fight of good and evil had begun and that the end of time is close. Her pronouncements of course intrigued me greatly. I tried to read the Revelation but alas, I didn't understand it at all.

Here in the Philippines, we are besieged with Muslim extremism. The Isis affiliated Maute insurgency in Marawi came about this year. They burned schools and hospital, desecrated the church, took hostages, killed people and put up their black evil flag. The Philippine government of course would not let these atrocities go easily, hence forth martial law was declared in Mindanao and war ensued in Marawi. This week though, after several months of fierce fighting, two top terrorist leaders were killed in gun battle. Victory is at hand but the crisis is not yet fully over. For having the upper hand in the struggle, we thank God for our soldiers and thank you also for giving us a strong president.

On the farther side of the world, in Middle East, the liberation of Raqqa from the Isis also transpired. It happened about the same time with the fall of the terrorists leaders in Marawi. People are glad that maybe this extremism now will soon be checked. But what will happen next? We do not know what is to come. Is evil defeated? Are the tentacles crushed? Is the Armageddon over in Middle East?What about the Revelation? Is the end of the world coming soon? I revealed to my husband my wildest thoughts. His simple answer was. "Just keep faith.". Yes, sometimes I just wished for Jesus to come already, but I pray for him not to make it anymore harder for humankind. We have enough sufferings, O Lord, just come back and return to save us all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Despite Everything.......

Despite the war in Marawi, the martial law in Mindanao and the drug war of Duterte in the Philippines, I feel the country is safer these days specially in Mindanao because of a strong military presence in the area, and the fear of the consequences of punishments when caught. This is not to say there are no crimes in the city. In fact a middle aged lady, a rental collector, a kin of the Gutierez family was killed only yesterday. The sad thing is, most of the tenants in the vicinity think that it was due her because she had been a strict, hard-hearted landlady. She padlocked houses that were remissed with their payments.The gunman was not caught, nobody knew who it was. This woman had plenty of Christians and Muslims tenants, but even few Christians sympathize with the victim. Such is the mentality of many people here in the Philippines. Law and order does not matter at all.

Let me share a penny of my thoughts: I do not approve of extra judicial killings. I think many cops tend to be abusive and corrupt. Sad but true but most are indifferent to this matter as long as it works faster and better. It is because since time immemorial, all previous governments and its higher offices sucked and feasted on the country's coffer. There was no pride to be honest and patriotic. Everybody from the high ups to the lowly wanted to have a part of the loot. This corrupt system has been here ever since. It goes from bad to worst. Everybody just wants to become rich quickly. So, when Duterte surfaced, many seemed happy for a change, not knowing that one day many of them will have to meet their adversaries which are really their own shadows face to face. Duterte is not a cure all, but at least we have one president that cares for this country. He has been elected by the people. I voted for him too and I will pray for him. He needs a lot of our prayers though because he is rowdy and not too bright. But what had all the brilliant presidents done to this country?! I pray the Lord enlightens him in his governance and fight against drug and corruption. I pray for more honest and good people to help him. I pray that the Lord guides him to steer better this country for the common good of the people.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mini Grotto

I have a mini grotto on the wall of my porch before entering my home. My family moved to this house in 1980. In 1976 after the earthquake, I went through some emotional turbulent years, so when this house was built for us to stay, I wanted my home to be blessed by God. The mini grotto with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was set up during the finishing stage of the building. I specifically wanted it there before entering my abode. The grotto is a significant gesture of my devotion. My wanting to be connected to God. My desire to be loved and brought closer to my Lord by his very own mother. As I prayed for a peaceful loving home, of course with all intentions I have to start by being a better person myself. This house, this home, this family, will surely be blessed because I so want it to be. My Divine Mother shall help me. She will bring me closer to my God, as well as all my love ones whom I pray for everyday.

So my house is located on the second floor of the building, and since then, each day before going down the stairs to work or to go out, I pass by the mini grotto; I touch the statue of our Lady and do the sign of the cross. Likewise when I climb upstairs to come home, I do the same greetings. The grotto is lighted by an electrical light bulb at night. I adorn it with flowers picked from my rooftop garden. It delights my heart when my flowers bloom prettily to honor my Lady.

Flowers for my Lady: