A Whitney Houston fan, I’ve always liked this song, but I was surprised to find out that Sam Smith did an awesome cover of this song in his traditional ballad style of singing. During a leisurely Instagram browsing session I came upon a choreographed dance to the Sam Smith version and I fell in love…
Here is a photo of myself and Papa in Luneta. This must be 1987 (give or take a year or two) and back then, we used to go to Luneta so I could go biking. I learned to ride the bicycle without training wheels in Camp Aguinaldo, but my first experience on a bicycle was in Luneta.
I remember, we used to rent a bike, there were lots of bicycles to choose from, it was always exciting. But when I eventually got my own, Papa would put it in the trunk of the car, and we brought it with us to Luneta. My sister, on a stroller, had her own set of wheels. Eventually, she graduated to a walker and then a small “tricycle” and joined in the fun. We biked all over the place… to PICC, the haunted Film Center, Coconut Palace and so forth.
Weekends were often spent in Luneta. It was much different then… life was much simpler.
Kids These Days
Do kids still play in the street? I remember almost living outside, I had to be forced to come in, at the end of the day. Eventually my mom set a rule that I could only go out if I had my siesta (afternoon nap), so I faked it all the time and counted to 500. The goal was to get out, and in Camp Aguinaldo, we lived a very active life as kids. We played games like Patintero, Agawan Base, Piko, Agawan Panyo, and Langit Lupa. I bet kids only see these games in books (I’m not really sure). But these games kept us in the streets for hours.
I qualified in Track and Field varsity because I grew up running in the streets of Camp Aguinaldo. I passed tryouts for Cheerleading because I learned to do cartwheels, backbends and front flips in our garden. I learned to fight boys in Camp too… I guess that’s all part of the whole street life, you learn how to be a thug. Haha!
Do kids still play outside? In our subdvision I see some kids on their bikes during summer or groups of boys with a basketball on their way to the court. But I hardly see girls. There are no children playing Patintero… no Agawan Base… no, there’s none of that. And of course there are no weekends spent at Luneta Park.
Kids today, they mature very early, and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But they dress up like adults, they talk like adults, and they love grown up things like makeup, expensive bags, shoes, cars, and so forth. When I was young I only wanted to learn how to ride a bike with no-hands and when I finally did it, I knew I was made. Of course it doesn’t have any lasting life value, but back then, it was worth so much. Back in the day, there was this very tall tree in our street and we had to jump from it, like some initiation. It was so high, believe me, we could’ve easily injured ourselves. But thugs don’t say no to these things… so I jumped (successfully too). I jumped from trees, tall walls, roofs, gates–the scarier the better.
Kids these days… they do that too. But in Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, or Tony Hawk. Haha!
Anyway, my mom posted this photo on our thread and it brought a smile to my face. This brings back fun memories with Papa.
P.S. Papa it’s mom’s birthday tomorrow don’t forget to greet her. Joke only.
“Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.”
One day, during morning devotion in the ARMS mission trip to Tacloban, we woke up to find memory verses on the table. I found Ephesians 4:1 on my side of the table and upon seeing it, I realized that it defines my life’s mission.
Not that I feel old because I don’t. Yes, I feel old(er) and that’s different. I feel like wine–and I’ve aged to some level of perfection, but not quite yet. If you know what I mean. And I think that’s what matters, that we age with grace. That we age, somehow? That we can look back from where we’ve been and say… “Good thing I’m not there anymore”.
Two years ago, in 2015, I was quick to declare it my year. We do that. And I learned my lesson the hard way because, 2015 wasn’t my year at all–it was far from it.
On the 22nd of February 2015, I saw my 2-yr old dog die in front of me. She was attacked by another dog and barely survived the travel back to the house. Eight months after, on the 29th of October the same year, I found myself driving through bumper-to-bumper EDSA traffic to rush to my dead father, before he’s taken to the morgue. 2015 wasn’t my year at all. And in July when we first took my father in for confinement, I should’ve known that.
But No One Expects These Things
Of course no one does. Actually, around the time when we were bringing my Papa in and out of the hospital, I remember thinking about fixing my Globe postpaid account. You see, I’ve maintained the same mobile number since College and as I was unemployed then, it was under my Papa’s name. All of our Globe accounts were under Papa’s name, but all my sisters changed account ownership a long time ago–I didn’t. Around August 2015, I remembered my Globe account and I thought to do it but I said, “What for? Are you afraid Papa’s going to be gone soon?”. So I never fixed it.
Last Christmas, a classmate of mine died if a heart attack. I remember seeing a random post on Facebook and I shook my head in disbelief, then decided to call his friend to get confirmation. He died that morning. And in the following days people from my class talked about being gone toon soon, suffering traitorous heart attacks, and the value of making healthy life choices. You see, he was always a hefty lad. After College, he lost some weight, but the autopsy revealed a blockage–so clearly some things were missed.
Regardless, no one really thought he would go that way. Not his parents, not his wife, and surely not his daughter.
I remember a few weeks before my father died, I was in the shower. I usually give him his morning meds along with breakfast and when I did that day, he looked so frail. The shower was loud enough to muffle the sound so I cried. In the next days, I would imagine scenarios of how he would leave us and many times I stopped myself. I dreaded every phonecall I got from my mom. During those days, I’d breathe a deep breath just before I say “Hello”, as if preparing for the worst.
Still, nothing could’ve prepared me for for that day. When I got THE call, I barely heard what my mom said. I screamed. I screamed so loud that nurses came rushing to me. I don’t remember putting the phone down or even telling my mom goodbye. I don’t remember even saying anything, but I remember the screaming. It is still loud today in my heart as it was that day.
I have never reblogged another post before, but when I read Teri’s entry, I wanted to write about it, right away. Please take time to read it. It’s one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve read in a long time.
I am walking my dog when it happens. The woman does not see me. The woman does not see my dog. The woman points her car my way and guns it, and when I see she doesn’t see me—doesn’t see my bright blue shirt nor my arm waving ‘hello neighbor’ in the air nor my big yellow lab standing at the side of her driveway—I dive to my right and the bumper of her car clips my hip and I tumble down and over the newly-mowed grass of her lawn and the next thing I know I’m lying there, just lying there, pushing to get up and looking at my dog looking down at me with her tail wagging, wagging wagging wagging. The dog licks my hand. We are alive, the dog seems to say. We are okay.
For the last decade I’ve been walking my dogs in a downtown…
In La La Land, you follow the long and winding story of the characters played by Gosling and Stone, from the moment they meet, until their love story ends. Naturally, we hoped for a happy ending. Not because we think all love stories end with happily ever after (that is impossible) but because they seemed perfect for each other. They understood each other. They complemented each other. A perfect match, right? Unfortunately, their paths had to diverge because their individual journeys took different directions.
And that’s how most great love stories end, I think. Paths diverge. It doesn’t always have to be elaborate. Sometimes it’s just that simple.
When did I start growing up? I don’t know. Have I properly grown up? I mean what does it mean to be an adult in the first place? I wonder if I completely qualify–do you think you do? Sometimes I see people who are much younger, acting more adult than I–but at the same time I see people who are older than I, acting quite childish. Anyway, the first time I encountered the word #adulting was on a friend’s post. She was preparing to move out of her parents’ house and was shopping for her new place. I realized, just then, that people around me (or people my age) are entering a phase in their lives that demand sensibility–hence, I see a lot of #adulting posts, represented in various aspects of their lives.