regarding the Mayor & Ramon

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If you know the guy, you know I had not much to do w/ the decision to make peace. He hardly looks like someone anyone can convince into doing anything against his initial will. Mayor Duterte was interested in making peace and I just happened to open up the option. He could’ve dismissed me, but he didn’t. Of course Ramon was graceful (despite being shocked) about it, too. Imagine, I called him with no warning, all of a sudden, Mayor Duterte on the line! But they swung it peaceward.

That was all them.
I was lucky to see it up close though. 


new air

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Dear Niece,

Listen to fights, listen to what the universe is shaking off from you when fights happen, know when it still begs for fixing, and for when there is no more repair. We are so used to fixing and fixing and fixing thinking this is the right thing to do, but sometimes the universe will make it so clear, “dili kitâ bagay sa iba nga tao,” at hindi mo dapat pilitin sarili mong makibagay. Sayang lakas, sayang bait. Okey lang mabawasan ng tao sa buhay. Maski loved one. Maski yung inakala mong ‘great love’ nimo. Ang imo nga great love, ay ikaw! Pag great love mo sarili mo, you will choose the best guy, the best lover, the kindest friends, sort out the abrasive- even from your family, weed out those who insult your soul. (Ika nga ni Walt Whitman)

And once they’re gone, it will be lonely at the start. You will think your world is empty even. BUT as long as hindi mo ego yung pinakikinggan mo- (minsan kasi ego will say “I must fix it! They must stay! They must love me! They must still like me!”) — you will see the difference as clear as daylight. How light your life will be. How things will slowly be solidly beautifully built around you because there are no longer people who constantly albeit inadvertently knock things down. Sometimes they don’t mean to, they’re just too big for the dainty china in your soul closet. They are not bad people, and neither are you- hindi lang kayo bagay. Take it and walk away. It isn’t a loss, it’s just a clearing.

Sarap niyan! Breathe in the new air. Yum. And proceed with life. They will, too, without you, and it will be okay.

Love, Tita Gang 🙂


august women

When I was born my Mom had a cardiac arrest, flat lined for a few seconds but was fully revived by the grand ob-gynecologist named Dr. Gloria Aragon. Bed ridden and needing to recover badly from giving birth to me (her 10th baby & 3rd C-section) my Mom couldn't breastfeed. She said many other women (lactating Aunts, a nurse, friends of the family, and possibly strangers) donated their breast milk to newborn me. My father, some older siblings, and my Titas took shifts carrying me for minutes during the day since my Mom was terribly bed ridden. And when they left I'd hang back inside an incubator waiting for their turn to visit again. This went on, according to my Mom, for at least a quarter, maybe more. Interestingly enough, my birth month August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month - so I want to take this time out to thank the MANY women who literally nourished me. I don't know most of them- but I know this surge of gratitude I feel & the magnitude of the debt I owe. If for some inevitable reason you can't/couldn't breastfeed your baby, it's okay. While I know there are theories that breastfed babies are closer to their mothers or have more connection with them- I want to tell you that there are exceptions. I love my Mom - she is the person I love the most, she is the one I ran to for protection and guidance the most, depended on the most, learned the most from, she is the North even while many others (my late Tita Ping included) served as cardinal points in my life. The bond from breastfeeding is precious and irreplaceable, but it is not the only act that can tie children to their mothers. So take heed.  I applaud all mothers and fathers who work (for it is hard work!) to breastfeed their infants. Bravo to you all. I am not a mother and will (by now) never be one to a human - so I can just be your #1 fan.  Mabuhay ang mga Nanay!

When I was born my Mom had a cardiac arrest, flat lined for a few seconds but was fully revived by the grand ob-gynecologist named Dr. Gloria Aragon. Bed ridden and needing to recover badly from giving birth to me (her 10th baby & 3rd C-section) my Mom couldn’t breastfeed. She said many other women (lactating Aunts, a nurse, friends of the family, and possibly strangers) donated their breast milk to newborn me. My father, some older siblings, and my Titas took shifts carrying me for minutes during the day since my Mom was terribly bed ridden. And when they left I’d hang back inside an incubator waiting for their turn to visit again. This went on, according to my Mom, for at least a quarter, maybe more. Interestingly enough, my birth month August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month – so I want to take this time out to thank the MANY women who literally nourished me. I don’t know most of them- but I know this surge of gratitude I feel & the magnitude of the debt I owe.
If for some inevitable reason you can’t/couldn’t breastfeed your baby, it’s okay. While I know there are theories that breastfed babies are closer to their mothers or have more connection with them- I want to tell you that there are exceptions. I love my Mom – she is the person I love the most, she is the one I ran to for protection and guidance the most, depended on the most, learned the most from, she is the North even while many others (my late Tita Ping included) served as cardinal points in my life. The bond from breastfeeding is precious and irreplaceable, but it is not the only act that can tie children to their mothers. So take heed.
I applaud all mothers and fathers who work (for it is hard work!) to breastfeed their infants. Bravo to you all. I am not a mother and will (by now) never be one to a human – so I can just be your #1 fan.
Mabuhay ang mga Nanay!


dream #SONA line

Dream #SONA line: “Yung mga nakatayo sa labas, wag sana kayo ulanin, tama lang na nariyan kayo. Ano ang kailangan kong marinig mula sa inyo? Bantayan ninyo ako. Batikusin kung kinakailangan, para umayos ang aking pamamalakad. Pangako ko hangga’t maayos at para sa kaunlaran ang inyong pagpupuna, sa abot kaya namin dito sa pamahalaan, pakikinggan namin kayo.” Tapos screen from live shot of outside, projected inside the hall -real time.

Well, one can dream.


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tuwing brown out

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Tuwing brown out, automatic Basil Valdez on loop ang nasa utak ko. LSS ko ngayon yung “Siya Na Ba?” kasi parang bagay sa brown out. Mamaya sigurado “Kahit Ika’y Panaginip Lang.” This is telling – it indicates the years I first encountered power outs. I think when I was very young my older brothers used to sing Basil songs with another brother on the piano or guitar when we didn’t have electricity. I also remember learning how to play mah-jong during brown outs because they needed a ‘fourth man’ on the table. And I learned the second voice of many many many songs because my sister was in the Glee Club and she always sang the melody, she was the soprano (ako alto) – at kahit July – Christmas songs ang ituturo niya sa ‘kin. Tapos may ghost story stretch for sure. Tapos sa pagkaka-alam ko “brown out” if nawalan ng kuryente during the day, and “black out” pag nawalan ng kuryente sa gabi. (may ganun din ba kayo?)

I also remember how we always tried to beat each other to blowing out the candles when the lights went on and every single time, EVERY SINGLE TIME the candles are blown we all sing the end of “Happy Birthday.” (haaaaaaaappy biiiiirthday toooo yooouuu~) I can still smell the candle smoke. And then when the lights are back, we’d stop singing.

Now? Well, I’m on my laptop – battery down to 48%, — attached to the net through my phone’s personal hotspot, (kasi nga walang kuryente) waiting for NDRRMC updates, tracking the storm via Project Noah’s website, checking on my boys (human and canine) -both snoring, chatting via text messages with a media person and a scientist, both good friends – and on Facebook writing about why I automatically hear the voice of Basil Valdez when the lights go out.

Okay, 535am na.


DO YOU WANT TO HELP? #GlendaPH

Wed 16 July 2014, 1203am Re: #GlendaPH: Would you like to help?

What can you offer as a standby resource that we can offer the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) as needed? Rock Ed Phils is working in coordination with the NDRRMC.

Email: radio@rockedphilippines.org

Name, updated contact info, resource offered (e.g. First Aid knowledge, boat, jet ski, rescue skills, tech skills, vehicles, trucks, vans, helicopter, private plane, venue to prepare food en masse, water supplies etc) – and please indicate your location.

(ATTN: People from Region 5 & 8 priority, Calabarzon & NCR.)

We’re actively updating our data base of standby emergency response civilian teams/individuals. Thank you.