All Worth It

Our scholarship program “Second Wind Program” specifically for those struggling to finish their secondary studies is on its 7th year. Seems like only yesterday when O and I decide to pool the money we would have spent on our birthday celebration and support a scholar. We started with only one full scholarship shared by 2 students who decided to split the scholarship instead of a winner take all thing that year. It became 2 full scholarship the second year and reached its peak at 5 scholars (2 full and 3 half) on the third. On the fourth year, I was disheartened with the students in my alma mater. You offer opportunities and you still had to be the one to feed them. So on the fourth year I just posted signs and did not actively campaign for applicants. We were able to get the resourceful students, the ones who really wanted the scholarship badly. It continued that way until now. We are down to 2 full scholars this year.

Today one of our scholars from the 2nd year of operations graduated from university and came to thank me personally. We had helped her finish high school and after her, her sister too. We extended our help even through her college years.

I cried when I read her letter after she left. And I know all our efforts were well worth it. I too am thankful to her that she gave me the strength and energy to continue with the Second Wind Program.

If we changed the life of even just one person for the better, it is worth it. 



AML Journal 23

Sept 8, 2014

There are bad days, there are good days. And today is a good day. Our patient’s platelet count finally got past the 10k mark; an amazing 43k. ūüôā It is very low for the average person but for our patient whose count hovered in the 10k range, that is very very good news.

When our patient was in the middle of her treatment, I was worried we would not be able to cope once our patient was no longer under the care of the Manila doctors. With this kind of disease, the local specialist’s skills did not really encourage confidence on our part. But waddyaknow, when push comes to shove, kaya din naman pala namin.

Worries are just worries. And you will never know how you will react not until the situation is actually there. I wouldn’t say never to worry because worrying did help us by giving me the impetus to prepare by reading up on the subject, by making sure we had the contact numbers of the required doctors, by having blood donors on our list, by making friends with the Red Cross, and a hundred small things that add up to lessening the mistakes when crunch time comes.

Worries aren’t for naught. But I realize that worrying too much was pointless. There is a time for worries and there is a time to decide that you have done everything you could and it is pointless to worry more.

Distracting Photos

My mother loved displaying photos around her room and home.¬† I on the other hand, am not big on photos.¬†¬†No wedding photos, no graduation photos,¬†only 1 family photo and 1 photo each¬†of the kids. Not big on certificates either. You won’t find any framed diploma or any framed recognition in our home.

Now that¬†my mom¬†is gone, I have gotten some of those photos to display in my own house.¬†Simply because it seemed disrespectful to throw the photos away. I got those photos of our family when I was younger; of her and my dad when they were newly weds, photos of my kids, my graduation photo that ma displayed proudly in the living room…¬† Some my brother has appropriated but there are still a lot of framed photos around.¬†
Now that my house is quite full with photos, I took some to put in my bare office desk yesterday.

Bad idea.  Before I wrote this post, I happened to glance at the frames and spent several minutes looking at the photos.  I looked at my parents when they were still in their 30s.  I looked at me with my brother when he graduated from university.  Gee I look different.

Some would say that would be time well spent but the fact is, I stopped work to look at the photo.  Many details came to my attention.  It was a distraction.  But a nice distraction.

If this keeps up, I’ll probably have to transfer the photos to the shelf behind my desk so that it won’t be a distraction for me.

My Dream Wedding

This is from my post 3 years ago.  It just felt good to remember my dream wedding now that O is home after 4 days away. 

May 2010:


Its been my long time dream.  I want to get married in the Chapel of Love with Elvis presiding.

And finally, I got my dream wedding. ¬†Even if it wasn’t in the Chapel of Love, since they were too expensive (being famous and all), I still got my cheesy chapel and silk rose bouquet. ¬†This time around I brought along the rings. ¬†The first time we got married at the County Recorder, we had to borrow sis-in-law’s rings since I left our rings at home and it was too late to turn around.

So there we were, looking into each other’s eyes… ¬†I thought this would just be a lark. ¬†A hilarious incident that I could go back time and again when I was bored. ¬†But surprisingly, I was touched with Elvis’ cheesy speeches about love and dedication and promise. ¬†Surprise surprise, I even got teary-eyed.

This was one dream that did not disappoint. ¬†It was more than I ever imagined. ¬†I got the fun, the laughter, the weird and the romance. ¬†I remembered the day I told O that “not even death would part us” and I felt so energized. ¬†Refreshing. ¬†Full of love. ¬†You need these kinds of silly stuff to make you remember why you are together in the first place.

And it wasn’t as quickie as I thought. ¬†You still have to get a marriage license. ¬†The good thing is that the Licensing department is available 24/7. ¬†So maybe it isn’t an instant wedding. ¬†You still have a couple of hours to think it through but I guess compared to the 3-day wait for Riverside County, a Vegas wedding is quickie enough.

Viva Las Vegas!


My photos can be viewed at:

The Good Daughter in Law

O’s dad came over last night to give half of a jackfruit growing on his property. ¬†And of course the talk veered towards the motorcycle trip. ¬†The father-in-law shook his head and muttered that O hadn’t learned his lesson from the accident yet. ¬†

I kept quiet. ¬†I realized he didn’t know that I was with O the past three days and was riding pillion. ¬†I didn’t enlighten him. I just smiled and said, well, O has his mind and he is careful. ¬†He mumbled a few cuss words, not in anger but more in exasperation.¬†

Wow, good thing I came back when I did. ¬†Otherwise, he would’ve been a bit miffed that we left his three grandchildren behind.¬†

And when he learned that we bought a bigger displacement bike and that another cousin also went, more cuss words. ¬†Gee, I didn’t know O didn’t tell his dad. ¬†Uh-oh. ¬†When I relayed the incident to O later that night, he said I should’ve limited the revelations to one at a time.

Oh well, I still am the good daughter-in-law in his eyes.  *smile*

No Right No Wrong

I thought of my father today.  More than twenty years after his death, his advice still rings true.  I remember what he said to me when I was asking his opinion on a case study for my MBA.  He said there are no right or wrong decisions.  The only decisions that matter are those you are willing to support and defend. When you stand by the consequences of your decisions or actions then that makes it right.

My father had no college degree but that advice has stayed with me until now.  It has even crossed over to other facets of my life.

I do not believe in a right or wrong, to the consternation of O. ¬†I am one of those who try not to label actions as “good” or “bad”. ¬†Though raised a Catholic, I am liberal in my views. ¬†This thinker believes that there is no absolute truth, that everything is relative. ¬†Most everything is grey for me.

The irony is that O, who is agnostic, is more strict in his concepts of good and bad, those widely accepted classifications. ¬†He doesn’t like it when I am off in one of my thinking moods. ¬†I rationalize things. ¬†I question everything. ¬†When you start asking, you are bound to be dissatisfied with generally accepted ideas.

I do know my limitations though and I try not to rock the boat overly.  But deep down, I take to heart this relativity thing.  

There is no right or wrong for me.  Only how strongly or how far will I be able to defend my actions is what makes it right or wrong.

My photos can be viewed at

Crisis Over

My mid-life crisis has definitely passed.  

There used to be this something inside of me that wanted more out of what was usual; that chafed at the restrictions of society; that wanted to explore new ideas.  I am one of those who stay in the fold.  I have none of the rebellious streak that mark a trendsetter or someone who makes a mark in society.  i am part of the collective who makes society strong.

I still get in a funk, a sort of ennui when I am not quite all there.  Like last night.  I was bored.  But instead of stressing over it like in previous years, I decided to just read a book.

Romance? Psychology? Philosophy? Humor? ¬†I decided on Time Traveller’s Wife. ¬†It’s been almost 3 yrs since I last read it. ¬†It is still good. ¬†The first time I didn’t like the fact that there was a death. ¬†This time around, it wasn’t so bad. ¬†I focused on the time they had together. ¬†Yes, it didn’t seem so tragic anymore.

I’ve changed. ¬†My views have changed. ¬†I hope for the better.

My photos can be viewed at :

It Doesn’t matter

O’s cousin Polly asked me how I deal with stress. ¬†It took a while for me to answer it since I had to wonder if I have stress in my life. ¬†I don’t think so.

I told Polly I haven’t dealt with stress in a long long time. ¬†4 decades of living has blessed me with the insight to realize that in the end, nothing really matters.

It does not mean to say that I no longer care.  or that I no longer strive to be the best I can be. Or that I no longer fulfill my responsibilities.  I do.  And I continually expand my horizons and grow my world.  I am rarely static, always finding ways to enrich my life.

But I have realized that when I die, all these are for naught. ¬†So I don’t let it bother me. ¬†It’s a paradox. ¬†Trying to be the best but not caring if I am not the best.

So there are problems at work.  Instead of worrying about the effects, I try to mitigate the damage and charge the bad news and failures to experience.  There will be a next time.  Not exactly the same but there will ALWAYS be another opportunity to redeem oneself.  That is what I believe and I think the reason why I do not get stressed.

So maybe I am wait listed for my dream vacation. ¬†I just plan as if it’s a go, making sure that all plans can be cancelled if I do not get on the flight but prepared just in case I get confirmed for the flight. ¬†The ability to be flexible, to be able to discard what does not work and to be able to embrace sudden opportunities, that is part of my belief that in the end nothing really matters except how you lived your life. ¬†

So you get your heart broken, it doesn’t matter because if one is willing to explore other possibilities, a different opportunity maybe even better will come along. ¬†If I hadn’t had the heartbreak then I would not have been free when O came into the picture.¬†

Things happen. ¬†Don’t stress about anything. ¬†In the end, nothing matters.

I wonder if Polly understood that?