Sunday, March 31, 2019


Earlier today I had my voice lessons. And after the vocal warm-ups, I picked “Nahan” by Ernani Cuenco for practice. I was doing ok with the first two passes. Then on the third, I suddenly choked, holding back my tears. I just realized that I might be singing this song to my father soon.

It was in early 2017 when he was diagnosed with Prostate CA. He was complaining about urination problems then. We thought it was urinary tract infection. And when he had his Xray, it seemed like the bone metastasis had begun. “It lit up like a Christmas Tree” A quote from “Fault In Our Stars”.

He was 81 then and declined any radical procedures or even chemotherapy. His doctor gave him hormone treatment. He responded well until late last year, probably around October. His PSA level started to climb again. His doctor became more aggressive with the treatment options. Yet, the tests seemed to confirm a re-awakened CA. Although he was still ‘clinically’ healthy: no pain, no weight loss.

It made a turn for the worse in December. First it was anxiety palpitations, with loss of appetite. Before Christmas, he contracted pneumonia and we had to hospitalize him. I posted about that last year. Though we were able to bring him home right on Christmas Eve, he seemed to have started to decline rapidly. He was generally weaker, though he would stubbornly try to fight it. We hired a night-duty caregiver and day nurse.

He started to show some recovery. But he had a relapse in January 2019. So we were back in the hospital. We even stayed longer as his body was taking longer to respond to the antibiotics.

But he managed and we took him home. We also just maintained his night-duty caregiver. He was slowly gaining his appetite. He seemed to be getting stronger. Until in mid-March, he had severe stomach ache and was vomiting at 3am. My sister and brother in-law took him to ER and he was given medicine for his acidity. He was home quickly but not for long. By mid-afternoon, he was having severe headache and asked to be brought back to the hospital.

His hemoglobin levels turned out to be very low and he had to undergo transfusion. And he still had a lingering infection that needed antibiotics. And he even had a mild heart attack. The transfusion brought back his color and after a week, he was back home.

Now, it seems that he will not fully recover. The doctors have told us to brace ourselves for the inevitable. But until this afternoon, I was still in denial. My sisters from abroad have visited. And they have been doing their rounds of tearing up. Not me. Not until today.


Di ba sabi mo, kay ganda ng lahat. Kulay rosas pa ang mga bulaklak. Tila sa akin ay ayaw kang magtapat. Yan ba ang sabi mong pag-ibig ay wagas.

Ang iyong ngiting dati ay kay tamis. Pag ikaw at ako ay nagkakalapit. Nahan ang yakap mong dati ay mahigpit? At ang ligaya kong matamis mong halik?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 22, 2019

End of An Era 3: Personal Trainer

He wasn’t my first Personal Trainer at FF. I joined FF ABS CBN in 2003 as a walk-in. It was conveniently near my office then.  And I’ve been hearing all the things that have been happening in the gym floor and other areas *wink*.

But I also wanted to be serious about working out. So I signed up for personal training sessions. My first PT was G, and he was the resident gorgeous charmer. He had dimples that dug deep into his cheeks. Yeah, he was hot and cute. And very serious about working out, too. He shared my goal (then) to really bulk up. So he even went out of his way to train me. We would train sometimes at the other gym (almost bakal) just so I’d be in peak condition.

He was also really nice to the other staff. He helped train even the locker attendants. And he encouraged them to aim to be trainers themselves. So when he was about to leave, he endorsed me to one of them. J was ‘promoted’ to being a trainer, and he trained under G. I knew I was going to be in good hands. (Though he wasn’t nearly as cute as G, J was equally serious about my training.)

That must have been 2004.  And he has been my trainer since... well until last Wednesday. Even when ABS CBNbranch closed down in 2013, I stuck it out with him when we all transferred to Trinoma.

He was never a cookie-cutter trainer. He would continually change our workouts. He would apply latest ‘learnings’, coming from the training he attended. He was 100% with me the entire time, unlike other PT’s who would either be chatting away with others, or on their mobiles. He would always challenge me to give more and exert more.

But sometimes it would also be too much. I’ve had some injuries from being pushed too far. And there would be times I would dread workouts with him because these were physically and emotionally draining. During those times, I wouldn’t even be nice to him.

It came to a point, sometime in early 2017, when I had to take a break from our workouts. I told him I was going to rest for an extended period of time. No renewal of our PT. And I signed up with another PT at Viridian. That PT was actually ok, too. But going to be Viridian in Greenhills, from QC was quite a commute. I went back to J in mid 2017. But I laid out some ground rules. And I insisted that my workouts be recorded every time. That was My “It Can Be Done” posts, when I made tremendous gains in achieving my workout goals.

In mid 2018, the company decided to change offices. We were transferring to Mandaluyong by 2019. In November, I told J that it would be my last 36 sessions with him. Our last session was Wednesday.

I sitll don’t have a new PT at Viridian. And I am not in a hurry. I have been using the Boost PT sessions to try out different trainers. I have narrowed my choices to three.

But I will always be grateful to J, my PT for about 15 years. He helped me achieve goals then. And he was always approachable and encouraging. Though he tried not to show it, I knew he was going to miss me as one of his enduring clients. He was always proud of the progress I had made. And he made sure he documented this through videos and photos.

Things will be different now with my workouts, specially when I get a new trainer. I am suddenly doubting whether I would still be as motivated. Or if it is still all worth it. Well, one day at a time.  

Sunday, March 10, 2019

End of An Era 2: The Help

In a span of one quarter, two of our long-staying household help will have resigned. Carmen stayed with us for 21 years, Joy for about 12 years.

Carmen was so petite when she first worked for us, just turning 20yo then. She was referred by Nanay’s friend. Her family has been working for them for a while now. And she needed work. She eventually became the cook, learning from Nanay and from my Ates the dishes we grew up with. We also enrolled her in some cooking classes. This greatly expanded her skills.

She left to take care of her ailing Nanay, as she is the only unmarried one who could.

Joy started when she was in her teens. She used to be yaya to one of my nephews. When my brother and his family migrated to Auckland, we took her in. She became my ‘personal assistant’, assigned to take care of my needs particularly. She is spirited and able-bodied but she can also be very forgetful. She has received a number of scoldings from me.

She will be getting married soon and going back to her hometown to start a new life.

I will always have a soft spot for our household help. Growing up, they were always there for us, assisting Nanay in the day-to-day. But beyond that, I got to know many of them on a personal level. As they knew about us, about me very intimately.

I used to even felt offended for them if my Nanay would scold them. I would speak out in their defense. And sometimes, Nanay would take it against me. Haha.

Both of them gave us unparalleled service, dedication and loyalty. I could trust them with money. Beyond that, they have developed such ‘malasakit’ for us, for my parents that they hesitated to leave. But they have their own lives to lead and I wish them well.

And they know that they could always approach me for whatever they may need. For they may have started as employees, but they leave as family.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

End of An Era 1

I guess I have some sepanx issues to work on. LOL

My love affair with the Miata started in the mid-90s when 1st Gen (NA) was first introduced in the Philippines. Finally, an ‘affordable’ sports car, convertible at that! But it was still way beyond my means. The ‘means’ finally happened in 2010. But the model I eventually purchased, I first saw at an Ad Congress in SBMA around Nov 2009. I even took it for a test drive.

The unit arrived on August 15, 2010 at 5am!! The sales agent committed to finally deliver the unit in time for the trip to Tagaytay the family planned. I remember that drive to Antonio’s where I treated the family for lunch. I was so used to driving automatic that my left leg had some cramps for driving the manual transmission Miata for a few hours. 

I loved everything about it. I had to call it Simply Red, after the band. I loved looking at it. I loved driving it. I loved the looks and stares I got (yes, until now) when I drive it around. And when I finally changed the rims to ‘wire-looking’ (pictured), Simply Red looked stunning.

Was it a mid-life crisis? Hmm, I was 44yo when it arrived. I was single and dating during that time I purchased it. (I had been single for more than a year). The company was still at an upward trajectory. So maybe it wasn’t. It was a childhood dream come true. (But the childhood dream was actually a Jaguar e-type. Hehe)

But I knew I wasn’t going to keep it forever. For that reason, I was fastidious in maintaining the vehicle, and making sure all the documents remain intact. I planned to sell the unit in 2020, 10 years after.

However, in September 2017, I drove the unit to Camaya Coast. It was in the middle of a typhoon. On the way back, I didn’t realize that the streets of Mariveles, Bataan get flooded! I had to make a quick decision to enter a bus terminal rather than wade thru the floods. We (my bff secretatry fag hag and I) had to wait for about 3 hours for the flood waters to recede. That was the wake-up call. I was done with low-clearance sports cars.

I finally came around to listing this online last year. After many inquiries (and negotiations), I finally made a deal last week. The new owner came over to pick-up the car, with full payment in hand. It was time to say goodbye.

I feel blessed to have enjoyed years with Simply Red. No regrets about ‘indulging a fantasy’, even if it meant stretching my finances then. YOLO is so true. Choose those dreams that bring deep satisfaction. Make them happen.