Before finishing my college degree, I have had some pit stops along the race. Two semesters, a total of one school year that I chose to let go and pass. It was a sound decision I made to ease some financial stretch for the family. My elder brother was due to graduate of his degree in one year after I started my college. We both attended the same university.

I didn’t take a leave of absence at my university. I didn’t even notify my business course department. Freshman as I was, the innocence of running aground with my course department leave past me. New friends, new environment was a battle ground for me. None of my high school classmates more so friends decided to study at the university much take the same business course.


The first semester that I stopped was the second half of my freshman year. I told Mother that I am taking the back seat to give way to our elder brother. The expenses were evident and instant so it would be difficult to sustain our every day living as students if both of us were attending.

I was seventeen years old. I thought of working part-time and still attend college even for a limited units of subjects. Mother discounted the idea of it. She iterated that I might not finish my degree and my tendencies to never come back home. I knew of her saying this again when I stopped for one semester during my junior year. Discoursing my thoughts with her to consider and change her saying no went up one time.

Still it was a no for her. After hearing her stern, calm voice I let my wings down. I was thinking what really made her to say no. After, I thought maybe it has something to do with me saying once while in an emotionally vulnerable state that, “I don’t want to stay in this house, in this place anymore.

This house, this place I was referring to is our home, our hometown. The home, the hometown where we grew up and continue to live until today.

Detaching and separating myself from this place sometimes pass the back of my mind up to this day. But I just can’t. Mama fuels, inspires our dreams. Mama is home.




Indelible Memory: My Mother’s Life Tales

My mother’s thinking have matured beyond her at such a young age. That’s what I think, based on stories of her growing up in a big family. I would hear her whenever she injects some wisdom on us during some talks about life concerns that our minds too need some growing up. Need some maturing. Not the body alone. This I would always hear inside my head playing when I am faced with doing a decision.

The first time I heard her saying this, I don’t understand her. I couldn’t fathom what she really meant. But now I would like to believe that I am making it up to her when it comes to this maturation. Still there are things that need figuring out and I am on it.

She indeed imprinted on us, her brood, wise words that whether we like it or not will tick on us. It has stuck on us.



She had an early scratch of life’s challenges with her being the eldest child. Hard work and helping her parents put food on the table were constant reminders of what she thinks about getting ahead and making dreams come true. She was a working student all throughout her scholarly life. Holding on to graduating from college on time because she was just relying to a relative she’s working for to pay her schooling.

When she finally passed her license exam for teachers, all her hard work and sacrifices, she knew that it was the testament of a better life altogether for her and her family. Being a young professional, a newbie on the education system, she had her experiences of new sacrifices and hard work that came with her profession. She was near thirty when she passed her license. She spent her early practice teaching in some far-flung town of our province. Distant from family and limited to her co-teachers as her company, she endured the place for quite some time though faced with the hurdle of longing of family and the hardship of that poverty-stricken town. She has gotten to a point of taking the easy exit and never to return again to that place but she went on. Eventually, she got a move on a post back to her hometown.

Settling to family life was never a rush for her. Before she chose to marry and have her own family, she wanted to ground herself to a job that will sustain her family. Independent as she is she made sure of that it will happen and it did. She made it. She married on her early thirties and had my eldest brother a year after her marriage. She had me three years later. And two more brothers came after me.

She told me that I was conceived in between miscarriages. She was not having difficult pregnancies with us four boys. But those miscarriages were their shot at trying to have a girl in the brood. So the three years gap between the four of us were not really as they planned as it is.


Last Mother’s Day, I greeted her. No card just like I used to do when I was younger. No written post on social media and even a blog post like what I would want to. But I cooked her early that night a creamy tuna pesto pasta. While I set the table for the two of us, my 3rd brother hasn’t come home yet, I kidded her that this is her Mother’s Day cake. She silently sat opposite me and as if she never heard what I just said. No reaction at all. I looked at her and shrugged my shoulder. Just so, I sat and forked some pasta on my plate after her.

mom and iThese bits of her life’s tales were what I asked her while we were having that dinner. She’ll segues some interesting reactions about anything but in my mind I was creating this thoughts of writing more about her. I was having this fear that I may forget eventually some of her stories. That’s it, another fear I realized, oblivion. Dragging her into oblivion. Inasmuch, I want to write her because I want her thoughts, her words to be remembered early as today while she is having the time of her retirement life and enjoying our company, her children and the rest of the family.

To good health and more Mother’s Day to spend with you.


My love to you, Mama, always.



Something Green

Over the past weeks of this month I didn’t come up with posts for the photo challenge. The feeling of burnout is out of the question more so of my interest in the themes. I so wanted to look into my archive but I felt stuck with those photos sitting to be sifted through again. Find my match and post and talk some more of it. What I realized was I needed to get away from these folders of mine, temporarily. The need to get out and go somewhere ignited in me.

I told my not kin twin sister C that my muse is away; burning itself from the transience of a new scenery, basking in the daylight glow muted by the gray skies and cozily keeping warm in a tree house.

The dare of looking at my archives the past weeks was put into oblivion. Getting out of my hole for a day and chasing daylight is not really my forte. I do want to take new photos. The urban setting is not working for me at all. Honestly, I have not tried framing into my camera the park outside the main avenue where I live now. Maybe I should try at it first.

Maybe I am having an urban syndrome, read: homesick. Homesick of trees, fresh air and sunlight. The sun hurts at the metro. Glare, heat and smoke put tears to my eyes. Pollution is crazy and imminent. I’ve read about walking. Wanting of walking under the shade of trees because it calms us down. Reluctance begs me not to come at the park. The trees are surrounded by trash and more trash. It is not well maintained much less manicured to landscaped perfection.

Moving on, a better park I can live on is a bus ride away. The travel is my culprit. Moderate traffic will make me a towel all wrung out. When I get there I may not be re-energized enough by the cool breeze, the rustling of the leaves, the smell in the air: fresh. The last frontier I consider in this bustling megalopolis of the Philippines is a stretch to visit. More concrete box columns are sprouting. The new scenic view of skyline: high-rise condominiums. Economically good but where have the open spaces filled with greens been. Vilifying the state of how worse it has become is irreparable. It didn’t happen overnight so a lot has happened with the rolling of leaders, laws and development.

Two weekends from now I will have the chance to go home and hug a tree.

Tell me how you feel after when you hug a tree too.




It was a bright morning that we were all up and left our beds. We gathered in our oval dining table covered with Mama’s printed cloth mantle and topped with plastic table runner. This is to prevent food stains and being soaked when anything spills on it. Mama’s been frustrated at it for some time now. She wanted to have a clear glass custom cut just for the table’s top. The glass counter-top will protect and preserve the varnish of the wood.

When we all had our cups of coffee I went to the fridge and got the box of day old donuts. The donuts were bought and brought by me and my brother and his girlfriend before we head hometown coming from Manila to spend Christmas with Mama and our two younger brothers.




It was a different kind of Christmas celebration that we spent together. We did not have any plans of going somewhere. Staying at home, being couch potatoes and watching bad TV and sometimes movie marathons were our plans. Close proximity. We were an arm’s away with each other. Enjoying our exchanges of old jokes, teasing our youngest brother with his big appetite, sweet banter with Mama and her sometimes less salt cooking and some household chores to do and home improvement projects. All of these made a somewhat boring yet memorable time, having our elder brother at home while on his month-long vacation. It was a cherished moment of seeing and having the company of each other. The photographer in me never cheered on them to capture our moments over sumptuous lunches and dinners cooked by our dearest Mama. There are short videos our youngest recorded while we were having breakfast on New Year’s day and it was funny. He recorded one time using Mr. Beans’ way of capturing the subject like pointing at it directly first and backs away suddenly. Repeating it to fro in that manner. Imagining it now, I find it really entertaining. No way I’m going to share that video here. Hehe! It was just a short clip because Mama was annoyed at him taking the camera over at the dining table and we were about to eat breakfast on that New Year’s day.

December, 2014

Baao, Camarines Sur

There Should Be Something Next


My presence haven’t been felt that obvious in the past couple of weeks. I was but limited to two posts. I missed several photo challenges. I did not intend to, I just can’t. I’ve been away from home the second and third week of last month* and home was my only resource to the online world, in this part of the blogosphere. So, when I go flying out the door I am disconnected and I become anxious blogging in internet cafe mushroomed in our apartment’s vicinity.