Nanay ko! Happy Mother’s day

Originally posted May 2009

It was a love story that begun when my Mom was only fourteen.  She and my Dad started a family at a very young age.  It started in Manila, then briefly in Davao, and, again,  back in Tondo.  I was the youngest of eight children.  Needless to say, I was spoiled (atleast, compared to my other siblings). 

My Mom and Dad were very caring individuals.  I remember,  inspite of being poor, my  parents would bring kids who ran away from home to provide them with food and shelter until their situations were resolved.  Then, in their 50’s, they both migrated to the U.S. in hopes to better support the family (that’s “extended” family).  They sent most of the very little money they earned working as a housekeeper and fastfood worker to the folks in the Philippines.  And once, I annoyingly ask my Mom why they sent all of their money instead of saving it for their retirement.  She responded, “We need to keep helping others while we can.”  With that, she kept me grounded.  That’s how I learned about selflessness and humility.

I remember growing up watching my Mom pray all the time…when she’s sad, angry, worried, happy, sick, or just wanted to win the lotto.  Then my Mom and I would say the 6 o’clock rosary everyday for as far as my memory take me.  She would also take me to Quiapo every year on my birthday which falls on the same day as the town’s fiesta.  And for every blessing that we recieved, she thanked God.  That’s how I learned about family tradition and faith.

I remember that my Mom was my biggest supporter and fan at school.  She was always proud of my academic achievements and “popularity.”  And once when she got called in to come because I got caught trying a cigarette,…well, she didn’t tell my Dad.  But, she was also my Jiminy Cricket.  And when conscience is not enough, she would pinch me with her sharp fingernails on my side so hard that it would bleed.  She’s proud and supportive, and tough when she needed to.  And that’s how I am with my kids.

I remember getting molested (briefly) by a couple of older men in our neighbourhood, then coming to my Mom to confide.  I saw anguish in her eyes.  And yet, she asked that I don’t tell my brothers for she knew that they would badly hurt them.  Instead, she asked me to avoid them and to pray for them.  And I did.  And once in a while I still do.  And with that, she not only protected me from harm, but also from hatred.  And that’s how I learned about calmness, forgiveness and moving on.

I remember the first time she met Dawn.  How she squeezed her arm and said “You’re fat.  That’s good.”  And never before, have I seen my mother so happy to meet a girlfriend of mine.  She used to hate any girl that I dated and would always ask, “Are you leaving me for her?”  But with Dawn, she was very pleased and comfortable.  And that’s why I married Dawn. 

Happy Mothers Day, Nanay. (and to my wife, too :))

An Angel to Watch Over Me

She watched by my cradle through long, sleepless nights
She taught me to pray as she knelt by my side
She guarded my childhood, and all through the years
She echoed my laughter, she counted my tears
In the arms of my mother, I came to believe
That God sent an angel to watch over me

She taught me the meaning of courage and faith
She taught me to live with the Lord as my strength
She taught me to follow the pathway he marked
She guided my steps when the journey grew dark
And I know there were dangers that I could not see
But God sent an angel to watch over me

She taught me to serve with a spirit that sings
She taught me to seek after heavenly things
And because of her love and her kindness and care
Because of the place that I hold in her prayers
And because of her goodness, I still believe
That God sent an angel to watch over me

Published in: on May 7, 2010 at 12:50 am  Comments (42)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Risky business

That is what having children is all about.  My wife and I always dread the prospect our boys becoming party animals.  In this video, our sons did a role reversal on what the future might hold. We hope that this is about the worst that we have to look forward to.
Also in this video is my wife’s acting debut.

*Note:  repost from 4/13/09.  New post coming soon.  Thank you for visiting.

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 4:00 am  Comments (55)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Duel

My kids have recently been obsessed with 80’s rock bands like Queen and Survivor.  So the boys and I decided to make a music video on one of their songs.  Elijah, being the nerdy one, played the Nerd.  While Mino, being the more athletic one, played the Karate Kid.  This short is the second part of the last Mr. Nonsense Show: Mino vs. Bedtime.  Enjoy.

Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 10:48 pm  Comments (10)  
Tags: , , , ,

Pista sa Nayon and OPM

I’ve never felt more Filipino than after moving here in Washington.   Diversity is so very much encouraged and the Pinoy spirit is very much alive here.  During our first year here, the Filipino group at our church asked me to assist with their annual celebration of the San Lorenzo Ruiz Feast Day.  This was our opportunity to showcase Filipino dance, music, games, and FOOD (lots of it) to people of other heritage and to help raise funds for our group. 

Having  been “volunteered” to lead, I had the most fun researching the history, creating the program, and building the props.  Being the newest and youngest, the hardest things were trying to persuade them that a musical of  OPM (Original Pilipino Music) songs was a good idea and  finding volunteers to do it.  Thank goodness, after repeatedly begging, five people from other churches decided to help—so special thanks to them.   The best parts of the experience are exposing my kids to my culture, watching my wife play Filipina,  and meeting lifelong friends.

Here are some clips from the 2004 Pista sa Nayon celebration at our church.  The actual celebration was way longer than we anticipated.  Fastforward to Part 3 @ 3:00 to see my take on Bongga ka, day!.

You know you’re Pinoy…

(I gave the better lines to my wife)



Harana Part 1…”O, Ilaw”

(the first singer is a pro)


Harana Part 2…”O, Babe”


  Harana Part 3…”Bongga ka, Day” 

 (watch as I embarass myself in public)


Harana Part 4…”Hahabol-habol”


Harana Part 5…The Finale



(Fil-Am Youth Organization)


Published in: on May 5, 2009 at 12:12 am  Comments (14)  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Rainbow connection

Here’s a collection of Mino’s cute and crazy photos featuring he and I singing his favorite song “Rainbow Connection.”  Ignore the bad singing on my part. :)

Kermit the Frog

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

[Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it,
And look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.]

All of us under its spell,
We know that it’s probably magic…

Have you been half asleep? And have you heard voices?
I’ve heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same
I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
It’s something that I’m s’posed to be…
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Laa, da daa dee da daa daa,
La laa la la laa dee daa doo…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.