Sad Trip Memories

I will not forget the saddest trip I had in my life. It was exactly two years ago today. I can still remember being by myself at the airport. I was just crying on my seat. I could not help it and I did not care anymore. While the rest of the people around me looked so happy and excited, I was just broken. It was a very difficult time, that day and the next two weeks.

I flew right away as I heard that our father was resuscitated. Everything was just so sudden. I had to fly thousands of miles just to get in time. It was somehow a blessing to still find him there although he was already unconscious. I am not sure up to now if he even knew I was there. And watching him for the next 14 days was traumatic.

I wrote about that experience here right after I came back home. Losing a person very close to your heart is very painful beyond words. It was raw and unedited. Until today, I still do not have the courage to read it over again.

This morning, my sister and I were talking. She said something. “Most days are so busy, we go about our lives without thinking about him.. but there are definitely times when a lot of things around us no matter how simple remind us if him. And those moments we think of him is just heart breaking and makes me feel like crying.” It is true, I try not to think of him because it makes me sad.  However, it is just unavoidable. The person you love will always be a part of you.

I hear a lot of times some people would like to say “MOVE ON”. What does moving on mean?  Yes, we have moved on. We have continued to live our lives. But when you talk about someone you love, who has passed, it just means that you remember them. You miss them and that you love them. And that is absolutely natural. It is okay.

We remember.

wetalkaboutthem

 

 

 

Mother & Son

Being a parent means having this very important responsibility of raising good people.  It is a lifetime mission. We take care of them, provide for all their needs (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), and guide them through life.

Being a parent is not always easy. Sometimes we get tired. Sometimes we get frustrated. We worry. We get disappointed.  In every stage, we face different challenges from waking up late at night to change their diapers or disciplining them in their early childhood days. It can be a lot of work. I say,  having a child  is truly life changing. It is a blessing and at the same time a sacrifice, an act of great love.

What inspired me to write? Earlier, I got into a small fight with my 9-year-old. It might sound petty to others but it meant something to me.

He was so distracted with his gadgets that he would find it hard to pay attention and listen to what I’m saying. Usually I have to repeat A LOT OF TIMES what I have to say to him. And this can be exhausting. I always pray for patience and understanding. It has been a challenge for me nowadays because they are on summer break.  Everyday, I have to set  a time limit with regard to the use of the gadgets. My son and I usually argue about this.  I manage their activities, making sure they read, write, draw, and do something else besides video gaming. I have to take them out of the house too for a swim or stroll at the park.

I lost my temper. I raised my voice. I had to be stern. What irritated me most was the talking back. He was reasoning out when clearly he was wrong. And it broke my heart to see him so mad at me. I sent him to his room for a time out. No TV. No gadgets. I said he needed to be alone and be quiet.

I was worried. I was thinking maybe he would grow up hating me because I would always discipline him. Then I felt sad. I was sorry for saying some things that could have hurt his feelings. I felt bad. I know I am not a perfect person. Definitely not a perfect mom.

I thought of writing him a letter. Just to assure him that I love him. And that whatever we are doing is for his own good. I was about to write him a note when he came out of his room and went to me. He handed me a paper. And saw this …

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It melted my heart. I just hugged him for a very long time. I cried quietly. I was relieved. Maybe I am doing the right thing. I did not have to remind him that I love him. He knows. We talked about what happened and the things he learned from it.

He told me to keep this paper and I said I will.

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Tips

I stare at my face in the mirror.

So imperfect.

Wondering about getting old,

Minimize the lines and the signs.

Nobody can fight nature.

Perfect faces eventually will be wrinkled.

Even the most beautiful woman in the world will be old.

Everyone will look different as we reach that stage.

Let’s not  be too attached,

To obsessed  with physical beauty.

Soon it will fade away.

Do not be consumed by the standards of the world.

Beauty is how you feel inside.

Growing in wisdom,

Gratitude, Happiness, and Love.

Those essential things invisible to the eyes.

Those things inside that last forever.

Each person is truly beautiful.

 

On Its Second Year

 

It is true what they say. In time you will no longer feel much pain. You will keep moving. You’ll finally get used to the absence.

As much as I love him,  I try not to dwell on the thought that we lost him. I try to see it in a different perspective. He lives in us, we carry him in our hearts.

I still cry but not as much as I did. When he crosses my mind I feel sad but I feel much stronger now.

Although there are moments when I can’t help the tears especially when things around me bring vivid memories of him.

Like last night my kids were playing with their Dad. My little girl was walking on his back and saying that she’s giving him a massage. I remembered during our younger days when we would do the same. Tears fell from my eyes.

Just a while ago when we were watching one of our favorite comedy shows, if featured the 1980 something show called Knight Rider. I remembered the talking black car called KITT, that drove super fast, was bulletproof, fireproof, and helped Michael fought injustices in the world. It brought up some childhood memories. My siblings and I were fond of the super powered car that we named our family car, Kit. If I remember it right, our father even put up a moving light in front of our car pretending that we’re really driving Kit! Something like this:

kitt

Every morning, to wake up my kids, I put up the curtain and let the sunlight into our bedroom. I talk to them or sing to them just the way our old man did.

I know there will be more reminders along the way. One clear proof that our love ones continue to live…

 

 

First Christmas Without Her

When we go to church every Sunday, I always notice a couple who I think are on their 80’s. Although they’re very old, I can definitely still see and feel their love for each other. They look very happy.

I remember in July 2016, they had to sit close to us because the church was packed. I could hear the old man singing so beautifully. Before leaving, the old man handed us a prayer pamphlet. It was a devotion to St. Joseph. The old lady had a very sweet smile.

Sometime in October 2016, the church recognized all the couples who celebrated their wedding anniversary. This couple was one of them. I heard they celebrated their 57 years together. So after the mass, I came up to them to congratulate them. I told them that they are an inspiration to young married couples like us. I saw the old lady’s face beaming and they proudly talked about their kids, grand kids, and great grand children. I gave them a hug and said bye.

In November 2016, I noticed that the old man was alone. For a few weeks, I wanted to come up to him to ask how he was but never got the chance. I had a feeling and I hope I was wrong.

Last night, my eyes were fixed on the old man. It is a week before Christmas and I decided to greet him a Merry Christmas in advance after the service. His name is Raul. It is the first Christmas without her after 57 years. He said he always sees her in spirit.

We talked for a while. I mentioned about my Dad who passed away last year. Somehow when I see Raul he reminds me of him. Same age. Both wearing their favorite beige/khaki jacket. After mentioning about my Dad, Raul said at age 82. I was so shocked how he knew that my Dad was 82 when he died. He said it just came to his mind and that the spirit works in mysterious ways. I gave him a hug and told him that I’ll pray for his  beautiful and sweet wife.

I know I will be seeing Raul by himself every church time, and I pray that I will see him for a very long time. I can’t help but think again about the bitter reality of growing old, death, dying, and being left alone. And for us who are left behind, we have to live and keep going.

I also remember my Tatay (Dad) and Mommy who were together for 53 years. This January 2017 is supposed to be their 55th Anniversary. Here is a photo of them taken by my sister that year  before he passed away. One of the most beautiful and meaningful photos I keep.

tay-and-mommy

 

 

 

Loving Each Moment

One of the perks of being a stay at home mom is just being there for them, when they’re not feeling well or when they’re just chilling out.

Sometimes I complain about the stress of raising kids especially when they fight a lot or when they’re being difficult.

I just say that. I know the the time will come when they will no longer need me and I will miss every moment they were little.

I will have all these memories when they were growing up.

It is a nice cold morning today.

tennieanddrei

 

Not All People Are Nice

As a Mom, I wish to shield my children from the negativity of this world. However, I know that this is not possible!

So I change my strategy. As I guide them, I would  talk to them about some bitter realities of life. Of course, I try to soften it. I want them to be prepared. To be ready. I wish to equip them with skills that will help them survive, succeed, and live a happy life.

Relationships enormously affect us. I tell my kids, when people are born, they are nice. We are all like angels. But as we all go through our lives, a lot of factors come in (environment, family, health etc.) and they affect/shape the person. As I explain this to my 8-year-old, he quickly said, “Yes Mommy but each person can choose if they want to be good or bad.”

The fact is NOT ALL PEOPLE ARE NICE. That is another sad reality of life.

Some people may not be nice to your face at all, and some people can even stab you at the back.

I tell my kids, DO NOT LET OTHERS’ COMMENTS DEFINE OR AFFECT YOU.

Only focus on the people and things that will make you better and happy. Stay away from the negative people/things that pull you down.  THERE IS NO PLEASING EVERYBODY. At times you are already doing everything that you can with all good intentions. And people can still say hurtful things about you (at your face or on your back).

As long as you know that YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN AT THE MOMENT and YOU THINK A MILLION TIMES ABOUT YOUR DECISION OR CHOICE before you act on it, then YOU SHOULD HAVE NO REGRETS and HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF. ALL THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON. You’ll see.

PRAY A LOT too and always ASK FOR WISDOM AND STRENGTH. There is definitely a God who sees through our hearts.

It  can be a cruel world, full of struggles and challenges as it is also filled with so many beautiful things.

It is a blessing to live, and we must have the right perspective in order to enjoy this gift!

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Khristine Meets Christine!

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Our family was in church hearing Sunday mass. We were sitting in the cry room since we have two young kids. The mass was about to begin, when suddenly I noticed  a familiar face walked in. I believe she was with teenage daughter/s.  I could not remember where I met her.
The mass went on and during the Holy Communion, she passed us by . She even looked my way for a while.  Then  I realized that she looked like the TV personality back home in Manila but I was not so sure though.
After a few months, I was browsing people in Instagram. From one person, it led me to the photo of that familiar face. I figured it was Christine Jacob!  I sent her a message asking if she happened to be in our parish church, and she confirmed it! So I thought I’d ask her if I can feature her in my little blog site. She was very nice to say “Sure, anytime!”
Christine Sotto Jacob-Sandejas, also known as Christine Jacob, is a Filipina Olympian swimmer, actress, T.V. host, and newscaster. She was born in Guam and her family moved back to Manila. She joined the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore in 1983 when she was 16. The following year, she competed in the swimming competition in the Summer Olympics 1984.
When she was 23 years old she got offered a co-hosting job in a show called “Eat Bulaga.” More projects followed.  She stopped hosting in showbiz when she got pregnant with her first child. Now she has five children with her loving husband, Paco Sandejas. She has been a TV personality for around 26 years now.
I reviewed some stories about her and found a recent one posted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=76086) last April 20, 2016.  The article talks about how Catholic faith is very important to Christine and her family  (an evident reason why I probably found her in church when she was visiting in LA).  In the article she mentioned the following was mentioned:
“Christine shared she and her husband go out of their way to instill in their children the fundamentals of the faith like teachings on the Mass, Confession, and the other Sacraments.”
“They also read them stories from the Bible to complement and reinforce what they learn at school.”
“They make sure the little Sandejases—all five of them—will grow up respectful, honest, and disciplined.”
“Values are very important for me,” exclaimed Christine.
I read another article written about her by her sister-in-law, Amanda Griffin. Christine shared here her typical day:
“I wake up at 6. Have my coffee, bring my 4 kids to school (Jaime 2 yrs old school just started in June) , Then ME time…I play tennis or yoga or run or workout…pick up the 4 yr old from school and have lunch with them. Then do errands (bank, grocery etc). Pick up the 3 older kids from school and bring them to various activities (ballet/ gymnastics/ soccer/ reading/ little gym/ cheer dancing/ violin guitar/ piano…etc (never ending activities.. wait till summer ) Then come home and do homework, Dinner then Sleep by 8:30. And the cycle starts again……” (http://amandagriffinjacob.com/christine-jacob/August 1, 2011 Amanda Griffin – Jacob)
These are the reasons why I feature her in my blog. I truly admire her energy taking care of herself, her family, particularly being hands on with her five children. Based on my experience, I find it indeed challenging to  discipline children and mold them to be good people. So I am just truly glad that I got the chance to interview Christine and share some of her wisdom.
Let’s hear from Christine!
Where did you live in the US during your elementary years? How old were you when you came to live in Manila?
I grew up in Manila . I was born in Guam but after 6 months my family moved to Manila . I consider Manila as my home . I went to school at the Colegio San Agustin in Makati till high school .
You were an Olympian. When did you first learn how to swim?  Will you briefly describe your experience when you joined the Summer Olympics in 1984?
 Started competing (swimming ) at the age of 6. First international swim meet at 11 Junior Olympics held in Japan.  Then Southeast Asian age group , SEA GAmes , Asian Games , Olympics in 1984 in LA 😊  I truly pride myself in  being Philippine trained .
You have been a TV personality for around 26 years now.
I studied college in Ohio , Kenyon College . I continued to swim.
All 4 years . I graduated in 1989 BA in International Studies with China as my area of concentration. 
 After 1 year of working in Boston I decided to move back to Manila then doors started to open in the field of communication. I  started hosting Eat Bulaga in December 1990, then as a newscaster for PTV4 also the same year . 
   1990-1998 Co-hosted in Eat Bulaga 
    1998-2001 MTB (Magandang Tanghali Bayan ABS-CBN)
    Married in 1999.
    First child came in 2000
    5 kids 
    
I would host various shows while taking care of my family: Mobile Kusina, Here Comes the bride, Game Na, Full Time Mom
Currently I have a daily show on CNN Philippines called Real Talk .
How do you do it? How do you raise 5 kids? What is one important thing that every parent should remember?
Values for children . Instilling values is getting to be more difficult with the access of social media , bring the whole world into your home . The kids are exposed to a different culture, the values have changed . That’s why the importance of family life. The importance of spending time with your kids , being there for them . Guiding them during the formation years.
I am aware about your typical day. I can relate to your activities.I can not imagine how you manage five children. I often complain and yet I only have two! I heard you do yoga, runs, swim? Balancing all these things alongside with work and family.
Where do you get the energy?! What is the secret? Do you have a regular regimen/work out?
A few years ago I was much more active than I am now. Maybe age has caught up with me😱. I remember a time when I would run 10k before my 2 hour tennis practice etc.. I am a very competitive person and feel the need to train to get better. I am trying to ween myself from that and just take it easy and relax a bit more .
Now I am happy with a few hours a week of social tennis . Maybe go back to yoga. 
DIET is now my main concern. My metabolism has changed a lot so I needed to find the right combination of foods.
As I age I find I can’t do dairy / fried foods (my stomach gets upset)
So in the morning I juice/blend a lot of my greens. I try to consume healthy fats since I stay away from grains / bread. I use a lot of coconut Oil for my food / 
desserts and at times in my coffee. I love  coconut Keffir – probiotics.  Avocado / spinach / banana shake during my tennis games . 
I eat a lot of greens / chicken – fish – soups . Once I take out sugar and eat healthy I do find I am not sluggish and have lots of energy for my daily activities . 
But my weakness is chocolates 😱😱😱
What else do you want to accomplish? What is your one great dream?
I hope to do more shows on CNN Philippines.
I love nutrition / food / parenting .. 
I love Philippine made 😍😍😍 products / clothes/ jewelry
christinejacob

Wrong Perceptions

A great reminder posted by Michele Anderson.

Life as a Garden

“The way in which you perceive the other is determined by your own thought forms.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Sometimes in life we have perceptions that we truly believe are true. But are they always? Is the person you are mad at today really at fault and are they who you think they are? Do you know all the facts? So many times we rush to conclusion about someone, convincing ourselves that what we believe is true when in fact it simply isn’t.

Why be so quick to judge when all we need to do is deeply listen to what they are saying. In listening maybe we would realize that our perception is wrong and give the other person a chance. This would be so much better than the stories we make up in our head.

When we have persuaded ourselves that our perception about another person is correct we end…

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