Back from Hiatus

I just realized that it has been almost a year since my last post. One year! It has been that long! I really don’t know why I (or most people here) feel that time passes by so fast here in Singapore. I’ve been living here for more than a year already (OFW life…) It is hard beeing busy mostly with my job having a 6-day workweek. The year 2010 was even busier because of the wedding preparations. See?! I wasn’t able to post even about the wedding! Partly because I’ve been also busy maintaining our wedsite. Check it out here:

Time flew by so fast. I’ve gotten married and of course my beautiful wife and I shared the same passion… traveling. I promise to post a series  of flashback write-ups on the places we’ve been since my last post. I just want to get back in the mood of writing again and share the experience about our mis(adventures).

Stay tuned. It’s nice to be back…

Our last adventure: May 2-5, 2001

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How to be GREEN

It’s not that type of “green” I’m talking about. This is about how we can help save Mother Earth… Eco-friendly greenness. We just celebrated the 40th Earth Day yesterday. Our world is in a greater danger than ever. We should do our part no matter how little or insignificant it may seem. Someone shared this video and I find it cool how a cute little pug was used to convey the message. Let’s all be green.

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The Year that was 2009.

This post is going to be short, sweet, and simple.

The year 2009 was a splendid year for me. It was a year of big changes and unexpected twists and turns. I’ve met new people. Most were fellow Rushers like me. But of the countless people I’ve acquainted, only a few have been promoted to  be included in my inner circle I call friends. Special mentions  to Edzcel, Helki, Ron, Stephen, Noel, and Jobert who I got to really bond with towards the latter part of the year.

I had a great birthday party last April. It was the first time I organized such gathering and I realized how stressful (and expensive) it could get. But it was a blast. One of the most memorable birthdays I ever had.

I became an “unexpected father” to my niece when her dad died last July.

I got engaged to my beautiful and lovely girlfriend of more than three years on the night of November, Friday the 13th.

And to cap off the major events in my life for the year 2009… I’ve resigned from my first job where I’ve been working for almost 8 years to pursue a new endeavor abroad.

I’m looking forward to the challenges that await me in 2010. In 2 weeks, I’ll be leaving for Singapore to pursue a new career and by the end of 2010, I’ll be getting married. A big leap in life as we enter the new decade. Time to face new challenges ahead.

Welcome 2010. Carpe diem!

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One month


…after I proposed to my fiancée; we have started preparing for the wedding. We have already paid to book the church and reception venue even though our wedding date is more than a year away. The stress of wedding preparation has started to kick in. We’ve researched gown designs, chose our motiff,  scoured Divisoria to canvas for cloths and other materials, collected countless flyers, browsed wedding fora, attended several foodtasting events, among others.  Within the next few weeks, hopefully we’ll be able to decide our caterer and photographer/ videographer. Why so early?


ONE MONTH later, I’ll be flying off to Singapore to pursue a new endeavor.

Awwww, how bittersweet right?

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Cat shots at the funeral

During the wake of my brother-in-law, there were times when I’d take a stroll outside to get a whiff of fresh air or just to escape the multitude of people. One thing that stood out during my four-day stay at the wake were the presence of lots of stray cats/pusakal in the area. Inspired by one of  Chico’s cat portraits , with camera in tow, and lots of time to kill, I shot away! Here are some of the results:


First attempt...


Loved this shot! ummm.. pokerface?


Striking up for a pose


Caught in the act!


Model is sleepy


Ssssss. I'm the model here! Get away!


Gotta love those eyes


Another cat lurks from the shadows

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Bidding farewell


As I post this entry, the nation is grieving for the peaceful demise of former president Corazon Aquino. At 3:18 am today, Mrs. Aquino died after a year-long battle with Stage 4 colon cancer. She was 76. Together with the Filipino people here and abroad, we offer our prayers and condolences to the family of Mrs. Aquino. She has now peacefully joined our Creator.

* * *

My brother-in-law has just been recently promoted as AVP-Cash Operations – Southern Luzon for Banco de Oro when the family tragedy happened. He was in Naga for a 3-day inspection of the area. It was July 23, when the shocking news of my his untimely death came in as a late night phone call at home. I was talking to my girlfriend on the cellphone when my mom called from downstairs and said that I have a phone call. I told her that I’d call her later. When I answered the landline phone, it was my cousin in a distraught tone. I knew immediately that something was not right since it was unusual for my cousin to call at that time. I asked her, “Chu, baket? Ano problema?” She answered, “Joey, si Kuya Romy… inatake sa puso… Nasa Naga siya ngayon.” I asked how it happened, how he was, and if his family already knew. Apparently, my cousin was called by a former colleague who was with my bro-in-law when it happened. She replied, “Wala na siya. Di ko masabi kay Ate May pati sa mommy mo kasi alam mo namang may heart condition din siya.” She said that my bro-in-law had just finished playing basketball and was already resting when he suddenly collapsed and had seizures. I told her to confirm this first before relaying the message to his family. Five minutes later, the phone rang. It was my sister crying uncontrollably, repeatedly saying, “Joey, inatake sa puso si Romy!” At that same time, I can hear my niece’s voice in the background frantically crying out “Papa!”.

I had to shout for my mom downstairs to help me comfort my sister over the phone at the same time, making sure that she would not go hysterical as well. After grabbing some extra clothes, my mom and I rushed to my sis’ house in Pasig.

When we arrived, my niece hugged us while crying. My sister was still trying to get in touch with people who were with my brother-in-law when it happened when I told my niece to get some rest and that I’d sleep beside her. She kept on muttering, “Babalik pa si Papa! Hindi nya ko iiwan! Sabi niya uuwi siya e.” It felt painful hearing those words from her. She was still in a state of denial. I dozed off for a while and woke up around 4 am. Noticing that my niece was already fast asleep and that the light in the master’s bedroom was still open, I went there. They were already discussing arrangements with the funeral parlor. With no need for words, I hugged my sister and she started crying again. The harsh reality started to set in…

It was almost 8 am. My mom, sis and I were still in the bedroom exchanging stories when my niece woke up and came in the room. She asked casually, “San na si papa?” My sister bravely told her the truth, “Coleen, wala na si papa…” Upon hearing those words, it’s as if her world collapsed and she was trapped in a terrible nightmare. Hysterical crying was instant. I tried to fought back the tears as I saw them crying again. My mom and sis had to leave for a while to go to Arlington (East) here in Pasig so I was left there with my inconsolable niece. I just hugged her and let her cry out while she was repeatedly saying, “Ang unfair nya! Sabi nya uuwi siya. Bat nya kami iniwan…” I told her to cry out all her pains, but eventually she needed to be strong not only for herself but for her mom as well.

Coordinating with some of his relatives in Naga, the local funeral parlor, and Banco de Oro, the body was shipped to Manila friday evening. When the family, together with some close friends were informed by Arlingon Memorial that everything was set, we settled into the area and braced for the opening of the casket. When it was opened, my sister went hysterical again and had to be restrained by 3 of her friends. I was with my niece who was sobbing quietly and refused to be comforted by others. It was such a heartbreaking scene.


Over the next several days, throngs of visitors, friends, colleagues from PCI/EquitablePCI/BDO flocked to Arlington, offering prayers and condolences. During those times, there were some light moments of laughter especially when sharing happy memories.






It was early Tuesday morning when we had to pack up so that the body will be transferred to Liliw, Laguna, where he will spend another day before he will be buried.. his final resting place… his hometown. My sister said that it was her husband’s wish that he be buried there.




Now that he’s gone, I’m now staying with my sister and niece taking over the “father duties” as much as I can… as long as I can. And I’m praying that God give them the strength to move on as they face another chapter in their lives. I know Kuya Romy is now peacefully and eternally happy.


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Take off!

I started blogging back in 2002 with the http://specialist.blog-city.com account but it was suddenly closed down. After several years of attempting to resurrect the blog, I failed to do so. I promised myself that in 2009 I’d start blogging again. My old blog was full of melodramatic b*llshit and what nots. Now, I finally managed to come up with one that I’d love to tell everybody about. (Gives myself a pat on the back). This blog will be (if not all) about the places I’ve been to. Feeling travel guide. Expect a lot of pictures, being the point-shoot addict I am. I’m still saving up for that SLR I’ve been wanting to buy. But that’s a different story.

But for now, come on everybody, join me on a road trip! Welcome to my brand new blog!

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