General Florencio A Medina

Ama ng PAEC

Arthur C. Clarke said “I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” I beg to differ.

In my opinion, Brigadier General Florencio A Medina had one of the most brilliant minds in the Philippines.  He was a soldier in the armed forces of the Philippines and fought the Japanese in WWII, when he was captured, he endured the Japanese prison camp he was put in and survived it.  He was instrumental in the development of what is now the Department of Science and Technology.  He was a proponent of the Philippine Science High School (which paved the way for excellent and specialist science-centred-education and this gave a lot of Filipino students a chance to study in an excellent learning environment for free) and served as one of the early chairmen of the school board.  He was the first Filipino to be elected chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency.  He was a mathematician and a chemist and a published author.

But most importantly, he was my grandfather.  He was a good father and provider to his 13 children.  To those of us, his grandchildren, who had the opportunity to grow up with memories of him, he was a loving and very present grandfather.  He was very active, larger than life and…just…there.  I will forever cherish the memory of our time sitting together at the square table in the apartment in Mabuhay with the blue and white porcelain mantle clock and you teaching me how to tell time.

You would have been 111 today, Lolo Isiong.  I am so proud to be your granddaughter.

I love you three Lolo!

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My Duckie

So this little girl is celebrating her birthday today…well at least it is still her birthday here today.  I wish I could hug her and say how proud I am of her, of how she has taken on so much responsibility.  I wish I could tell her that I so believe in her capabilities and that I believe she can do anything she puts her mind to.

talulayI hope you had the most amazing birthday Duckie!  I know that William being well and truly married and Harry not really finished looking for himself is a huge disappointment, but remember this:

littlesister

 

Oh brother!

Clara Ortega said “ To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.”  And I agree.

To me you will always be the little boy who “break dances” by spinning on the floor, on his tummy, the one who invents words, our source of joy and entertainment.  I pray that you will be blessed beyond your desires, because we are so very blessed by you.

Happy birthday (big) little bro!

CurlySue

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My July so far…

It’s been quite an eventful July for me.  Eventful being the operative word and the understatement of the year.  It’s been a doozy.

My father has been ill and in and out of the hospital again.  We’ve been through a lot since he suffered a stroke two years ago and he was diagnosed with artherosclerosis.  But he is stubborn.  Wonderfully stubborn.  I think his stubbornness has buoyed him and coupled with his determination to get better, he has overcome a lot of obstacles.  But he is now back home again.  And I am so thankful that he is such a fighter.

We’ve had a mini-heatwave and I’m suffering!  Can you believe it?  The Filipina who has lived in a tropical country for 4/5 of her life is now suffering in temperatures that would be considered cool in the land of her birth?!?  I’m still recovering from a possible heatstroke from being in London last weekend!

Work has been work and I constantly get on the work carousel where I love it and hate it in a sequence.  At the moment, another change has happened that I’m really pleased about.  So I think I’m going to be happy waking up most mornings and logging in to open my emails.  I just need to pace myself because I think my carpal tunnel syndrome is rearing its ugly and horrible head again.

But the unthinkable happened on Thursday.  I lost my phone.  And it’s not something I can blame on someone else.  It was all my fault.

The trains were late on Thursday (surprise, surprise!).  When the trains finally arrived, I got on the usual carriage and noticed that it was strangely empty in the front half.  I simply thought, “oooh more seats, yay!”  Little did I know that the front half of the carriage was empty because of Mr Smellyman, sitting in the 6 seater section.  I plonked myself gratefully on the seat and my phone beeped.  It was a text message from home.  When it’s from my sister or my mum or my friends, I kind of drop everything to look at the message.  After I replied, I noticed the stink.  It was horrible.  It was then that the reality sunk in that the reason that part of the carriage was empty was because of the man I was sharing the 6-seater section with!  In my haste to vacate the premises, I must have put down the phone on the seat instead of into my bag.  I only realised that I lost my phone after the train left Marks Tey and it was probably too late by then.

When I got home, I rang my number and it went straight to voicemail.  My heart sank because no amazing and kind soul handed in my phone at a train station.  But I still lived in hope.  You hear all these wonderful stories about people handing phones and purses in.  I, myself, have done that a few times.  I’ve handed in a shopping bag with lots of purchases, a man’s wallet, someone’s ticket holder with cash, a Blackberry when it was still fashionable to have one (around 2011, I think) and the first incarnation of a Samsung Edge.  I had hoped that someone would also do that for me, if I lost my phone.  It’s been 48 hours since I lost the phone.  No one has gotten in touch and no one has handed it in.

I have accepted that I have completely lost my phone.

And yes, it was quite painful…I am still recovering.

To date, I think this is what I’d call my mense horribilis.

Struggling

I am struggling to blog these days.

While I would love nothing more than to blog about food, the books I’ve read (I’ve managed to finish reading Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You!  Hurray me!), the places Alan and I have been to eat, the musicals I’ve seen, it feels a bit self-indulgent.  My father is still very ill and I feel that any enjoyment I feel about my life here is not allowed.  He would say otherwise of course, because he has always said that I should live my life, that I should live the life I dreamed.  But I cannot help but feel selfish.

I will write properly because to write about them would be honouring my father’s wishes.  But right now I will allow myself to worry about him.  Tomorrow is Sunday and Skype day.  I will be able to chat with them and see all of them.

There are days when my grip on my faith is loosed by doubt.  Why is my Abba still ill?  Why is God letting him go through all this pain?  But then I am reminded that these are questions that I mustn’t really ask.  Because the God I believe in does not want His children to suffer.  The God I believe in will turn a bad situation into a good one.  The God I believe in is the God that heals.  The God I believe in is a God who will take His children in His arms and comfort them.  I know that I cannot understand my God’s wisdom because that is beyond my understanding.  I must trust in His plan.

In His perfect time and according to His perfect plan.

That is what I must hold on to.

Mothers Day

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Today we all celebrate our very own superwomen.  I’m lucky because I get to celebrate Mothers Day twice.  Today in the UK, as it’s Mothering Sunday and during the second Sunday in May when the Philippines (and I think most of the world) celebrates Mothers Day.

My dearest Ima. there are so many things I would like to thank you for. I thank the Lord daily for you, for all the things you do for us, for all the things you have done for us, for all the things you have given us and the things you give to us. But most of all, I thank you for raising us in a household founded on faith. Your faith has sustained us even during the most difficult of times. Your faith has buoyed us during the storms of life and we will forever be blessed by your daily testament of faith. Your faith has sustained ours and has strengthened our faith in God. That is your most precious gift to us.

Happy Mothers Day Mama!  Today, most especially, I wish I could hug you.  I love you.

Comfort seeking

These are challenging times.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been worrying over my father, who is still in hospital.  We encountered a setback today.  He was supposed to go home tomorrow but that’s not happening now.  I still believe that he is in the best place that he can be.  He has the best doctors and he is where he can be treated immediately.  I know that science can only do so much.  The rest I believe that God will take care of.

I am feeling a little delicate tonight.  I know that I will cry at a drop of a hat.  So I’m trying to entertain myself.  I’ve got Mary Berry on the telly cooking her perfect beef stew and I am trying to blog.  I am desperately trying not to be morose but I think I am failing miserably.

I’d like nothing better than to go to bed and pull the duvet over my head.  And maybe have a good cry.

Sorry everyone.  Pass the kleenex.