Mothering Sunday

My photo turned into a poster via Adobe Spark #notanadvert

“You make yourself strong because it’s expected of you. You become confident because someone beside you is unsure. You turn into the person others need you to be.” ― Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts

Happy Mothers Day to the strongest woman I know. I love that I get to celebrate you and everything you have done for us twice a year! I love you Mama!

Everything you’ve taught us, I know you’ve learned from Lola Gening, who was such a wonderfully beautiful human being who always taught us to focus on the good, the beautiful and the peaceful. My Lola always taught us that if you couldn’t say anything good to not say anything at all. I must say Lola that I have failed on several occasions to do that. But I am a work in progress and I will get there someday and I will learn to be as genteel and proper as you.

I hope Lola, you know that Mama has raised us as well as she could with your guidance and I hope you are smiling down on her today.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama!  I know that you are with Abba in the hospital today and you haven’t told me because you don’t want me to worry.  Your strength of spirit is an inspiration to all of us.  I love you.  I am proud to be your daughter.


Where were you on September 11, 2001?

No I wasn’t in New York, I was in Atlanta the day the two planes crashed into the Twin Towers.  I think most of the people in the world who were old enough to remember and understand what happened can remember where they were when they learned about the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, into the Pentagon in Washington DC and into that field in Pennsylvania.

NeverForgetI was living with my relatives in Atlanta and it started out like a normal Tuesday.  I’d started helping my uncle with his medical records.  I worked at his clinic, in the back office, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  They were transitioning into digital records so I was doing data entry for them, taking patient records and inputting all the patient information, doctor’s notes and procedures into a patient records management system that they’d just installed.

I got ready to go to the clinic, went down and had coffee and a piece of toast and left the house with my aunt.  We had a small white TV in the kitchen and it was usually switched on whilst we had coffee.  Strangely on that day, I don’t remember the TV being on.  We got to the office shortly before 9AM.  The first plane had already hit the North Tower so it was definitely after 8:46AM.  I don’t remember what time we got there.  But I remember one of the patients in the waiting room saying “Oh my God!” over and over again whilst staring at the TV.

The TV in the clinic’s waiting room was tuned into CNN (we were in Atlanta after all).  I remember switching on the computer and walking to the water cooler to get myself a huge glass of water. I can still remember rounding the corner and walking into the waiting room.  I remember looking at the television and seeing the the second plane crash into the South Tower.  I can still see it.  I don’t think it’s something you can “unsee”.  It’s one of those images that embeds itself permanently in your brain.  I’m sure it all happened in real time but it I know that I can see it in slow motion.  How the plane flew straight into the South Tower and the ball of fire that exploded shortly after.

The rest of the day passed into a blur.  I don’t remember much about what happened except for all the TV watching we did.  There were a few panicked hours because we couldn’t get in touch with my cousin and her husband who were both in New York.  But at the end of the day, we were all accounted for, safe and sound, rattled, unsettled and terrified, but scared.

I think I never really understood the feeling of helplessness until that day.  Even now, it isn’t difficult to remember the feeling of not being able to wrap my mind around the enormity of what happened to America on that day.  The shock, grief, utter helplessness and eventual anger that everyone felt on that day.  It will always be a day that I will sit quietly and think about life, how blessed I am to have all my loved ones with me.  My heart goes out to all those people who lost their loved ones on that day, not just in New York but in Washington DC and in Pennsylvannia.  We will never forget all those senseless deaths.  Know that we will always remember.

Last year, in November, was the first time I went back to New York after that day in 2001.  We went to the 9/11 Memorial and did the walking tour with a firefighter and a lady who worked in an office across the street from the World Trade Center.  Before we went on the tour, we walked around the 9/11 Tribute Center.  I was fighting the tears by the time we finished walking around the exhibition.  Our tour guides talked about their experiences, what happened to them on that horrible day.  It was heart-breakingly poignant.  They were ordinary people who were thrust into extraordinarily horrific circumstances.  But what struck me was the underlying spirit of hope and the indomitable human spirit.

The enduring Sphere sculpture by Fritz Koenig was once the center of the the Austin J. Tobin Plaza.
The enduring Sphere sculpture by Fritz Koenig was once the center of the the Austin J. Tobin Plaza.

We must all never forget.  We must all remember so that this will never happen again.  We should always try to walk in someone else’s shoes.  Our first response must always be peace.  We must always be guided by love.

NYC Skyline



Happy hearts day!

Am so one for cheese.  I love all the Valentines day clichés. I buy into all the romance.  I love the whole card, flowers and chocolate things.  I’m most probably the target consumer for all the commercial Valentines Day crap!  And I buy it all in!  I’m a sappy romantice and am proud of it.

I’ve always said, while it’s true that you don’t have to say you love someone because actions speak louder than words, sometimes that someone you love will appreciate the effort to verbalise how you feel.  So if you love someone, say it loud and say it proud!

Happy Valentines Day all!

2013-02-09 14.35.05The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.  Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.  They’re in each other all along. – Rumi


Mothers Day


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.


Hearts day post-mortem

On February 14, I was woken up by 2 text messages: one from my mum and one from my big sister from another mother.  I crawled from under the toasty warm covers and read the text messages, smiled sleepily and then crawled back into bed.

Valentines Day was just another day, really, because I had loads to do work-wise.  I’m quite happy that work is keeping me busy because busy is always good.  I got home late because there was a staff meeting and I had to catch a later train.  The idea was to have take-away from my favourite Chinese take away.  But when I called the Chinese take away I was told they couldn’t do anything about delivering food to me until about 9PM.  I was exhausted so I wasn’t going to cook.  Settling for fried chicken wasn’t so bad.  At least I didn’t have to cook and the clean up after was a breeze!

Now, y’all must be thinking, awww what a sad Valentine’s day.  It wasn’t really.  I had a really productive day at work and learned new things, I managed to catch a train that got me home earlier than I thought I’d get home, and even though I didn’t get my Chinese take away (I was craving chow mein noodles!), I still shared chicken and chips with the person who knows me the best.  I’d say it was a good day.  After all, like Christmas, every day should be Valentine’s day.  We should all make an effort to make sure our lives are filled with love and romance and the appreciation of what our loved ones do for us.

However, I thought this photo was good to share: a picture taken at Covent Garden in London the Saturday before.  Things like these, they make me smile.  Romance is grand, aint it?