The name of a Daughter.
The name of a Sister.
The name of an Aunt.
The name of a Mother.
The name of a Grandmother.
The name of a Great Grandmother.
The name of a Friend.
The name of God’s follower.
The name of an Angel.

To us grandchildren, she was our Lola Inday. An extraordinary woman who has dedicated her life to God and her family. I know for a fact that one can never say anything bad against her or recall any bad memory. That’s how extraordinary she was. She went to different heights just to ensure her family’s security and comfort. We can always run to Lola Inday and she will lend us a listening ear. She would share her wisdom about life and encourage us to be optimistic about it. She was always fair and kind and mindful of other people most especially her family. Family always came first. She was the heart and root of the family, she had the power to gather all of us in one place and bond over the most delicious food she could create. I could just go on and on and on on how beautiful this woman was to each and everyone of us. Everywhere she went, she touched lives. She was special. She was an inspiration. She was a blessing. She is our Angel.

July 19, 2013, after seven years, she is finally home.


July 22, 2013, we finally laid her to rest beside Lolo Piciong, her beloved Ding, as she had requested.





I close my eyes and try to form a complete picture of my beautiful abuelita. The way she talks, the color of her hair, her favorite outfit, the smell of her room, her enchanting smile and I realize I miss her.
She is a part of me, a part of us, a part of everyone whose life she’s touched.
She, the woman that is everything positive and strong.
She, the woman who taught us to be tender when we need to be a shoulder to cry on.
She, the woman that can take a stick of butter and a loaf of bread and turn it into a feast for God.
She, the woman who taught us to find beauty in everyone and everything and that judgment is unnecessary.

And it is comforting to know that she is always there.

Lola you are special
Your love knows no bounds
A room takes special warmth whenever you’re around
You believe we are beautiful and talented and wise
And choose to see the best in us through such loving eyes
Every day with you was precious
We are so grateful for the time
Of all the grandparents in the world
I’m thankful that you’re mine.

Angeles Canet Mascunana Verdeflor
November 18, 1923 – October 24, 2012



INFERNO by Dan Brown



I’ve finally finished reading Dan Brown’s Inferno and I must say it’s an amazingly chilling read (although the way he writes is confusing at times).

Yes, it’s unbelievably far out, his serial heroes Robert Langdon being perfectly versed with all of history and symbology and iconography and Sienna Brooks being inconceivably the most intelligent woman on earth. But then again, you don’t read Dan Brown books because of the redundant way it’s written or the absurd combination of words, you read it to be engrossed in a speedy, heart racing plot and see that facts from history, truthful global conspiracies could be incorporated into a work of fiction. You are educated. You then get hooked.
Note: Everything that happened in Inferno happened within 24 hours.

The book, inspired by the inscrutable symbolisms from Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and Sandro Botticelli’s Map of Hell, is devoted to transhumanism, devoted to the future of humanity and the existential risk it reveals due to overpopulation and the alarming fact that in the next century we may cease to exist. What’s frightening is that depicted in the book are two graphs from the World Health Organization supporting this theory. It is also mentioned by the antagonist of the story, Bertrand Zobrist, a deranged biochemist, in order for humanity to survive a sustainable environment, the population of the world should not run over four billion. We are currently running to seven or eight billion. Zobrist believed that unless a catastrophic event significantly reduces the startling rate of population growth, the human race will be wiped out thus, with the aid of the Consortium, he creates an airborne virus that could modify human DNA causing 1/3 of the world’s population to be sterile.


When I was reading the book, i did realize that this idea could somehow be true. Mentioned also in the book was the very controversial portrayal of Manila as the gates of hell. When Sienna Brooks joined in a humanitarian mission to one of the third world countries, they went to Manila, Philippines and it was mentioned in the book that she was shocked by its apocalyptic poverty and was almost raped by local ruffians. An excerpt from the book goes: “When the group settled in among the throngs in the city of Manila—the most densely populated city on earth—Sienna could only gape in horror. She had never seen poverty on this scale.”

I believe this sparked controversy because most Filipino “nation builders” are in denial. Yes we are on an alarming scale of poverty and unemployment and one of the reasons to this situations is due to overpopulation. They fail to see the overcrowded metropolis, the high crime rate, child labor, sex trade, pollution and unemployment. I am sure that this is not only applicable to Manila but also to densely populated areas all over the world.

Somehow I viewed the book as an eye opener on what is the world’s current status. And maybe somewhere, there is a deranged Bertrand Zobrist existing, a scientist with a mind ahead of its time, also creating a solution to help humanity survive.

Ok, stopping to overthink now. But again, I loved reading this book. 😊👍👏📕



Ideal vs. Real

Those mental images, concepts, ideas of perfect…

When we were young, we believed we had it all figured out. The ideal life, the ideal job, the ideal boyfriend, the ideal husband, the ideal house, the ideal car, the ideal family…

You work at it, then life begins and you suddenly realize you got it all wrong. You try and try to reach that ideal but then reality strikes and you find out you just can’t win. So you build up this fantasy world to shield yourself from the pain, to guard against a mind about to collapse, a heart ready to explode.

Some shy away from everything they know, trying to avoid keeping up a brave face because truth is, everything is just broken.

Some stand at the edge of the rail, looking back and contemplating to jump.

Others put a bullet through their head.

Sometimes you have this fluttering feeling, a kick that says someone’s life depends on you and all you are left to do is lock yourself in some secluded place and start to cry.

We then start to ask, how did we end up here? Would we rather live a boring but normal life or a colorful but complicated life?

Where we end up are the results of the choices we’ve made while we journey on. We need to recognize the difference between what is ideal and what is real. We are the authors of our own books, we write our pages. If your ideals fail you, refocus. See reality, make do of what is in front of you, focus on things that matter most. Block away the trauma and move on. Easier said than done but realize it’s just tears and rain in a day of your life. There is still a great chance tomorrow might be sunny.




Yummy in my Tummy!

Somewhere in Cagayan…


Chef April creates a menu for a restaurant and ktv that will be opening in July. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to disclose the name but to be safe, it’s gonna be one helluva place! As its tag goes, “Feel the party soon…”

Day 1


Day 2


Day 3


Day 4


Soon, feel the party in your tummy!

Last month, she also created the menu for Tree House, Budgetel’s restaurant. Now I’m sure travelers staying here would be able to avail of great food at an affordable price!


As our friend John said, next chapter of this project: singing!

Til next time!




April Fools!

So instead of doing the traditional way of knowing, April thought of finding out if her baby was a he or she by eating cake.


They gave their first ultrasound result to the baker for a much awaited surprise. If the inside of the cake reveals blue then obviously it’s a boy. If it shows pink, then baby’s a girl.

We get to vote too! Winners get prizes! Funny because couples tend to vote one for each so either way they get to take home a prize (haha!).

For him and for her giveaways.

When it was time…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…


Baby’s a GIRL!

And that is one excited Grandma!

Revelation complete. Happy Birthday APRIL! Congratulations Daddy ROMEO! Sure ain’t April Fools!




Remembering a Friend

God looked around his Garden and found an empty place.
He then looked down upon his earth and saw your loving face.
He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest.
His Garden must be beautiful, he always takes the best.
As the days come and go and the world moves on,
I know you’re still here, you’ll never be gone.
On the night the Angel came and
took your hand,
We cried as you left for an unknown land.
But Heaven rejoiced as you came into
For your soul was a diamond, shining so bright!


It has been eight years since you’ve gone, but it feels like you’re just here somewhere, maybe on eternal vacation. Your view must be amazing with the powdery sand, the blue sea and the awesome sunsets.

We miss you Maiks and I hope you enjoyed when we came bringing you pizza and barbecue and ice cream because we certainly did! 😄 (not to mention all the juicy gossip)

Because you are always remembered..
Because you are forever loved..
Because you are greatly missed..


Michaela Marie Gatchalian



A Birthday Party


The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. – Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes it takes little things, random events to make us realize how privileged we are.

March 13, 2013 – We celebrated Manang Josephine’s 40th birthday. Josephine is one of our housekeeping staff here the Province’s hostel. She is also a beneficiary of DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

So you see, celebrating birthdays for people like Josephine would be a luxury. And at forty, she finally had the chance. It was very heartwarming to see so much joy, so much thankfulness. Just this small celebration meaning so much to a certain person.




We celebrated together with the rest of the staff of the hostel. And the food was delish!

Indeed a happy birthday for Josephine.



To Dance

Dance /dans/

Move rhythmically to music, typically following a set sequence of steps: “their cheeks were pressed together as they danced”.
A series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music.

Haven’t posted anything for soooo long it seems..Been quite busy for the upcoming Provincial festival we’ll be having on April.

Anyways, I’m not sure what day exactly but last week (I think it was a Friday…) my kids had their MAPEH culminating activity in the form of dances. If you ask me what MAPEH stands for, I’m not sure if it’s M-usic, A-rts, P-hysical E-ducation, H-ealth. I think, I THINK that is what it stands for.

And it was so much fun watching my kids dance! My younger son, Jyuan danced with ribbons and my elder son, Joaquin danced a native dance. I don’t really know what the dances were called but I was just really happy to watch how well they did!

I was sitting really far, like up the bleachers, because the school assigned us parents that seating designation considering the number of students they have (from Prep to Grade 12).

IMG_2262 The kids all readied up before the presentation. 🙂

full Full house at the Coliseum!





IMG_2306 The pics are blurry because of my location, i had to zoom in just to not get an ant like picture of my kids that’s why it’s pixelized. iPhone cam not good 😦



These simple priceless moments. Fun day at school. 🙂



Again I have clips of the dances, I just don’t know how to upload it sad 😦

Must Love Dogs Part I: Meet Monmon

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” ― Josh Billings

Beagles are one of the most popular and beloved dog breeds around the world. Snoopy, perhaps the world’s most famous dog, is a Beagle.

Who could resist those adorable doe like eyes and cute floppy ears?



IMG_1355 - Copy


Monmon is a 2 year old, tri-colored Beagle. I adopted her from a friend of mine last year. She was originally named Tequila. How it evolved to Monmon, I don’t really know.

Beagles do well indoors as long as they are properly exercised and taken for long walks daily.


This one especially, gets really excited when she sees her leash. Wags tail nonstop.


And after a long walk, she goes straight into the house and cozies up on the couch.


Beagles are brave, intelligent, and social dogs that are good with children and known for their loving, tolerant, sweet, and gentle temperament.


They are good with other dogs, but not good with other pets. Beagles love to be part of a pack but they do not take to non-canine companions, unless they are the human kind.


Beagles will also do anything for food. They just love food and will eat almost anything.

You will find Monmon beside the dining table waiting during meal times, NO miss! And she will totally ignore you when there is food around somewhere…


But this is to an advantage. Beagles are intelligent but hard to train. They are known to be really stubborn but since they will do anything for food, Beagle owners could use this as a training tool. I taught Monmon how to sit in just one meal time.

Beagles love to sleep. They could sleep for hours. And this one snores really loud! (I’ve actually recorded her snoring, I just don’t know how to upload it here 😦)


And although Beagles are naturally sociable and playful, clever and responsive, doing the same routine over and over again will get them bored. Well what do you expect, we human beings experience that too.


To sum it up all, I was really glad to have adopted Monmon. She has become a stress reliever, a good walking companion and a great distraction. She has added so much fun into our home, the kids really enjoy her and Marla (our Chihuahua mix) even gained a best friend.

Is a Beagle the right pet for you?

Visit this site to know more about Beagles:

We Love Beagles – The Ultimate Guide to Beagles




Compliments to You

Warning: Yet another vent out session.

Okay…first, here’s an update of the penance I am ACTUALLY doing for lent:

1. Online shopping. This will be forty days worth of savings.
2. Alcohol. Forty days of sobriety (FYI: I don’t drink everyday and no, I don’t have a drinking problem).
3. Meat, chicken and rice. Goodbye US Roast Beef Carving on Valentines day. On the brighter side, this will be good for my diet. I’ve been trying to lose weight since forever.
4. Junk food. Now looking for another way to deal with stress, hmmm…

Yes, there’s only ONE left that I’m still doing, only ONE left that is not broken (well, I almost did the last time I was online on Facebook). Everything else is well…and with this hangover that I’m having right now I think I’m feeling a little bit depressed.

And a little bit, well I am really very annoyed. I don’t get why some people are so rude.

I was on my way to the atm when I passed a few acquaintances (take note: ACQUAINTANCES. We are not even close) and they said hi to me but I don’t get why they still had to add “Ooh! You’re looking fat!” “Hi Chiki, you gained weight!”

Where are your manners people?! I might have been glad and maybe my headache would have gone if they’ve said I was looking good or even just HI. It would have made me feel better if they totally ignored me instead.

So I yelled at them and asked: What the fuck is your problem? I don’t really need this early morning bullshit! Do I even know you? Are we even friends? Do you know the hell I’ve been through trying to lose weight forever and here you are telling me I look fat? Don’t you have anything good to say? If you want to make small talk why don’t you try talking to the wall instead, leave me alone and mind your own goddamn business?!

Okay. So that was the scene inside my head. Unlike them, I do have manners. So I just smiled back, shut my mouth and went on with my business.

Maybe they should’ve attended the Parenting seminar I went to last week so that they could tell their parents to teach them some manners. Their parents might have missed out on that part.


I think I’ve vented out enough. Now where is that paracetamol…