Our siblings push buttons that cast us in roles we felt sure we had let go of long ago – the baby, the peacekeeper, the caretaker, the avoider…. It doesn’t seem to matter how much time has elapsed or how far we’ve traveled. ~Jane Mersky Leder

My family of origin . We are now in San Francisco.


We were once a family of seven siblings with a father and mother. With the death of my mom in 1975, my brother in 1990, another brother in 1999 and my father in 2003, only 5 siblings are left. Four sisters and one brother.


Three of them are now living in the USA while my other sister lives in Manila. During the past years, reunions centered upon the burying of the dead or dying.

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A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. ~Marion C. Garretty


We are four sisters. Two (Myrna and Lorna) are based in the United States and two of us (Belen and myself) reside in Manila. I was supposed to join Lorna as an immigrant by now but I declined the application papers in 1986. Myrna (the sister running for City Council here in a city in Califorina) and Lorna moved to San Francisco in 1984 and 1986 respectively to nurse a broken heart. I am particularly close to Myrna. We talked for hours about our love life, our work, and philosophy of life. We love to dress up and be fashionable that we often shared clothes and accessories. There was a time that we even looked alike except I am taller . Unlike my two other sisters, we don’t stay up late to party. We often giggled how the two other sisters scampered to the gate to join their friends , once my dad went up to his bedroom. Dad never knew this.

That was why I felt broken-hearted when Myrna found work in Calfornia in 1984 as an Architect (yes she had a working visa). I wanted to join her. It seemed I was getting nowhere with my 6 year relationship with Butch so I asked him “do you want to marry me or not? If you won’t marry me, that’s okay because I will join my sister in California”.

To my surprise, Butch did not see my question as a threat. He said he’d marry me the following year even if he was just second year in Law school. Though years have kept us apart , our sisterly bond is always there. I can’t quite pinpoint what makes us close. Perhaps, a sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves – a special kind of double.
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I arrived in the United States three days ago, to help my sister campaign for a seat at the city council. It’s been so chilly the past few days. I regret not bringing more of my denim pants.

This will also be our first sibling reunion. I am just waiting for my brother in Missouri, my younger sister from Denver and another sister from Chicago. By October 25, all four sisters will be together.
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““A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.” Sean Parker, Founding President of Facebook

I first came to know about Facebook around May 2004. I was browsing through my daughter’s message board looking for the latest web trends. I clearly remember the post from my daughter’s friend …that Facebook was the next best thing after Myspace and Friendster. Of course, I could not join Facebook then because one needed to be a student. Eventually, it became public and my first profile photo shows that I started on May 23, 2007.

I didn’t really think Facebook would grow that big. Friendster seemed unbeatable in its popularity. In 2007, everyone else I knew was in Friendster. Good thing that I had my blogger friends as my first few friends in facebook.

Tonight, I had the chance to see a special preview of “Social Network” (Thanks to Nuffnang Philippines) with my husband and blogger friends. I really enjoyed the movie. I was mesmerized by Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook. I didn’t even know Sean Parker of Napster was part of Facebook. Indeed, there are lessons to be learned especially in broken relationships, intellectual property, ethics and lawsuits.

Spoiler alert
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“I cannot do everything but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. And with the grace of God, I will do it” – Prof. Monsod

Economics 11 is just one of my required subjects in my BS Food Technology course . The year 1976 was my Junior year in UP Diliman and I made sure that Prof. Solita Monsod was my Economics teacher because she was known to be kind. None of those terror teachers, please. Economics is not exactly my cup of tea. Science subjects were my forte. I didn’t know it then but it was also the semester that my mother died of breast cancer and Monsod’s kindness helped me pull through with make-up exams.

It was Martial Law times and I don’t recall her talking much about the state of the country like she did in the Honor and Excellence video taken by one of her students last October 5, 2010.

Honor and excellence was ingrained in all UP students. I don’t recall the people responsible for placing it in my thoughts. Prof Monsod however elaborates that the ““fruit of honor and excellence” is ““competence and integrity”.

What hits hard is staying in the Philippines even after graduation.

“The Philippines needs you more than you would ever think. And if it is not you, who else will do it?” says Prof, Monsod

I have often heard the monicker ““Iskolar ng Bayan” in all of my college life. Prof. Monsod drives the same point . As scholars of the people, UP students owe a debt of gratitude to the Filipino people, whose taxes paid for part of that education. Fighting the dictatorship was a struggle that I fought for as a student in the state university.

I understand Prof Monsod.

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A simple enough pleasure, surely, to have breakfast alone with one’s husband, but how seldom married people in the midst of life achieve it. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh

It is a blessed Sunday morning as I take breakfast with my husband. These days, I don’t read newspapers unless I want to collect that issue, Our netbooks are with us as we sip our coffee. This time around, I am taking warm calamansi-lemon drink to soothe my sore throat. It is an old folks home remedy that always works.

calamansi-juiceThe house seems quieter without my other daughter’s booming voice at home. (I will write about this more). Lauren is fast asleep so it is just Butch and me. I am just grateful about today. The quiet moments with my husband at breakfast. Gazing at the two Siamese kitties lounging nearby makes me smile. I think I will be bonding more with my pet cat Missy.

I believe that happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast even if it is just once a week on a Sunday.

Andy Rooney best explains this bit of happiness.

For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.

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I was supposed to post these photos in BlogWatch.ph but for some reason , I can’t upload the photos. I was able to cover the Town hall meeting with the theme ““Isang Daang Araw sa Isang Daang Matuwid: Report Kay Boss,” where President Aquino presented his report on 100 days. I had no access inside La Consolacion auditorium but that was fine since the new media team provided us a “Bloggers’ room” with strong WIFI signal. Yay, a first.

Here are photos I took this morning.



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