I miss my babies, my children.

my children

My home has been a semi-empty nest since 2010 when my second child flew to Australia to work then eventually taking her post-graduate studies. During college, they lived in dorms close to their school in Quezon City when we used to live in Makati. That wasn’t too bad because I saw them once a week.

Nothing hits hard when the last child finally leaves home. My eldest daughter moved to her condominium on May 1. She had been paying for her “shoebox” as she calls it since she was 22 years old. I am proud that she is a property owner at so young an age . The fact that she saved a huge portion of her salary to invest in this property the last three years or so is quite an achievement.

My second daughter moved to Germany on April 30 and is officially an OFW. I am just as proud of her academic achievements and getting a job in Europe for the next three years. At her age, I traveled around Europe. The difference is , she gets to work there. She is truly blessed.

I have been preparing for this but when the day finally came, it hits a raw nerve. I would always whine during their last few months at home…”Oh you are leaving me. I will miss you”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for them. Children should learn to be independent from their parents as soon as they are able to. I wanted them to feel that they can survive on their own, yet having their parents close by. My mom died of breast cancer when I was a teen-ager. If that should have happened to me, I did not want them to feel helpless. Though I lived on my own after college, I felt my girls lived a sheltered life. I prepared them for it. They slept with me on the family bed till they left for college. It is a nice warm feeling having them close in my arms. The family bed ritual gave them a feeling of security as they ventured on their own.

I have long accepted that my children are riding off into their own future, maybe as shakily or as steadily as when they rode the first bike I gave them. Maybe it is my turn to have this shaky feeling at times.

I have no regrets. As a full-time homemaker , I gave up a career and took care of them during their growing years.

I am grateful for blogging which gives me an avenue to pursue a passion, doing something good for the country and the future of my children. It offers a distraction from the loneliness that hits me hard during this time of the month.


I can’t suppress this pang of sadness and loneliness because it is Luijoe’s 13th angel date, today.

If Luijoe were alive, I would still have a child around the house because he would only be 19 years old.

If Luijoe were alive, he would probably be with me, hugging me every now and then till he is 23 years old until he decides to travel abroad like my second daughter did.

If Luijoe were alive, the sound of a child’s footsteps on the hallway and cries of “mom” would still fill the air.

If. if…it is my grief talking and knowing that love never dies … and the sadness of having no children at home at times like these. Oh well, there are my two cats, the two helpers and my husband to keep me company.

I know this crushing sense of grief is just for today.

Tomorrow will be better.


You can’t wrap love in a box, but you can wrap a person in a hug. ~Author Unknown

HUG [huhg] – verb : to clasp tightly in the arms, especially with affection; embrace

A friend who I have not seen for over 30 years suddenly gave me a full-on hug, unselfconsciously without much thought and took my breath away. I guess there were some things left unspoken. My affection is beyond words.

A tight hug overcomes all boundaries. It speaks words within the mind that cannot be spoken. For some reason, I was so touched by that one good hug that I sort of teared that night, not of sadness but of joy. It felt good to be hugged by a dear friend whom I have lost contact. The hugs felt so good because it relieved any feelings of emptiness and burdens that I may have carried unconsciously.

Hugs feel so good because all unexpressed feelings can be expressed in the manner of hugging.

Hugs feel good because it serves as one avenue of expressing any kind of emotion that is difficult to express verbally.

They say there is a science to hugging.

The act of hugging comes in various forms. Experts claimed that hugs give positive effects on health. Research has shown that hugs increase levels of oxytocin as well as it reduces blood pressure levels. In fact, hugs have known to increase levels of serotonin, which is the hormone responsible for one’s mood, emotional responses and energy levels. With its increase, it stimulates other systems to function efficiently and adequately giving one person an exceptional feeling of wellness.

Psychologist Virginia Satir once said, ““We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” I take the time and energy in eating right, exercising, and nurturing myself. I make sure I get a minimum dose of four hugs a day and even more from my husband and family. I am not talking of 10 second hugs. The hugs should be at least 20 seconds. A study at the University of North Carolina found that levels of cortisol, the hormone produced when we’re under stress, were significantly lowered (particularly in women) when subjects hugged their partners for at least twenty seconds.

The world would be a better place if we smiled more often and hugged a bit longer.

Give someone a big long hug. Make sure it lasts at least 20 seconds.

From me to you, here is a virtual hug.

” Everybody needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.”
Leo Buscaglia

The most important political office is that of the private citizen. ~Louis Brandeis

I love my children.
I think of their future.
I hope for a good leader.

We all want that for our children, right? So listen up…we need to do our share in helping our country change for the better.

Be part of the change for the better by starting with yourself. .It starts with YOU..in choosing candidates that will work for your children’s future. Armed with that choice, you need to go out and vote .

But your part does not end in casting your ballot. Be champions of Honest, Orderly and Peaceful Elections by taking action on the 2013 elections. Social media has made it easier for citizens to participate in the electoral process. You can make a difference by being part of the #juanvote network of citizen voters empowered with their social media tools.

As netizens, we have the social media capital and channels to make our votes count, to help educate both candidates and voters, and help expand the coverage of the elections beyond what we see on TV and hear on the radio.

It was in 2010 that Filipino netizens formed #juanvote network to monitor elections online . This year, we are using the same hashtag to report law violations. Why?

We want to keep a close watch on today’s elections. The name #juanvote is used because the network calls on citizens to use hi-tech means to expose and hopefully thwart electoral fraud and violence. These elections are very important. We have to make sure that the candidates know that netizens and other citizens want changes and reforms to keep the internet free, to improve and expand internet access, check telco abuses, and make government more transparent and accountable. These issues could be addressed by candidates who have a clear stand on the laws we want repealed or bills we want passed into law.

I call on bloggers and all netizens to tweet using the #juanvote hashtag. Tweet that you have voted. Tweet if you see law violations and problems during the voting,

Take up the challenge to make a difference no matter how small just like Krem- Top’s campaign “Change for the better” .

Today May 13, do your share in helping the nation change for the better.


A Moment of Silence or a prayer of Hope for all of you.

—-, let me be the change I want to see
To do with strength and wisdom
All that needs to be done
And become the hope that I can be.
Set me free from my fears and hesitations.
Grant me courage and humility.
Fill me with spirit to face the challenge
And start the change I want to see.
Today, I start the change I want to see.
Even if I’m not the light, I can be the spark.
In faith, service and communion
Let us start the change we want to see,
The change that begins in me

Mothers of daughters are daughters of mothers and have remained so, in circles joined to circles, since time began – Signe Hammer


It’s amazing. I can’t believe how grown-up my daughters are. My eldest is 27 years old and my second is turning 26 years old. They are just wonderful. Twenty something years ago, my life revolved around them, changing diapers, running after them, reading stories, driving them to school and back. Life with grown up daughters is like having two sisters.

daughter Gone are the days when I’d tie pretty pink ribbons on their hair. These days, we borrow each other’s clothes, make-up, accessories that our helper can’t tell anymore who owns a particular clothing item. Lauren does my makeup on special occasions. I tell her to camouflage my sagging eyelids and does a good job at it. They update me with the latest fashion. They serve as my personal stylist suggesting colors, hairstyle, makeup. Oh and one time, I borrowed money to pay our electric bill when I was short in cash.

daughterOf course , motherhood wasn’t all that smooth-sailing , having gone through stages of motherhood that went rocky in the teen years.

Don’t these words sound familiar?

4 Years Of Age – My Mommy can do anything;
8 Years Of Age – My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot
12 Years Of Age -My Mother doesn’t really know quite everything.
14 Years Of Age -Naturally, Mother doesn’t know that, either
16 Years Of Age -Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned
18 Years Of Age -That old woman? She’s way out of date
25 Years Of Age -Well, she might know a little bit about it
35 Years Of Age -Before we decide, let’s get Mom’s opinion
45 Years Of Age -Wonder what Mom would have thought about it
65 Years Of Age -Wish, I could talk it over with Mom

For each phase of motherhood involved adjustment and letting go.

I know I have been an disappointment in the turbulent years of my grief. I often wondered how to make up for those lost years and I read somewhere that the best way to help your kids is just taking care of yourself and they will follow suit. Like Wayne Dyer said, “Your children will see what you’re all about by what you live rather than what you say.” We muddled through those tough years, and after much trial and error, I believe we have now come full circle.

So gone are those days when I would nag “Ugh , clean up your room.” These days “your room is so pretty if it were just more organized” which often leads to action. I want them to enjoy life, party hard, be safe and responsible.

What I hope most for my daughters is that they soar confidently in their own sky, whatever that may be.


I wish they will always be with me to love and to hold but I know at the same time, I should just step back and watch then fly high and free. Now they have flown their wings and I am left with an empty nest. Though it makes me a bit sentimental, I am glad I gave up my career to be with them during their growing years.

Happy Mother’s day to everyone.

This is my #juanvote Blog Action day post:

It is five days before May 13, 2013.

I made a choice.

I have only three in my list.

You ask, ““So who are you voting?”

It does not matter who my candidate is. As project editor of Blogwatch.ph, it is prudent that I keep that choice privately. Oh yes, netizens, friends, and relatives  ask me and I tell them my choices and the reasons behind my choice and why I did not vote for the others .

citizen media

Certain quarters cannot distinguish me as a voter and me, as the editor.  I want Blog Watch to remain non-partisan. I can tell you  though that I will vote with my conscience.

My decision was based on an article I wrote  Voting matrix: How to select a candidate to vote for as senator .

Click to enlarge

This election day is start of new things to come. Changes need to be made. Enough of political dynasty. There is no law that stops them from running but my vote may make a difference if I start today. I voted for you because you are not associated with a dynasty.

I made a choice to vote those NOT associated with a fat political dynasty (having immediate family members running or currently holding an elective position) .

Why the big deal on political dynasty?  Most say the people decide on election day. This is democracy. But is it really democracy?  My rationale is based on the explanation from  the Policy Study, Publication, and Advocacy (PSPA) Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) October 3, 2012)

The concentration, expansion, and consolidation of political dynasties over the past 100 years attests to the continuing hegemony of feudal politics, the absence of any form of real democracy, and the continued powerlessness of a vast marginalized majority in the Philippines. Definitely alarming today is the entrenchment of the system of political dynasties on a higher and blatant scale making the fair representation of the large majority of Filipinos even more elusive.

Two of the seven desired criteria I identified carried the most weight :  supportive of women’s rights (maternal health) and standing up for children rights. The rest of my desired criteria were:

1. voting to repeal/amend the cybercrime law,
2. promotion of small and medium enterprises,
3. in favor of an anti-political dynasty law
4. Supportive of a divorce law
5. a pro-environmental platform .

These are my beliefs and issues that hold dear to me.  Your track record, competence and platforms were indeed good factors to consider in my decision making process.  The other non-quantifiable aspect is gut feel and your campaign strategy.

The way a candidate handles his/her campaign gives me an insight to the governance of this candidate.

I know impressions can be misleading  but I trust my gut feelings on my experience dealing with you. (Hint: my candidates are three of those Blog Watch interviewed: View Summary of podcast of the 10 candidates : Jun Magsaysay, Teddy Casino, Risa Hontiveros, Koko Pimentel, Edward Hagedorn, Cynthia Villar, Alan Peter Cayetano, Tingting Cojuangco, Gringo Honasan and Jack Enrile.) . I placed a big weight on this because I know you are busy but took time to talk two hours with ordinary citizens.

As a citizen-voter, I will practice continued vigilance and participate in governance.

I will participate in legislating laws through legislative advocacy, a process of engaging with the legislature and other governmental and social institution to ensure that the concerns and welfare of the general electorate be articulated in the deliberations of bills and other legislative measures as well as in the final versions of laws.

I know you will be good for the country and the future of my children’s children.


@momblogger on Twitter

P.S. Here are other letters dedicated to you

A background material on political dynasties:

CenPEG Analysis : Horizontal and Vertical Expansion of Political Dynasties


I managed to squeeze in some love-dovey moments at the height of the miting de avance of presidential candidates three years ago. Now it is the 2013 mid-term elections and luckily today is a Sunday so I am spending it with my daughter. Sadly, my second daughter is now in Germany and can’t spend it with us but the memories of being together the past years is enough to get me by.

When Butch and I shared our 25th wedding anniversary celebration with a sprinkle of old and new friends, family and relatives, it was truly a celebration. We had so much fun. our guests were entertained with the video of our wedding 25 years ago along with live violin music . It felt strange seeing our young selves, 25 years ago. Guests who were present in our wedding laughed as they saw their young and slimmer figures.

silver-wedding-celebrationButch and I still look good. My husband looks gorgeous even with silver-gray hair. Celebrating our love with our two lovely girls (and Luijoe in our hearts) made it such a memorable occasion. Yup, we are still in love with each other but not after loving and hating each other many, many times in the past 25 years. Not after I broke my leg from leaving the house.

Friends of my husband think I should be given an “accomplishment award”. Haha, they know how difficult Butch can be. I also tell them that Butch never gave up even at the time I gave up on our marriage.

It was not an easy journey. I learned to let go of things that I had no control of and instead changed my attitude. We have three beautiful children, two with us to love and to hold , the other to dream, cherish and love always. Our bad times made our love even stronger. We made it this far. It called for a celebration.

wedding anniversarywedding anniversary

I have found happiness with Butch. I know the place we live in earth will not last forever. I also know that the energy of love never dies as I have felt with the death of my son. I intend to treasure every single moment we’re alive, in love and together forever.

husbandI am so proud of my husband. Not only is he the breadwinner, he’s also the cook during weekends. I’m lazy like that. But what I’m really proud off are the positive changes in him since we gave each other a second wind in our marriage. In the past, he’d find excuses to entertain clients in fine dining places or anywhere else but home.

Look at him now! A cook.

My stubborn nature often blamed my husband for the marital discord. A rock must have hit my head one day when I realized I, too, am part of the equation in the marriage. One of the many things I corrected was the way I’d argue with my husband. See, my husband rants a lot when he is frustrated and is quite short-tempered as a result. Oftentimes, I end up getting riled up when he is in that brooding mood. After 35 years of togetherness, I finally perfected the fine art of arguing with my dear husband. Here are my strategies :

1. Using powerful words such as ““Yes, dear I see exactly where you’re coming from. You mean…….”
This statement makes it clear enough that I heard my husband. That’s all he really wants— to be validated. By agreeing with him, I gradually simmer down his anger.

2. Stay calm.
My husband has this awful habit of calling me up via cellphone when he is caught in traffic. All he does is huff and huff about the awful traffic jam. He doesn’t know this but I don’t place the earpiece on my ear. I place my ear every so often on the earpiece to see if he is done with his rant. In effect, I let the storm run its course. I can tell when he is done when I don’t hear his barking voice. I then say “Turn on the music and zone off”. Works like a charm.

3. Just let him babble on and on
Sooner or later, my husband will soon grow tired of his own voice. Sometimes that’s all he wants To be heard. To feel appreciated. In the meantime, as this is all happening, I …

4. Use the Power of Visualization
It’s hard to be the brunt of the rants. What I do is zone off and imagine him as my loving husband who is just venting out and when all the steam has been released, he will soon hug me and say “thanks for listening”.

5. Avoid “You should or you should not…”
At the heat of any argument, I don’t butt in and say “You shouldn’t feel that way” or “You should be calm”. When I am disappointed or impatient with his attitude, I just say “I feel sad that you are feeling that way”. By owning my feelings, I am not accusing him or making him responsible for my of sadness. Even if he seeks advice, I still say “I feel this is the right approach…” . I never say ““you’re wrong.” I often try hard to look for areas of agreement and work on them.

In short, avoid the “you…” sentence.

6. When I’m wrong, I admit it.
I make mistakes now and then, so I say ““You’re absolutely right, dear, I know it’s my fault and here is what I’ll do to make amends.” Even if I am NOT wrong, at least I give him the benefit of the doubt, ““I may be wrong, let’s examine all the facts together.” It’s hard to argue with that.

me and butch in macau

If I had known earlier in life that my pride needed to take a backseat, then I would have saved a lot of heartache and energies. It’s not about winning an argument. It’s about peaceful co-existence without creating more conflict.

What other strategies have you used to resolve conflicts?