Dear Luijoe,

It’s been 21 years . 21 years today…


  • without seeing your impish smile,
  • without receiving wild flowers with a note “I love you so very much, mama”
  • without your gentle reminder to pray
  • without your lectures on parenting,
  • without your crazy jokes
  • without pinching your handsome cheeks

These are all vibrant memories now tucked in my heart, which I stitched back together.

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Oh yes. The tears still stream down my cheeks just like today, because I miss you terribly. Love never died, even if you are gone from my embrace. Seventeen years ago, I felt the world swallowed me up. I thought I could not live with the unbearable, gut-wrenching pain in my heart. At times, I thought I went crazy. I barely survived. I had to find that courage to live because your two sisters and dad needed me. That difficult journey left me literally with a broken heart but not too broken, because why did God give me a second wind in life to make a difference in this mortal world?

Last night I asked your dad what would I be doing right now if you were still here. Definitely not a blogger. You know I only blogged because I wanted to comfort others in pain like me. This pain that will always be part of me for the rest of my life. Look, even VeePress thought my blog dedicated to you is worthy to be an ebook.

Come to think of it, I would probably still be a stay-at-home- mom until you leave home, like your two sisters did.

I wonder if you would still lecture me on “mom…it is like this..” You and your sisters were the best teachers on parenting that books could not deliver. I learned so much.

Today, I reflect on this new life, this new normal without you. From a zombie-like existence, I chose to live a meaningful life not for myself initially, but because I knew you would have wanted me to choose happiness over misery. This new normal is not anymore for you but for myself.

My new life is so much better. I should feel guilty because I would trade my life in an instant if I could have you back in my arms. But see, I love who I am now ever since you died 21  years ago. I don’t recognize my old self. Back then, my life purpose was to be just a doting mother to you and your two sisters, apathetic to what happened outside our cozy home. How could I ever imagine a life after a death of my precious child? Impossible, but I did. It must be true that you are here with me, your spiritual presence, and just standing by me , encouraging me to move on with my new normal.

Today, I give back this gratitude for the joy of this new life I have been blessed. I hope you are proud of me. I want to be a blessing to others and to my country. I am having the time of my life yet at times face challenges in fighting for a cause like that crying boy, Kian delos Santos, human rights, and other worthy issues. The lessons of the pain brought by your death gave me courage to carry on this fight.

When the going gets rough, I just tell myself, “You can get through this. You have gone through worse. This pain is nothing compared to losing Luijoe”.

So that is how life has been, my Luijoe. Your death gave me courage to continue to fight what is right, that wherever there is life there is hope.

I miss you so much right here where I belong.

I miss for the loss of what a handsome man you would have become (almost 28 years old now, but instead you are forever six years old.).

luijoe at the cemetery

I miss the loss of the life I would have if you were here.

I miss those times you would point to that lovely blue and white house where you promised to build one for me in the future. Now that I think of it, this house you promised will come forth in eternal life, when we meet again.

 For the past 17 years, visiting the cemetery, bringing bouquet and honoring your life is what we can only do.

I will soon be there by your resting place , with a bunch of flowers and a note etched in my heart “I love you so very much, Luijoe”.


A few years ago at Plurk, once my favorite micro-blogging social networking tool, a plurk  caught my attention:

Someone asked civiland plastic what is the diff? Does it annoy you? When you learn someone is plastic?

My friend goes further to explain that

  1. Civilis being nice and mannered while plastic is brown nosing. Does it annoy me? There are times of course I am only human.
  2. Plastic has the element of design or wanting something. You trust less the plastic. Anyway, that is for me.

What I found interesting is a Plurk Friend’s response :most people confuse being polite and the social graces with “plastic”.

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Imagine the following scenario.

  1. The People Pleaser

Ever notice this person running around, fussing over others, chattering a mile-a-minute when what they are really saying is “I hope I’m pleasing you”. Now there is nothing wrong with trying to please people. But People-pleasing backfires. Not only do others get annoyed with them, the people pleaser often gets annoyed when the intent to please did not work as planned. The most comfortable people are those who are considerate of others but ultimately please themselves.

Is the People Pleaser a civil or plastic person?

  1. The Polite Person

Imagine two friends having an argument inside the mall over a guy named Mario. Let’s call Anna as the One who is seething with rage, raising her voice and about to pull the hair of the second girl named Betty. She suspects that Mario is flirting with Betty. Betty appears calm and collected even when…

Anna: Why? You are so plastic! F*&%&& you! I know you like Mario. What a bitch you are! I want to know the truth. Did you go out on a date?

Betty: Excuse me, I don’t want to talk to you like this. Maybe we can talk some other time.

Anna: Why are you evading my question? I want you to be honest with me.

Betty leaves Anna.

Is Betty a civil or plastic person?

  1. The Arrogant Person

Arrogance is not the same as being proud or even opinionated as most bloggers are. Arrogant people seem to think that they know everything, and they can really get on your nerves. They are condescending and exerts superiority over you. But see, arrogant people are really quite insecure. They seek to dominate and control because they are afraid of being dominated and controlled. Their superiority comes to a point where they humiliate you in public through insults. (An honest opinion is not an insult if it was solicited.) Now, an arrogant person who is intimidating you feels inferior to someone else because this is how his mind works, this arrogance may be nothing more than a way to cover feelings of inferiority he experiences when dealing with someone else.

Does the arrogant person lack civility or social graces?

  1. The Frank Person

Is the arrogant person the same as the Frank Person, one who is honest about his feelings or opinion? No. I know friends who are literally honest to a fault. They have trouble even telling little white lies to protect other people’s feelings. There are times when lying is the lesser of the available evils.

Sometimes, the sensitive person wants the “Frank Person” to sugarcoat their honesty. Truth hurts sometimes so be gentle with me, okay?

Sometimes, the frank person is also known as rude for speaking the truth.

Should the frank person learn to be more civil or plastic?

Looking at all these scenarios, I believe I meet these persons every day of my life. If an arrogant person bashes me, do I bash back? Most probably not.

Does it make me plastic for not reacting in the same unhealthy manner? Nope

Does it annoy me? Sometimes.

Most of the time, the arrogant, the people pleaser, the polite person or frank person does not annoy me unless I allow it to happen. Sometimes when I am in a bad mood, it can annoy me. I allowed myself to feel annoyed. Eventually, I learn to let it go. Yes, I have those days.

On most days, I set boundaries.

You have always heard me say repeatedly that we cannot control people’s actions, attitudes and even events. The only thing we can control is our attitude. But not that easy. One choice in recovery is choosing what we want to think and using our mental energy positively. Positive thinking can be extremely difficult in stressful situations. Positive thinking does not mean thinking in an unrealistic matter or reverting to denial. If I don’t like something, I respect my own opinion. If a problem hits me, I am honest about it. If something isn’t working out, I accept reality. I don’t have to dwell on the negative portions of my experience.

Life and people just seem to push and push. If someone pushes me to my limits, that’s exactly what’s happening: I am being pushed to my limits. I give myself permission to set the limits I want and need to set in my life.

The chronic nega ( or negative person) has no place in my life. I try to empower the good in myself, others and life. I’m willing to release, or let go of, negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones. I will choose what I want to affirm, and I will make it good.

Does it annoy you when you learn someone is plastic?