Youth fades, love droops, the leaves of friendship fall. A mother’s secret hope outlives them all. – Oliver Wendell Holmes

my children

I was once a mother with small kids. There are so many amazing mommy experiences that I want to capture them in a few photos. I loved watching my girls sing, laugh, and play together. There were just two of them for the first six years until Luijoe came later. I miss being a mom of little kids. At that time, all I could think of “hurry up. Grow up fast”. Now I look back and see their cute adorable faces and often sign “why did they grow up so fast”. I will always be a mother in every stage of my children’s life. There is a quote that says “a man’s work is from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done.’ The needs change in every stage but they will always be my children.

Let me take you down to memory lane.

Laughing even if little Lauren says ” I am tired of this photo shoot.

Being pregnant with M. as L. turns one year old. Spacing is always a good idea.

M named after the Dutch form of Mary. I was sick with acute Hepatitis B when I was 6 weeks pregnant. I prayed to Mother Mary so that my baby won’t get sick.

Not a good idea to wear longish hair style if your kids sleep with you.

Having two little kids in tow cause competition. Who should be in my arms? aww poor Lauren wanted to be carried too.

I don’t regret giving up my career to be a full-time mother. The lessons learned from being a mother makes me a better person today. My children taught me a lot. Those parenting books don’t really teach you much. One should take time to be attuned to one’s kids, and listen to their feelings.

My daughter thinks my dress is horrible in this photo but how would I have known? They have taught me how a mother should dress in style which I share in my Beauty Over 50 blog.

Then I was blessed to have three beautiful children. How I miss my little babies.

Having Luijoe at 35 years old meant it was harder to lose weight. I was 48 years old when I finally lost significant weight.

I was so fat that I was not inspired to have photos with Luijoe and me together. One of my regrets.

The truth is I made mistakes that makes me wish I could turn back the time. Yes, I cannot undo the past  but I wish I had a support group of mom friends.  Looking now at my mistakes, I would not have discovered my capacity to be a better person and more loving mother. No wonder Rajneesh mentioned that “the moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ”

Mothers these days are so lucky because they have access to information and support from other mothers. In those days as a young mother, I had to buy books that were hard to find.

Though Luijoe is not with me anymore, he lives in my heart. Just like my two girls, it’s been a short while I held their hands. I know I will hold their hearts forever.

I wish all the young mothers out there, to always take care of yourself . Do a “Pamper Me” once a week and most of all, play, enjoy and have fun with your kids (no matter what age they are).

Happy Mother’s Day.

“Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have even lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor.” Henry David Thoreau

To my dear daughters,

It is Mother’s day today and as you might know, I celebrate it everyday with you even if you are all grown up. Today, I just want to write about the rewards of the simple life.

Let me tell you that about finding ” the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter” to be thrilled by the stars at nights… some of the rewards of the simple life.” Let me tell you about our trip to Batanes.

I could not help but prance around the sloping hills of Racuh-a-Payaman , twirling around and singing “The hills are alive with the sound of music”. Remember how we used to sing that song in the car as we travelled the long and winding road towards Baguio?

Yes, Baguio has a special place in our hearts because it is home to your dad. I could not help singing with the wind as it kept throwing my sun hat away to protect me. I felt the wind was telling me to let go of my fear of the sun’s heat and just feel the cool breeze. I did listen to the sound of the wind as it cools my face during lunch. Want to hear the pounding of the wind that afternoon?

My friends who were with me say it reminded them of the Irish landscape. One felt like crying with the majestic beauty. Another thought “I see God before me”. I was speechless. I thought the picture pretty hills was reminiscent of the English countryside without the Friesian cows and the sheeps grazing the pastures.

I sat down on the grass to get my bearings and just be awed. But your dad wouldn’t allow me to just sit down. You know how I fear heights …but your dad held my hand and said “you are going to regret this”. He dragged me literally to see more than just rolling green hills.

He led me to the tip of the hill where the blueness of the sea kissed the sky. Ever since he learned to use the camera , he kept taking photos of Batanes.

I cannot begin to describe Batanes . Your dad in our article of Batanes “Enhancing the ecological and cultural tourism in Batanes” says:

Despite our preconceptions about the allure of the place, we were still floored by the actual experience of being there. A clear light seems to suffuse the entire province , real life in HD. The drama of the juxtaposition of the landscape and seascape left us gushing and groping for words. We have literally never seen any place like it, although we have done a fair amount of traveling here and abroad

I am not as eloquent as your dad so let me just show you some of the photos he took of me. You know how I am when it comes to photos.

Let me take you to the rugged terrain of Chawa cliffs.

The hedgerows which serves as source of reeds for roofing, protection from soil erosion and firewood. Hedge rows are also proof of the centuries-old practice of Ivatans on appropriate farming technology.

The fishing port in Diura.

The rolling hills in Vayang.

I took this of your dad as he stood beside the Mt. Carmel Chapel that sits in between two bodies of water, the West Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

The sound of the roaring waves of the West Philippine sea from Batanes Resort where we were billeted

This is the video I took of the resort:

Rock formations in Alapad Hills, the scene of the movie of Hihintayin Kita sa Langit (I Will Wait for You in Heaven) with Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta

I took a video while waiting for your dad as he ventured to the steeper side of Alapad.

The super moon that peeked out just before sunset at the Basco Lighthouse

The Ivatan art inspired by the beauty of Batanes.

But more than the majestic beauty of Batanes are the people themselves. You might find beautiful beaches, picturesque mountains, hills and hedgerows in other countries but Batanes is more than a pretty scene.

What makes Batanes endearing to me is the attitude and culture of the Ivatans, the natives of Batanes.

Ivatans are hardy and resilient, attuned to the vagaries of a temperamental climate. They have a strong sense of community. Neighbors look out for each other and every person is either an auntie, uncle or cousin. Bartering is still prevalent. The often-idealized concept of ““bayanihan” is actually alive and well in Batanes.

The pervading culture of Batanes “dictates that it is a privilege to help and be helped, and almost an insult to receive payment.” Isn’t that something to emulate and pass on to our children?

This Honesty Cafe store was started by Aling Elena Gabilo, a retired Math teacher for 40 years. She wanted to provide refreshments to the locals and travelers in the area. Anybody who enters the cafe can get food and drinks and drop whatever payment they feel like in a basket.

Aling Elena does not mind if the customers don’t pay or not. Her ultimate profit is the chance “to awaken her customers’ consciousness to honesty and responsibility and to teach them to live these lessons in the other areas of their lives.”

There is much to learn from the day-to-day experiences and resiliency of the people of Batanes. Life is about helping others and sharing their lives with one another. Rose Belmonte says it best about life in Batanes.

“Life that is lived fully will lead us to knowing who we are and becoming what we are made to be. Giving starts with one person. It starts with one home. One woman prepares food with love. One man takes pride in his labor. One traveler pays the right amount. One child learns to share. A neighbor gives unconditional assistance. Everybody does the same. And we get blessed with a community called Batan in an island simply known as Batanes.”

As your dad and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary in Batanes, I am convinced there is a certain majesty in simplicity. I realized that it is much better to insist on the genuine forms of nature, for simplicity is the greatest adornment of art.

As Richard Holloway says. ““Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art. They seem to be the purpose of God for his whole creation.”

I hope we can travel together to Batanes and explore it more. Most of all, I hope you can see how simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.

Mom (and dad)


A mother will always be a mother. Somewhere in my kitchen is a cross-stitched frame “The mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom. ”

my children

I tear as I write this blog post. I teared when I recorded my bubbly audio post that I had to retake it three times. I ‘m not too good with words . I only know what is in my heart. Though I don’t get to see or talk to my two girls that often, I pray everyday that they are healthy, safe and happy.

There are many mothers like me who can’t be with their children and many children who can’t be with their mothers on Mother’s day. You can listen to my audio post below:

The text of the poem is as follows:

Your Mother is always with you.
She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.
She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and
perfume that she wore.
She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well.
She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day.
She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a
rainbow. She is Christmas morning.
Your Mother lives inside your laughter.
She’s crystallized in every teardrop.
A mother shows every emotion ………. happiness, sadness, fear,
jealousy, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy,
sorrow… and all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good
feelings in life. She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s
the map you follow with every step you take.
She’s your first love; your first friend, even your first enemy, but
nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space…not
even death!

Author: unknown

Maybe I tear because I have parenting regrets that I cannot undo . Perhaps, it is because I miss shopping with them or having them curl up in bed. There are no regrets that I gave up my career to be their full-time mother , watching them grow to be beautiful, compassionate and smart girls. My proudest mom moment was when my children taught me to be a better mom. There is so much joy in being a mother from the time my kids grew up from being a baby to their adult twenty-something years of age.

me and daughters1

I love being the new me because of my children.

I often ask myself if I have loved my children enough and done the best job that I possibly can. Then as human nature goes, I remember the mistakes that I made and how they might have hurt my children. I did pick up the pieces and tried to be better. Yet I never stopped loving my children even in the times when I seemed distant. My children have been a witness to my struggle and the new me. I am so proud that they taught me a lot. I am proud that they are my children. When I think of them, tears roll down because they make me happy.

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.


My mom died when I was only 19 years old but throughout the years, she has always been with me… Mom will always be with me. My girls also know that their mom will always be with them. Wherever they may be, their mother is always be with them.

In the corner of my room, lies a chest full of photo albums. Feeling sentimental over the celebration of our 26th wedding anniversary on the first week of May, I decided to unearth the baby albums of my three children.

The years passed by so quickly but these photos brings back precious memories of those impish smiles, the snuggle hugs, the peek-a-boo moments and plane trips to Cebu to visit my dad. I cannot help but smile and tear at the same time as I catch a photo where I held their soft body close to my chest. The best part is when my babies want no one else to comfort them but their mommy. Oh yes, I had the best job of all because I am their mommy. And we all know how it feels to just want Mommy and no one else will do. Yes, that is me, their mommy.

A favorite place that offered a lot of fun and comfort was the park . They could frolic and run around without being afraid of getting hurt when they trip. Oh, how they twirled and romped around here, screaming at the top of their voices. The best part of being a mom is hearing ““I love you” which came along with a bunch of wild flowers from the park. These treasured memories are always in my heart..

The park is quite a distance from the house and I didn’t want these precious moments interrupted. I made sure I used the best protection from Pampers Active Baby. I only want to give my little ones the best comfort outside of their usual home routine so they can continue playing without interruption. I know they are happy because the greatest sounds on earth ring in the air. Those giggles captured by these photographs bring me down to memory lane. These memories also affirm my role as a mother . The best part of being a mom is that my children brought out the best in me just by learning about unconditional love from them. I learned love I never could have imagined, patience I didn’t know I had, and strength when I didn’t think I could take it any longer.

Through their growing years, I watched my children bloom and at times stumble. I held their hands and let go when the time was right. I helped them find their passions in life. Truly, I am blessed to give and receive love…just because I am their mommy.
Today, Pampers salutes moms this Mother’s day with a video celebrating the uninterrupted moments of love. Hundreds of Moms shared photos and videos of their Best Fun and Play Moments, Best Giggles and Laughter Moments, Best Sleep and Dreams Moments, and Best Hugs and Kisses Moments. The chosen photos and videos have been picked and featured in the Mother’s Day Video which will be aired on TV and will also win prizes from Pampers.

Mothers around the world are celebrating in their own way. You can also celebrate Mother’s Day with Pampers by watching the special tribute video featuring Filipino Moms and Babies. Visit to watch the video today .

What a joy-filled place we have as mommies. Happy Mother’s day Everyone!

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. Tenneva Jordan

Mother’s day spent with the kids has been a long-time tradition. At first I felt bad that I’d be spending it with mommy bloggers because it meant breaking tradition. Then I realized, Mother’s Day is my day and I can choose how to spend my day. And yes, I chose to spend it at the Expo Mom 2009 from 10:00 AM till 6:00 PM. Mommy Matters Janice Villanueva gave us a free booth which we used to promote mommy blogging. How time flies when you’re with mommies.

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AJ often takes a photo of his mascot, Ernie whenever we are in new media events. Ernie even has his own travel blog (which at this time is on temporary hiatus due to technical issues) since he tagged along with AJ in all his adventures in and around the country. Looking at AJ with Ernie, an inspiration hit me. Why not have a mascot myself?

See, I often take photos of people, places and events but I rarely get the chance to be in the photo. The mascot takes my place. Now what mascot?

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