PARK OF LAUGHTER

Goodbye summer. Hello, winter.

Al Mamzar Park is my favorite beach park here in Dubai.  They have all the facilities you needed for; beach amenities,  barbeque areas, swimming pools, children game areas and etc. Entrance fees are reasonable for AED 5 per person, AED 30 per car and free for people with special needs and kids below 2 years old.

If you don’t want to mingle with the big crowd, it is better to go on weekdays (Sunday-Thursday) and Saturday.  Friday is too crowded since it’s a weekend here in Dubai.

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Let’s enjoy the beach! the weather is kinda super nice.

Meet the future LIFEGUARD.

Sea Food Fiesta!

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Share the blessings with anyone!

“After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

Let’s enjoy life, eat well and laugh often!

YEARS OF LOVE

That’s my mom and my paps.  Today is their 39th wedding anniversary.

I would say that their marriage is not perfect at all. Just like the other couples, they have lived in the joyous moment and painful times.  They don’t claim always that they are madly in love with other, but obviously, they can’t live without each other.

Their opposite character made them weary fitfully, but they have shown that unlimited sense of understanding and accepting each other are really necessary for any relationship.

Marriage with them is no fairytale.  All my life I have witnessed them grow old together and closer with each passing year. They’ve been in a ride of turbulence and how they managed to land safely is such a blessings.

Sometimes, I still heard them complaining about each other, but never lost their sight to what they have promised 39 years ago, for better or worse.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Parents. Your togetherness in good and bad times has taught us teamwork. Your tolerance for each other’s habits has taught us patience. Your support during each other’s crises has taught us solidarity. Your lives as our parents have taught us how to live.

Lots of love.

 

 

GOT A LITTLE GIRL TOO.

“It’s really special to have a niece because I have a son, so I get to have a little girl, too.”

 

Avery Edquilang – 8 months old

“Not all women are blessed with a daughter, but those who don’t have daughters can comfort themselves with the love of their niece.”

THE MONSTER’S FAVORITES.

It was summer when cousins gathered together at their grandparent’s house. It was always fun to go there after school break. The beauty of nature, the inviting sea breath, and the fresh food, all these sorts make their vacation more enjoyable every year.

But at that summer, horrible things happened.

When Liza’s grandmother out for two days to visit her sick friend in the city, they were left with their grandfather. He’s more fun to be with and lenient, but behind his kind face, there was a secret hidden.

On the first night, grandpa told her to sleep on their bed since grandma was not there. She thought he was her favorite because he let her in. But what had happened is never she can imagine.

At the crack of dawn, she woke up with a hand on her body, touching her small breast down to hers, from hers to her breast – again and again. She was frightened, she froze with fear and realized it was her grandpa’s doing. Why was he touching her? Since when he became a monster?  Does she have to shout and call for help?  With her eyes closed, she prayed to wake up from that terrifying dream.

The touching had stopped. He then kneeled at the altar, praying the early worship. She knew then, it wasn’t just a delusion, and while shutting her eyes in pretense, she cried in silence and despair. All she could see was a demon praying to his horrible god.

On the second night, grandpa asked the other cousin to stay with him in the bedroom. She must be the second favorite. She wanted to stop her, to tell her she knew what will happen. She needed to protect her, but how? the words can’t even start to mutter and her face clouded with so much fear. How can she help her?

And the door closed in deafening silence.

In the morning before grandma came, she decided to call home and beg to pick her up.  She wanted to tell her parents about it, but she was afraid, not only for herself but for the entire clan to be in chaos and shame. She even doubts if they would believe her story or they might punish her. She can’t trust no one.  She can’t even touch her own body and what will happen if no one believes her, maybe she can’t live anymore.

Liza never talks about what had happened in that summer to anyone, even to her closest friend. She embraced to be quiet while mentally and emotionally shattered. She decided to heal her wounds alone even it was hard to escape the image of that night. She even convinced herself that he was just touching her. She did everything to pull herself up and not to be defited by the monster. And what about her cousin? They have never talked after then, but she thought about her all the time, feeling sorry that she wasn’t able to keep her safe at that night, that she was weak and coward.

When her grandpa suffered from incurable disease and on the verge of suffering, she felt safe.  She stared at his devil face, mocked him in silence and with a sly smile said,  you can now rot in hell. 

When he died and send him to his final rest, Liza was there, not to weep, but to make it sure he cannot be able to live again. While everyone was grieving, she was rejoicing.  While the rest talked about their good memories with him, she was silent and deaf. While they prayed for grandpa’s soul to be in heaven, she begs God to punish him.

And now he’s gone, she wants peace in her heart.

 

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SWEETHEART

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Gabee & John

We always teased them that they won’t last together, pestering the guy that he doesn’t deserve her or advising the girl to leave him as soon as she can. Of course, there was no issue at all. Merely, we are just being playful with them and they knew it.

I’ve known them for more than four years now and I still find them cool and comfy to be with. We lived together in one roof before and I can’t think any bad scenario I had with them. That’s why I hate those people who judge them easily without any significant reasons.

This sweetheart has been together for a long time. I don’t know what is the secret, but I think it’s about how they behave with each other. I’m pretty sure that they are the best of friends and they can laugh at themselves when life throws them curves. I have never seen them shouting nor insulting each other in front of people. Maybe because they keep their arguments private and resolved by their own. I never heard them speaking ill to each other, and seeing like this, is such a beautiful sight.

We are just waiting for them to ring the bells. Until then, the teasing will never stop and it’s okay, because we knew, they sheltered enough their relationship with love and trust.

Hopefully, no storms can hit them down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTHER OF THE YEAR

They said grandparents have the tendency to spoil their grandchildren, their love becomes twice and they will love you more than anyone else.  But for my Lola (grandmother), she does the opposite and has her own ways of showing her love by imposing strict discipline.

She taught me how to pray, not my mom, but her. We prayed the holy rosary every night and sometimes at dawn which I really hated. There was no Sunday too that we didn’t go to church, whether you like it or not.

It was a struggle also that I am not allowed to wake up after 6:00 am.  She gave me the responsibility to prepare for breakfast, clean the house, do the laundry and water the plants.

I can have friends, but they were not allowed to visit at home without her permission. She has to check first their background before saying yes, and of course no boys obviously.

I had all these memories when I live with her for more than a year and during summer vacations.

My Lola was a woman of discipline because she was raised and influenced by Spanish upbringing which we called Kastila style. She has dominating character and very authoritarian. More over, my grandfather was intimated with her intellectual and cleverness, even her five children feared her to the most.

But I know, despite, she has the greatest love for all. She always thinks of her children’s wellness. She worked hard to support their education and chased them to graduate. She always reminded them to live a decent life and be released from poverty.  Simply she doesn’t want the children to be like her; unschooled and deprived.

When my Lola died, everyone was settled and lead a good life. They even bought her a house which she really desired. When she got sick and became more grumpy due to her goiter illness, still everyone braced her not for the reason they were afraid, but because she was a good mother.

I think I am her favorite granddaughter because she always appears in my dreams. She still there asking me to clean her house, water the plants and for no reason, lectured me which I rarely remember why.

Today is my Lola’s birthday. May she has the happiest party in heaven.

 

She was awarded “A MODEL MOTHER OF THE YEAR 1997” in the town of Bacuag Surigao Del Norte. A lifetime achievement, perhaps, one in a million mothers could achieve. – VJE

 

 

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My brother from the left, grandma, grandpa and myself.

 

THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD

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We experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure, and wonder of life never end.

Akiane Kramarik

Talk soon, Extroverted Friend

I am overwhelmed by the unexpected openness from your letter. Though we never talked about it for a long time, I can imagine the courage you must have to put to let me know what is really going on inside of you, the things that I have never even pick a glimpse before. I couldn’t agree more that you are good at hiding everything. Sometimes, I confused you of being secretive or introvert.  I thought if I started to be open to you, you would follow my lead, but then I was wrong. My beliefs lead me to sadness.

When we’re still together before, I was really confused and asking myself what was really going on between us. I believed that you should be a man to stand for a relationship, but then, you weren’t able to do it. The truth is,  it doesn’t change me the way I believe in you from the first time we have met because I know you are still a good man, the good person I have known and a good friend to me when I needed you most . I have loved you for that.

I know what you are feeling before, your struggles of wanting to share something with me but left unspoken. At times, I really don’t comprehend what you are trying to tell, but still, I listened because I know that was all you need, someone who won’t judge you.

I firmly believe that there’s nothing wrong with you. You are still a person, that is you and nobody can change it. As long as you know who you are, it makes sense, there’s no problem about that. People can understand and accept you, but first, you must also do it for yourself, then everything will be fine. I want you to know, that I have accepted you of who you are,  it might not enough for you to realize before, but it was the truth.

Old memories are good to be cherished. Whatever you have experienced in your younger years just make it sure it won’t affect your entire life. Make up for your mom, start telling her the lightest things happening to you and you will just notice you’ll become closer to her again. She’ll be happy more than anyone in this world.

This must be tough for you, but please try to reach out to others. You can do it. We will never be friends if you didn’t make known yourself to me, right? if someone will invite you out, go, have fun, never sit in your dark room, and please stop drinking pineapple juice when you are out with the boys, they might think you’re weird. Order a beer, eat peanuts and get drunk till your head hurts. (I’m pretty sure you never tried this one)

I hope you are no longer feeling the blues now. Maybe some days it will come again, but at least you learned to sort it out. If things still difficult for you, please send me a letter, again and again, write everything you need to express. Don’t bother about what will come to my reaction, you know me, I don’t give a damn. Just write and write until the keyboard will surrender.  And please, don’t even think of dying again, I have already two friends died, I don’t want to mourn again.

Please do remember, that you are a good person, you never hurt anyone willfully, but please don’t hurt yourself too. You can still trust me, after all, we’ve been together for how many years as friends, more than friends, we broke up, still friends, went to our separate ways, we patch up and talked again. If you are not worthy and if you are not good enough, do you think we still have a conversation like this?

Smile and think of all the good things in life.

Take care,

Extroverted Friend

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PREVIOUS Yours, Introverted Friend

Yours, Introverted Friend

This is the first time I decided to write my feelings or what my self-wanted to express most. It’s not new to me to hide all things by myself, my sufferings, emotions, I had the difficulty of expressing them. I don’t know how to construct words, making a good story for me to be understood. I’m just a little of introvert if not, a very introvert person.

I know all my stories, but having trouble dealing with them and to how to express in the easiest way it could be for me.  I tried to get out of my shell, but sometimes things just happened that made me go back from where I have been. I got carried away from this absurd character and I’m afraid not being understood at all.

Sometimes, think I’ve become an alien. I hope this is just a manifestation of me, probably the funniest part of me that you would like.

You know, I’m just a kind of a persistent man, don’t know when and how to give up. If I find some little possibility I just can’t seem to stop until I get there. I think I just need to be told, that’s not all the time, the world will side with me. I also hate being left dangling, floating and not knowing when to land.

Lately, for the past many months, I’m so down.  I know I’m giving myself a very hard time. It’s like punishing myself for things that I don’t know what to do as a reward. I just wanted to quit everything, my work, my life.

I guess I got this difficulty since my childhood were other children used to bully me and called me a brat. Since then I have developed myself not to tell my mother of the pains that I get thru. I always eat the sting by myself, and not letting anyone share it because I am greedy for my own agony. It was easy for me to swear more than I could ever sweat.

When I was assigned to work in a new place, I was very lonely. All I could see are just the four corners of the room. There’s no sky nor other people. I could barely see the sun if I won’t get down on the 23rd floor. It’s like I’ve been imprisoned for 6 months. I know, it was nobody’s mistake, blame on me because I didn’t try to see the world. I was so used to sit in the dark corners of my own world.

You should know, there are only a few people where I can confide with, even though I wanted to. Whenever I find myself trying to start, it feels like I’m going to end my story nearly. The thing is, I just wanted to find myself cause I’m lost track already.  And I am telling you this because you are one of those very few I could trust.

Yours,

Introverted Friend

 

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Next: Reply from an extroverted friend.

 

CONSTRUCT YOUR WORK

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When you’re complaining about your work while sitting in the office or just feeling bored, Just think of those people who worked outside tolerating the heat and dusty surroundings.

Don’t you think you are lucky than them?

Don’t you appreciate what you have right now?

Construct your thoughts and think about it – again.

YOU WILL MISS THEM

I know one day, you will miss them.

You’re going to miss their deafening loudness and innocence hassles and the peak of their dirty shirts and countless toys.

You will miss them in your room while hanging out, watching you dress and crying out loud.

Soon you will miss them when they grow up and you get the break you want.

You will miss them needing you all the time because they’ll find comforts with friends or other people whom they liked.

You’re going to miss everything because when they own their freedom, you didn’t own their time.

So while still possible, enjoy their childhood and bear the hardship. Never say “hope you will grow up fast” because surely, one day, you will miss them, you will miss your little ones.

 

 

 

YES, I DO!

Someone proposed to me!

I don’t know why this kid suddenly grab the plastic flowers and kneel down in front of me. I was smiling and said yes, I do. I bet he was watching some TV drama and tend to imitate it. Ha-ha. He was so cute. I told him to kneel down for a while so I can take pictures for our cute memory and he listened.

WHEN HE WANTS TO BE ALONE

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“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.”

  ― C. JoyBell C.

SPACE OUT

She’s a giddy person and she is my roommate, unfortunately.

She’s always spaced out and sometimes I didn’t understand a word she said. When she talks, she jumps from this topic to another issue. Sometimes, she uttered something out of nowhere that you can’t follow.  I think her brain is disoriented from taking any substance or something.

There are times, she complains that her boyfriend is cheating on her, while she was having another affair too. She is always posting something on the Facebook and begged us to like them or make some comment.

Rarely, she washed her bed sheets and pillows and complained she never any spare of them. So she slept with her mattress for a week without beddings and pillowcase. I think It’s gross.  I wonder how she couldn’t buy those important things (they were cheap) when she had an iPhone7+, Chanel bag and shoe collection that she never wear all out.

One morning, she behaves like crazy when she hurriedly goes back to our room from outside to take her umbrella. She told us it was raining hard. Startled, we never see any single drops of rain when we were out. It wasn’t sunny and it wasn’t raining at all. We are pretty sure, she wasn’t joking that day.

Honestly, we are comfortable without her around, so much I got the benefit most. We decided we will pay no attention to her as much as possible to avoid conflict. Let her space out as much as she likes. However, this morning, I wasn’t able to ignore her. I exploded.

When her alarm clock rang around 5:45 am, I totally woke up. Though it was loud, I tried to sleep again. When I was about to doze off after five minutes, her alarm rings again continuously until four times. I am a light sleeper, you can imagine how bad it was for me. I have never slept again.

I was really furious, much more when I saw her still on bed soundly sleeping until 7 am.

I screamed at her with all my veins and bones to blast. I was ready to fight with her. But do you know what she said after my yelling? “Yeah, my phone was very loud.” that’s all and she space out.

OMG!

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Ahjussi

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“I have an Ahjussi.

When I see the Ahjussi, I’d feel… how do I describe the feeling?

Like a warm blanket, like the morning sun.

You know what I mean?

And someone else is… a little hated but still okay.

His personality is very annoying, but he’s not a bad person.

Sometimes I like him, but sometimes I don’t.”

He is a good friend, I can never ask for more.