Monday, May 21


Alice and I did not get a good night sleep yesterday because of the news that our two boys were rushed to the hospital late last night. The culprit, food poisoning. Yesterday was the 25th wedding anniversary of Kuya Pepe and Ate Thelma. Kuya Pepe is one of Alice's brothers, and is the third in her family. For their 25th anniversary, they decided they will renew their vows and wed again (we're hoping we could do that also). Anyways, my mother, who attended the occasion, said it was a very successful activity and everybody (re: Alice's clan) was there. From our family, my three children -River, Rain, and Ash, my parents, and my sister Marian and her family attended the occasion. Everybody had a good time they said, especially the kids who ate lots of food. They went home at around 7:30 in the evening tired but happy.

And so we thought that the occasion was successful indeed.

At around 8:30 pm local time (12:30 am in the Philippines), while watching TV, I received a text message from dad asking me to call him quickly for an urgent development. Before I could call, my brother-in-law Bryan called me to tell the news that River is in the hospital, and they are about to bring Ash too due to continuous vomitting. I also learned that my mother, my other brother-in-law, Elmer, and his two sons are already there for the same reason. Both I and Alice started to get scared.

We decided to call Alice's family to check further. There, they narrated that some of the family's members are also already in the hospital suffering the same sickness. They were food poisoned.

Talking to my father later gave us some sense of relief. He intimated that River, Ash, my mother and the others, although still vomitting from time to time, are all already stable and are recuperating from the ordeal. He told us not to worry too much anymore, even joking that it's a good thing he and my sister Marian were spared so that they can take care of the others. He said that we don't have to worry about our little girl, Rain, since she was not affected also and is currently sleeping soundly at home.

Though the situation had already become somewhat stable, we still had apprehensions which resulted in not able to sleep comfortably the whole night. Very early this morning, my mother called to say they are well and resting. I called River to check on his condition and he said he feels fine already, and had taken his breakfast. Ash is still asleep when I called so I did not bother waking him up. It will be better for him to rest. I called home, and my little girl answered the phone. The first thing she said to me was "I did not vomit last night, daddy". It was comforting. I asked her if she feels anything different or funny, and she said she's fine. It gave her mother a big sense of relief.

Alice and I got scared big time last night. Thank God everything is better now.

Tuesday, May 1


ASH, our youngest kid, turned five years old today. We initially sent him a text message during the early morning hours to greet him happy birthday, then his Mommy called him on the phone afterwards to talk to him for a while, asking what he would want to be prepared for his birthday party later in the day. He's a little shy at first, but eventually said he would like spaghetti, and the usual barbecued hotdogs... well, his 'Mima' (my mother) would probably add one or two more chicken or pork dishes to that... his brother and sister, as well as his cousins will have a grand time later today for that.

Anyways, it is usually with mixed emotions that Alice and I greet each birthday in the family these days. It is obvious due to the fact that we are far away, but even though, it is still quite overwhelming everytime you get the emotion on a particular day... well, I guess that's how it will be for both of us for sometime...

Going back to Ash, he is basically a 'Mommy's Boy'. That's mainly because he is the youngest of the three, and partly because mothers are usually the ones always interacting with growing up toddlers. That is not to say I am not interacting with him whatsoever - we also have our good times together, although sometimes we also didn't get along too well because of his tantrums (well, what can you expect from a 4-year old)... anyhow, I admire my little boy because eventhough he had grown up mainly with the company of his 'yaya', he always has that fondness for both Alice and me, and he always has that 'fresh', friendly, and humorous nature even at a very young age... I guess he will grow up to be the 'joker' of the family.

When Ash was three, Alice went to Sydney. After a short while, I followed her there and thus, Ash was left with his 'yaya' in most of his third year as a child... After going back from Sydney, we spent only a few months back home and then flew again, this time to the Gulf. Again Ash was left 'alone' for the most part of his fourth year as a growing boy. I know it doesn't have to be like that for him, but circumstances made it so, and thus, all of us - and I think most especially him - have been doing sacrifices for the family. I always dream of the time that Ash, and also his two other siblings, River and Rain, will be here with us... maybe when that time comes, we can make up for all those wasted times we spent far away from each other... we really 'owed' much from our kids, and thus hoping and wishing hard we could make up for these soon...

In the meantime, we'll just say -

Happy Birthday, Ash... from Daddy and Mommy