Saturday, December 31, 2005

Glorious Weather

Dear Sabine, Another Ninang sends her greetings from Sunny Bahamas! To Tita Lalal (left) andNinang Gigi, Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2005


Dear Sabine, On Christmas Night (2005), your cousin, Ate Eya, lost her cuddly Chihuahua. "Jasper" apparently took a stroll out in the streets when everybody was busy celebrating the occasion. He is a very, very friendly dog- doesn't even bark at strangers. Ate Eya cried buckets of tears. She was unconsolable. Even you and Ate Sage couldn't stop her from crying. It also didn't help that her mother, Tita Grace, was crying with her because she treated the dog like her own son. Jasper could've been taken by one of those enterprising kids and sold for a few thousand bucks. Or he could've been road kill. Or "Pulutan" (it was Christmas.)

These didn't happen (Hey, it's the Christmas Season. I don't have the stomach to write about something that doesn't have a happy ending.) 3 days later, a stranger responded to the equivalent of an A.P.B. She said the Chihuahua followed her home on Christmas Night, 3 blocks away from home. She is a Cat lover and breeds Persian Cats. She said that Jasper got along nicely with her cats and with the other species in their household. Keeping him for herself crossed her mind but she knew that Jasper belongs to a little girl and that little girl is now crying because of her loss. Years back she also lost a persian cat and also cried an ocean before she was reunited with it after the one who found the cat decided to look for the owner.

She went to the Baranggay Hall and reported the dog she found. Hence the Reunion of Ate Eya and Jasper became possible.

A stranger empathizing with a kid who lost a pet. Hardly the stuff legends are made of. I don't think you'd see her picture in the dictionary under the entry "HERO." But you know what, that is what real heroes are.

Don't let the newspaper headlines tell you who your heroes are. Most of the time those are Press Releases paid for by the ones on the headlines. Don't let the movies and broadcast media tell you what heroes are supposed to look like. Don't let the history books tell you that heroes are GREAT PEOPLE WHO DID GREAT THINGS. If they had met Alexander (the so called "Great") those history writers, who drool over him and his achievements, would probably never like the man behind the myth since history records he was a megalomaniac- same description they use to describe Usama Bin Laden and Michael Jackson.

Simple empathy goes a long way. The girl who returned Jasper was empowered to do the right thing by her experience when she lost her own pet. She was empowered to act "heroically" by a stranger who returned her own lost Cat. Simple empathy could inspire other strangers to act above their own selfishness and pettiness.

I want you to know this because Today is national Heroes Day (DECEMBER 30, 2005)

It's not about Supermen who lived a hundred years ago or some fancy character from a galaxy a thousand light years away. This day is not just about the heroes identified in the newspapers, broadcast media, movies and history books. This day is about Real Heroes. It's about YOU. In fact, everyone you'll ever know has what it takes to be a hero without having to die for it. Just ask Ate Eya.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Dr. & Mrs. Robert Young

Dear Sabine, Your Ninong and Ninang just sent you their Holiday Greetings from across the Pacific Ocean.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to both of you too, Robert & Jenn! Welcome to our Blog!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Peace Be With You

Dear Sage, About a decade ago I saw a very beautiful picture in a news magazine. It showed red haired kids, who were probably your age, shouting excitedly while watching a sporting event (probably football.) It was taken in Northern Ireland. The Kids were both Irish Catholics and Protestants. Theirs was a generation untouched, unsoiled, unbloodied by the violence of the previous ones.

A decade later, Ireland is relatively peaceful (compared to Afghanistan and Iraq.) I can't help but think that those kids have something to do with it.

SeedsOfPeace.Org is an organization whose ideal is to bring Peace to the generations to come. Maybe peace will come slowly, every generation realizing a piece of that dream. Hopefully in yours, there will be more children playing and watching soccer games without caring whether they have red hairs or black, Protestants or Moslems, Children of Southern Developing Countries or Scions of the Northern States.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Blue Bound

Dear Sage, Congratulations are in order for your classmate, Matthew Canonizado. He's the son of Tito Jong and Tita Suzette (Lola Letty's Berks). Just before Christmasday they found out that he passed the highly competitive entrance exam to the Ateneo Prep!

Way to GO KID!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NO WAY Virginia.

Dear Sage, At 5 years old when I ask you if Santa Claus is real, you respond by saying that santa is just like a jollibee mascot- there's somebody inside the costume pretending to be jollibee to cheer you up.

I wanted you to know as soon as possible that the Santa Claus in this world is an Idea. And it's not a bad idea but a very, very nice one. Like Jollibee. But it's up to us to cheer each other up just like the man inside the Mascot. Even though he is just a man, you've seen how he lights up Sabine's eyes when she meets him again and again as a Mascot.

I want you to realize that the real star of Christmas is Christ. He is not just an Idea like Santa. He is just like the BEEF in the Hamburger (Jollibee mascot attracts you to the fastfood center but the BEEF is the one that satisfies your hunger, right?)

IN the same way, santa attracts and introduces you to Christmas even before you realize what it really means.
God is as real as the Gifts, as real as Love, Sharing, Joy, Peace and everything that makes you smile during this Season and beyond. Christ himself made this possible for us. One Christmas I will try to explain to you how he made it possible to celebrate this season even after all the stars in the universe have burned up all their hydrogens so that nothing is left to fuel the nuclear fusionwithin their cores. How it's possible to celebrate it even when scientists of the future will need carbon dating to guess how old our remains are. .. Okay, maybe I'll start with Christ's sacrifice on the cross, then I'll tell you about the physics of imploding stars and carbon 14 isotopes later when you're in, uh, the 5th grade?

Following the leader, the leader, the leader...

Dear Sage, Last Sunday during the triple birthday celebration of your cousins (Kuya Darren, Ate Janine and Andre) you were very competitive in playing the party games. But during the game "name that tune" when they played the song "Following the Leader" you did not raise your hand to give the right answer (the tune was from the movie Peter Pan which you have seen for a million times.) When I asked you why you just sat there and watch your seatmates guess the answer, you said that you wanted to give others a chance to win since you've already won quite a lot of toys.

You are also becoming more and more confident in being in front of an audience. For the first time you volunteered to sing in our party last week. I even went with you onstage thinking that you might want to do a duet. But the audience was able to breath a sigh of relief when you insisted on doing a solo rendition of your song.

A sense of fairplay, charity, equal distribution of wealth and confidence...

I'd say that these qualities are becoming more and more evident in you. These are also foundations of character.

The Character of a Leader.

A Chorus Line

Dear Sage, our friend, CL, sent us this beautiful digital picture and linked her blogsite with ours.

Thanks, CL!

Monday, December 12, 2005


Dear Sage, this is a picture of Ninong Kevin, Jayden-Kai, and Ninang Jaycee. I'm not exactly a fan of american government's foreign policy for the past uhhh... hundred years. But like this gang, I'm a Yankee fan too. Someday, when the New York Yankee Dynasty reigns again, I hope we can all watch the 7th game of the world series at the Yankee stadium-- and party on once they've snagged the title. Jayden-Kai is wearing a Chicken Little costume. the picture was taken on October 30 this year- Sabine's Birthday!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Always Look at life from Different Angles

Dear Sage, the message of this entry is simple. IN the future, once you've realized what I'm trying to tell you here, then you have really grown up na, anaki. (Ludette, thanks for forwarding this picture!!!)

Happy Birthday Ninang Jenn!

Dear Sage, you are going to have your chorale presentation tonight at the newly renovated auditorium of your school. You'll be singing Jose Mari Chan's "Christmas in our Hearts" and Ryan Cayabyab's "Kumukutikutitap" (actually, that's the chorus. Sorry I forgot the title.) After that we will attend your Ninang Jenn's party at home. I'll try to post pictures of this special day on this site, this weekend - if you don't monopolize the use of our LONE computer.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Belated Happy Beeday Baydee!

Dear Sage, Six years ago...yesterday, Justine Pearl was born. It was also the day Ninang Myra and Ninong Reggie tied the Knot. Belated Happy Birthday! and Belated Happy Anniversary!

In the picture are Baydee, Ate Myka, Sage

Kissing the Sun

Dear Sage, This picture was taken at Roxas boulevard's "baywalk"
You look like you are kissing the famous Manila bay sunset. Despite of the poor quality of the picture, you are both spectacular. But if you'd ask me, even your shadow outshines the sun.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Christmas Truce of 1914

Dear Sage, I wasn't feeling well yesterday so we spent the whole day together. We worked on your assignment, drew a lot (mostly horses) while Sabine practiced her circles and semi linear creations. Whenever I could, I surfed the Internet with you. We came across a news report from CNN about the death of the last survivor who witnessed the Christmas truce of 1914 in the trenches of the Western Front. His name was Alfred Anderson, a Scotsman. He died at the age of 109. I think he died just a few days before my last post (The letter to Sabine below)Now the Christmas story of 1914 has really passed on to the realm of legend.

There are so many kinds of people. I'm sure you will come across some who will test your patience and sanity. You will learn to dislike some people and hate a few of them. Hatred has always been the seed of ALL wars. Just remember that all of us share a common desire deep within the core of our fragile humanity: We all want peace.

That's the Message of all stories this yuletide season. Merry Christmas 2005!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Legend of the Republic of LasPinas

Dear Sabine, I realized I have yet to write you a letter in this blog. So this is the first of many, Anaki. Anyway, I was just browsing the websites / blogs of other parents and saw that they write beautiful poetry when inspired by their children (Case in point: CL.) I don't write poetry anymore because, well, I no longer have the blues. But I remember writing a short story about Christmas. It was written a month after you were born in 2003.
My friends in this picture are wearing RED because we wanted to be identified as a group when we celebrated Christmas 2003 at PhilHealth. It was my 1st Christmas with them and, more importantly, with you. It got me to thinking why Red is the color of Christmas. I really don't know why so I invented a reason. The result: The Legend of the LasPinas Republic.

One Christmas Eve, during the Revolution, a spanish officer was ordered to lead his squad in killing ALL Filipino patriots in Las Pinyas. But before doing so, he decided to visit his pregnant wife who was about to give birth. When he opened the door to his house, he was shocked to see KATIPUNEROS, dressed in RED, waiting inside for an ambush. Knowing that his fate was sealed, he begged for the lives of his family to be spared. Ignacio, the Supremo's cousin, spoke "They're safe. But our orders are to execute ALL Spanish soldiers in this house." Just then, a voice from the master's bedroom barked at the men to stand fast, "STOP!" It was Tandang Sora. The sagely woman patiently reasoned with them. "Within this room, this Christmas Eve, we are beyond the orders of any power who wants us to kill each other." She then went back inside to midwife the birth of a spanish child. Just a few moments later a cry was heard. Tandang Sora re-entered the room holding her enemy's child in her arms. Everyone who saw the newborn child, saw the faces of their own children in him. "I'M NOW A FATHER!" cried the Spaniard. That night there was endless merriment within the four corners of that small room in Las Pinyas. At midnight, one drunken soldier stood up and declared "Tonight, we are not pawns who blindly follow orders. Tonight, we are our own REPUBLIC. We are now citizens of the REPUBLIC OF LASPINAS." Upon hearing this speech, Filipinos and Spaniards toasted each other like old friends. They were citizens of their own republic that lasted until they parted ways at the first RED glow of Christmas dawn. Later, they did carry out their orders to KILL EACH OTHER in the battle of Bitukang Manok. But legend has it that every Christmas Eve, these men gather again; singing, dancing and drinking with the angels somewhere in the heavens where the glow is REDDEST. And they call their corner of the sky--THE REPUBLIC OF LASPINAS

When you grow up enough to read this entry, Sabine, you will realize that this legend is based on what actually transpired in the trenches of world war I. I wish you'd find both stories to be equally inspiring even though only one of them is true.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Dear Baby, Your Mom had an ultrasound last night. It seems that you will join our complete set of Power Puff Girls! This is actually the 5th ultrasound Mommy had this year. I remember the first one very, very vividly because you gave us quite a scare. When your Mom tested positive on her pregnancy test (which you will later on know that it detects only the B-HCG level in the urine but can not say if the Baby is ok or not) we immediately had an ultrasound done at the hospital. The inner lining of her Uterus (the endometrium) looks like it is ready to receive a baby or atleast the beginning of one (the gestational sac) but try as she could, the OB-GYN could not find you. That scared us both a lot because one possibility is that you might be lodged somewhere other than your Mom's uterus which is very very bad. we feared it was an ectopic pregnancy. Fortunately, it turned out that the ultrasound was done very early in the pregnancy hence we couldn't find you then. I've seen you grow from a small point in your Mom's tummy to a small child with an estimated weight of barely 2 kilos. I'm so proud of you. I thank God you are Ok.

All I ask from the Lord is to take care of You and Your Mom. I didn't ask him for a baby with a Y chromosome. But there is still a possibility you are a Boy at this point. When Ultrasound reports say that the fetus exhibits a hamburger sign (Female genitalia) the possibility that it is inaccurate is HIGHER compared to an ultrasound report that says the fetus has a turtle sign (Male). If you turn out to be a Boy, that'd be ok too. Basta I wish both you and Mom are healthy and will go through this pregnancy without any hitch.

Womyn in our society have come a long way, baby. I'll do everything I can to give more freedom to women in whatever small way I could- For Ate Sage's, Ate Sabine's and for your sake too whether you are Boy or Girl. because...

For every woman who is tired of acting weak when she knows she is strong,there is a man who is tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.
For every woman who is tired of acting dumb, there is a man who is burdened with the constant expectation of "knowing everything."
For every woman who is tired of being called "an emotional female," there is a man who is denied the right to weep and to be gentle.
For every woman who is called unfeminine when she competes, there is a man for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity.
For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.
For every woman who feels "tied down" by her children, there is a man who is denied the full pleasures of shared parenthood.
For every woman who is denied meaningful employment or equal pay, there is a man who must bear full financial responsibility for another human being.
For every woman who was not taught the intricacies of an automobile, there is a man who was not taught the satisfactions of cooking.
For every woman who takes a step toward her own liberation, there is a man who finds the way to freedom has been made a little easier.

with credit to Nancy R. Smith but without her permission

Ate Sage first heard of this Poem in school, while still in Nursery. She said she liked it. Me too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Toy Library

Dear Sage, Your Mom and I noticed that even at a very young age, you treat the mall as some kind of a "Toy Library." When we go to one, you make us take you to a toy section then you choose several toys to play with without breaking or putting a dent on any of them. After a few minutes of playing you put them back one by one to where you got them. Most of the time you don't ask us to buy the stuff for you. You just wave goodbye at the toy then go to the next aisle to play with another toy. You know that the toys won't go away. Next time you visit they'll still be there- just like a book in the library, or the Princess magazine in the magazine section of National Bookstore. Ofcourse you sometimes ask us to buy you very, very expensive toys. But Do you know that you've broken the heart of a lot of sales clerks? One time after trying out a toy by riding it around a mall booth several times, a sales clerk was so delighted when he saw you eagerly asking me to buy you a life size replica of an All Terrain Vehicle. (A lot bigger than the one pictured here). When I told you that the price was way beyond our petty cash you just told me that next time we'll have to put it in the budget. Then you waved goodbye at the clerk and his ATV. Poor guy.

Anyway, I also sometimes ask you for a toy. I told you that when you grow up, I want you to buy me a vineyard in Bordeaux, a Harley Davidson, and don't forget that F-16 Falcon I've been asking you since last year. your response to my requests is always a sweet smile and the words "Dad, let's put it in the budget, ok?"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Soul Sistahs, Faerie Friends

Dear Sage and Sabine, Sibling rivalry and jealousy don't exist as far as you guys are concerned. Especially you, Sage. Whenever you see a camera pointing your way, you always grab your sister and strike a pose worthy of a mag cover. Just like this shot.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Before Harry Potter

Dear Sage, when I was a little boy, just a little older than you are right now, the first Full-length animated fantasy film I saw was the "FLIGHT OF DRAGONS"

The animation was mediocre compared to what PIXAR can do today with digital technology. But the story line was unforgettable. Somehow it touched a nerve. It was the first time I saw a story that glorified Rational Thought over Fantasy and Magic. And yet in the end, it showed how much we need Faith in our Hearts, and Magic in our lives. I'm not going to do it any justice here if I reveal more. I want you to see it personally someday, either with me and your MOM or with your own Barkada.

BTW, I remember writing a Poem about it that same night I watched the film. I called it "The Lost Ages." Pls. forgive your old man for reminiscing about his stint as a bard wannabee.

I dream of castles, giants, and elves
mysterious sorceress, brave knight errants,
and dangerous quests,

I live in the dream where chivalry was at its fullest
and the romance of war
in the hearts of the noblest

when a shining armour was a dangerous omen
to fire-breathing dragons that devour fair young Maidens,

When oracles reached the zenith of its powers,
while science is unheard,
logic disclaimed
Locked in the highest Ivory tower,

Once life was an adventure
and Death a companion

Dawn of the sunlight
beyond the horizon

this is the age shrouded in mystery, clothed in white...
lost in antiquity.

In my life, I've chosen the path of science, Sage. But always remember, You and Mom and Sabine and the new Baby in Mom's tummy are God's gift of Magic to me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sage in Kindergarten uniform

Taken during their trip to Avalon Zoo. She dutifully avoided being too close to the creatures in the aviary.

Jong, Thanks again for the Picture!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hagia Sophia

I think it means "Holy Wisdom" or "Hight Wisdom." Anyway, they say that when you are inside this church/mosque in the afternoon, you will see an optical illusion- the dome above will seem to be floating in thin air because the continuous stream of light coming from the "corona" of small arched windows will make it difficult for the observer to realize that the dome is actually being held aloft by it (the arched windows.) I have yet to ask Ayheen and Dra. Cruz if this is true. But I'm sure it was a fantastic sight. I hope I can take Ayheen back there- with the kids and my mother-in-law in tow. Sana soon

European Society of Pediatric Nephrology 2005 Convention, Istanbul

Ayheen (in stripes) and Dra. Chichi Cruz (in pink) inside Hagia Sophia, Istanbul. I believe it's the first place they visited when they set foot on TURKEY.

I would've done the same thing.

This beautiful shot was sent by Fr. Dario Pacheco (which one are you, bro. please leave a message here so we can label the picture properly) Thanks so much!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

My Angels

butterfly kisses, after bedtime prayer. sticking little white flowers all over their hair...

of all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right

To deserve their love in the morning

and butterfly kisses at night.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Lady Lara Crofts in training

adeleine sage galvez
Dad: "Next time, I'll teach you how to use the stairs"

Sage. Aside from dreaming of earning an MD someday, and then gunning for Kofi's current job, she also wants to be a mermaid.

Thursday, July 28, 2005 check it out if the URL above is okay. then please post your comments here. I'd appreciate it P're.

a dreadful thing indeed

Now that I've figured out how to write on this damned thing, I only have an itty bitty tiny winnie question to ask myself:

now what?

this is a test

before the acting of a dreadful thing and the first motion, all the interim is like a phantasm. or a hideous dream.

Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan