December 13, 2019

December 7 has always been a special day of prayer for our family. On this day we would light two candles and say a little prayer (1) in memory of my father whose birthday falls on this day, and (2) to mark the anniversary of the Japanese attack on the naval base in Pe...

December 6, 2019

There was a time in old Naga when at 6 pm Cathedral bells would ring and everybody would pause for evening prayer. Calesas would stop, motor vehicles would come to a halt, and everybody in the streets would stand still to pray the Angelus.


It was one of the most beauti...

November 28, 2019

The two people my father trusted most with his life were his driver Joe and his cook Fermin. Because he travelled the Manila-Naga South Road every week, I understood why. 


“Nag kakan ka na Joe?”  always came out of my father’s mouth each time he’d get in the car.


With...

November 14, 2019

Since my childhood days I’ve always loved parades. My attraction for parades started when I used to attend the Peñafrancia Military Parade in my beloved Naga (and I hear it may break the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running parade). Memories of Naga cr...

November 7, 2019

Nothing can keep me away from my daily walk. Cold weather or hot weather, rain or shine, I’m up and about for my daily walk, as if my life depended on it, pardon the soapbox.


I was a walking person once. We all were back in the province. When I went to work in the big...

October 31, 2019

“Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul,” said Ishmael in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, “I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” 


In my case, instead of taking to ship, I’d often walk by myself or, if the weather outside would not permit, ret...

October 24, 2019

“A missing cat is a terrible thing,” writes Sam Kalda in his book Of Cats and Men.


I can relate. Cats have a calming effect on me. They rub their cheeks on you to show their trust and affection. They are clean and don’t require much grooming: they lick themselves clean...

October 17, 2019

Whatever is yours will always come to you. There is one event in my life that not only convinced me this is true but also impressed upon me the truism in the saying that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. That which is yours will always find you, however circuitous...

September 26, 2019

“Sigue, maghirilingan kita otro,” we bid each other goodbye, after our annual Peñafrancia reunion in Bayonne, New Jersey.


Every year Nicol, Jun and I come here, along with the members of the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Devotees Association (Tri-State), to participate in th...

September 19, 2019

“Hurry up or we’ll be late,” I tell my spouse. “I still have to look for a parking space.”


 “I’ll be with you in a minute.” That classic understatement. “Why don’t you take Kitkat outside first?”


As soon as I open the front door, our pet cat dashes out to shoo away the...

September 12, 2019

“We used to be out there,” I tell my spouse, pointing at the lawn outside. 


From beyond where we sit, we have a panoramic view of the children’s birthday party. One of my grandnephews just turned two and the whole garden outside is festooned with balloons, banners, and...

September 5, 2019

“Ma iba ka, Jun?” I asked my bosom classmate Jun Quijano yesterday. “Are you coming with us?”


Three weeks from now, we are going to meet again to attend the Tri State (New York-New Jersey-Connecticut) Penafrancia celebration in New Jersey. We have been doing this every...

August 29, 2019

“Don’t think too much about your sister’s death,” my wife whispered before the start of Sunday service. “It’s your birthday today.”


I was actually thinking of Far Rockaway where we were heading to after service. I was anxious. The family was going to surprise me with a...

August 22, 2019

When my only sister was critically ill at a Naga hospital, my humble supplication to Santa Ana while I was in her Shrine in Quebec was twofold: Could Santa Ana please help my sister go home to Tabuco; or if it were already her time, to escort her back home to Our Lord....

August 15, 2019

Last week my family went on pilgrimage to the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Québec, Canada.


That was not part of the original plan. My brother whom I have not seen for some time wanted to include Niagara Falls as one of the must-see places before his life’s cur...

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