February 13, 2020

To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Last week, it was my wife’s time to retire. She had been in her job for more than three decades. 


Now that we’re both retired, one of the first things we did was to plan...

January 30, 2020

“Everything is good with your blood-work,” my primary care physician tells me, as soon as I settle myself in the adjustable chair stool. “I am glad to see that your A1C is 6.1, even without medication.”


Can it get any better than this, I sigh in relief.


“Any further ad...

January 17, 2020

“Why is your column flagged ‘voyador’?”


That is the question often thrown at me by readers of this column, Bicolanos as well as non-Bicolanos.
“What does ‘voyador’ mean?”


To a fellow Bicolano my reply is an easy task. Voyador is our Bicol word that refers to the person...

January 3, 2020

“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” So wrote the novelist Charles Dudley Warner, a good friend of Mark Twain.


Like a grim weather forecast, a global survey program has just recently ranked the Philippines the lowest out of 79 cou...

December 27, 2019

(Another Nagueño of the old generation is gone. Feliciano “Choy” Ojeda was the last surviving member of the family of former Naga City Mayor Victorino “Vitoy” Ojeda. Below is my final tribute I prepared on the day the family celebrated his life.)


I must confess that on...

December 20, 2019

My earliest impressions of godparents were those persons you see only when it is not Christmas. 


As a result, my Christmas memories consisted of the Belen and the Christmas tree, the class parties and exchange gifts, the “Simbang Gabi,” the caroling, the school holiday...

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...

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