Tuesday, October 23, 2012


It’s been so long since I slept through the night.  But I make up for it at work where one can find me passed out in the conference room between 10 to 11 in the morning and/or 3 to 4 in the afternoon with a thread of spit leaking out my mouth.  

My ankles have disappeared completely and there are certain parts of me I have not seen for some time now.  To make up for that, my belly has expanded to the size of a marching band, arriving a destination 5 minutes before I do as if to clear the area to make room for the rest of me.  

Nothing fits.  Not my clothes, not my shoes, and certainly not my once cute little bulbous nose.  It, too, has outgrown my face. 

And the heat that emanates from each and every molecule of my being, OH EM GEE THE FUCKING HEAT, has turned my body into a pyromaniac’s wet dream.  Light a match within three feet of me and I will blow up.

I am irritable and exhausted most of the time.  And to be honest, I probably want to punch you every time I see you.  Yes. You.  Whoever you are. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I wouldn’t trade places with the most comfortable person in the world.  There is nothing I will undo.  Nothing I will do differently.   

I'm only whining because, well, just like Chris Lao, I was sooooo not informed. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

With all due respect to Ebe

It stands,  sure.  Cuida is one of the greatest love songs ever written. 

How could it not be?  To take all the sadness and envy and anger there is in the world just to make sure it never touches me.  To give me, in fact, the whole world, if you could, just to show how much you love me.

How can one not wish, when listening to this song, that it was written, or at least at some point, that it is sung for you.

But on my way to work this morning, the song played and when I closed my eyes to listen to it, I realized how, uhm, empty the song is. 

What married life has made me realize is that love does not, CANNOT, function on hypotheticals.  

Kung akin lang ang mundo... 
kung pagaari ko lang ang lumbay...
 kung hawak ko ang panahon... 

all so very romantic and promising but even the grandest of the these gestures are empty if it will never be put into actual use.

When I am sick, make sure I drink my medicine on time, take my temperature, drive me to the doctor.
When I am drunk, give me water, let me puke if I need to, change me out of my sweat and vomit drenched shirt and please give me coffee the day after.
And until the day comes when you can actually own lumbay and keep it away from me, when I am sad, just hold me and tell me that things are going to be okay even if you don’t know how it will and even if you don’t know that it will

Love, just like the devil, is in the details after all.  It’s in the small gestures that may seem to go unnoticed but actually can mean the world to the other.

Like letting her sleep that extra five minutes even if you are in a hurry to get to work.
Like settling for the chicken breast because you know she prefers the leg and thigh.
Like volunteering to wash your pregnant wife’s feet because she just cannot bend that far down anymore.
Like not kissing her when you’re sick because you don’t want her to get sick too.

This is what love means to me now.  These seemingly insignificant acts that make me feel very significant.   

But sure, sure, if, someday, you will ever find yourself in possession of the world and if you still want to give it to me then, I will take it with open arms.

I’m just not sure where to keep it though.  Hindi kasya sa bahay.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dear Comfort,

huuuuyyyyyyyy kamusta ka na day??? ang tagal tagal na nating hindi nagsasama.  Grabe naman, ang bilis mong makalimot.  Pasyalan mo naman ako paminsan minsan.  Lagi ka nalang sa asawa ko nakadikit eh, halos buong gabi mo kasama.  Ano ba naman ang 10 minutes na ako naman ang samahan mo. 

Ano, mamayang gabi, pwede ka?  Mga 11-ish? 


Friday, October 05, 2012

We are Medinas. And this is how we roll.

My father was an only child.  My mother, on the other hand, comes from a huge family that could easily form a small state.  Our family gatherings are never small and intimate.  Add to our number the fact that we do not ever do anything quietly and maybe you can imagine the chaos of a Medina party.  We eat, laugh, sing, talk and fight loudly and, often times, exaggeratedly.  We are of the hot-blooded, fierce, and highly emotional Spanish descent after all, with a generous share of Arabic blood mixed in which, I imagine, does not help temper our personalities one bit.

But my personal favorite thing about being a Medina is how we come together in heartbreaking situations.  Death, illness, emergencies, these are the times when everyone puts all else aside to share the pain of someone else’s heartbreak.  The most recent incident only happened last Sunday.  

But maybe I should start from the start.

We have three “professional” singers in the family.

My brother Bobby was first to make a living from singing when he became the vocalist of Mexicali Blues Band.  He later had other bands but Flying Rats Ass was, I think, the one that’s truly his.  He plays mostly blues and classic American rock with a little bit of Prince thrown in.  

My cousin Iñigo also became the vocalist of his own band GRIM and then later Addicted to Venus.  I never had the chance to watch his gigs but if I were to guess from the songs he sings at family parties, I think they were a rock-metal-grunge kind of band.

And then there’s Iñigo’s brother, Jeric.  Jeric sang, I think, the most accessible songs.  The ones you could enjoy listening to without thinking “hmmmm… parang my hair is getting longer and dirtier and parang im growing a tattoo while I’m listening to this music.”  Jeric sang songs you can just chillax to.  Pop and RnB, that was his thing.  Oh, and love of course.  He sang love songs that could melt your heart.

So it’s not a surprise that we would always ask Jeric to sing at parties.  Or at wakes and funerals for that matter :)

When he told the family that he was auditioning for X Factor Philippines, we knew instantly he would make it.  He has the looks and the talent and the passion for singing.  More importantly, he had that indefinable X that the show was looking for.

We were behind him 168%.

When he made it to the top 20.  Showbiz-nezz became the family business.  Get-togethers became strategy meetings.  His performances on Saturdays would be the family’s official soundtrack for the week.  We had all become disciples and our mission was to spread the gospel of Jeric.

Everybody pulled in.  Whether it was through votes, skills or prayer that one could contribute, everyone pulled in.  The family was one and solid over one thing:  to help Jeric win.  Not because we wanted him to be famous or to win the money, but because we knew that singing is the only thing he ever wanted to do in this world.  It was his dream.

Sundays became the most nerve-wracking night of the week.  The brave ones would go to Pagcor to watch the results live and the not so brave ones, like myself, would watch it at home.  From the time KC announces that the voting lines are closed to the time she says that Jeric is safe for the week is really the most agonizing time for us all.  I can’t tell you how many contractions I go through during this short period of time.

Last Sunday, that agony was expanded a hundred times over.  Jeric was in the bottom two.  2 judges voted for Jeric to stay and 2 voted for him to go home.  Jeric received the lowest number of votes for the week.  It was one blow after another and my heart felt like it was on pause the entire time.

If it was that heart breaking for me, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how it must have felt for Jeric.  All I wanted to do was rush to Pagcor and be with him.  My husband, God bless his sweet and now medina heart too, immediately agreed to go.

When we got there, it felt like we were attending a wake.  Eyes were red from crying, shoulders were slumped from disappointment, voices were cracking from pain.  It was fitting too that we were at a casino because we all felt cheated that night, like we didn’t stand a chance because the odds were stacked against us and determined to bring us down.  The odds had a name of course.  And badly bleached hair.


After a few minutes, several other Medinas started to arrive to join the others who were already there.  We were all there for one reason and one reason only, to make sure that Jeric wouldn’t feel alone.

This is how it is in this family.  The mission that we seemed to have taken on just by simply being born into this family is to never make anyone feel alone in hard times, that the person whose heart is breaking should never feel that his heart is the only one breaking.  I remember how devastated my family was when my papa died.  We were zombies for days.  And the only reason we survived that time was because the Medinas, our Medinas, made sure that we did.

When new people come into our lives, they are easily intimated by the closeness of the family.  We are clannish.  Sure.  But only because we’ve been through too many things together.  The happy times that brought us closer and the fights that made our bonds stronger.  We may not always like each other 24/7 but we love one another every single minute of every single hour of every single day.

We are Medinas.  And our blood is particular thicker than the regular blood that is already thicker than water.  And should you ever penetrate us, a task that is easier said than done mind you, you can count on us to treat you like one of our very own and we will always have your back.    

As for Jeric, that boy will be singing on a bigger stage to a larger audience soon.  I'm not worried one bit. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

hey sunshine!

so, are you gonna be like a mini mama like this?

ORRRR are you gonna be like a girl version of papa?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Babay Sir

Larry died on an early Thursday morning at his home with his wife and brother by his side.  It was not a peaceful passing, I was later told.  But it was quick.  And for that, the two of them are very grateful.  It was the 12th of July. 

To say that I love the man is a gross understatement.  LOOOOOOVE! - all caps with multiple Os and an exclamation point - would probably suffice, but I wouldn’t even bet a shirt I barely wear anymore on that.

He was my boss, my mentor, my ninong, my friend.  And he’s gone.

When he first told me that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July of last year, I didn’t know how to act or what to say.  I was not a stranger to the powers of the pancreas and the havoc it could bring by its malfunction.  I had already lost a friend to the same disease in may of 2011 after being diagnosed less than 6 months before.  But my first education in pancreatic cancer came from Larry himself around three years ago. We were talking about death and how we would prefer to go if given a choice. 

Kahit ano, wag lang pancreatic cancer. He said.  Ang sakit at ang bilis non.

Pancreatic cancer only manifests itself on its late stages and, oftentimes, only because it had already spread to its neighboring organs.  It kills quickly and torturously.  And, according to statistics, it kills for sure.

But when someone you love is afflicted with an illness, you throw everything you know out the window.  Statistics become as irrelevant as the possibility of heartbreak to a person madly and deeply in love.  You lock every bit of knowledge you have about the illness away in a part of your brain you can easily ignore.  And you keep it there despite what you see and what you hear.

So like a stereotypical dumb blond cheerleader, I would give him a wide grin and wave my imaginary pompoms in the air and say Kaya mo yan sir.  You can beat this.  Let’s do this!!! every chance I would get.

God he must have wanted to punch me everytime I did that.  He would smile instead though.  He would smile and say yeah, oo.  I think I still have five more years.  I ignore that the next time he would give me that same smile with a similar answer, he would lessen the number attached to it.  Five became three, three became two, and then finally, his yeah, oo answer was not followed with a number anymore.

You noticed that.  You ignored it.

The last time he reported for work was a Thursday.  He just came to sign the payroll but I was very happy to see him just the same.  It was the first time I saw him after the Corona verdict came out and he was the person I was most excited to talk to about it.  Larry loved politics as much as I do and since he knew infinitely more about it than me, I loved talking to him about it.  From the time I met him in 2000, I can’t even count with my body hair how many times I invaded his office with a question.  It didn’t matter if it was local or international, current or old news, larry always knew something about whatever it was I wanted to talk about.  He was also always willing to share what he knew.  And what he had.  He was generous in all ways possible.

That afternoon, I quickly followed him inside his office.  I pulled a chair and sat down directly in front of him.  We talked about the Corona trial briefly.  He tried to look excited about it, but I could tell that he was tired.  I asked him how he was, he said his shoulders, abdomen and back hurt.  He was smiling a little when he said it.  So I turned on my cheerleader again, pounded on his desk and cheerily said Sir, kaya nyo yan.  Don’t give up.  Let’s beat this!

Nakakainis diba?

He smiled, as usual, but you can tell his smile was a little defeated.  I waited for the yeah, oo.  It never came.  And then for the first time since I heard the news, I started entertaining the possibility that he might not win this and all my cheerleader rah – rahs were drowned out by one question – was he ready?

The first friend I lost to pancreatic cancer was certainly sure he was.  When I visited him a month before he died, he looked at peace.  He just kept saying he was ready, that he had already said goodbye to the people that mattered to him and that he was just trying to cross off as many items in his bucket list as he could.  He had already made his peace with God, he said.  He was ready to go. 

I don’t know if Larry ever reached that point.  I was too busy telling him to fight this thing I never once talked to him about what he thought might happen if he would lose.  And now I wonder if my responsibility as a friend to stay positive for him should have ended to allow the greater responsibility of preparing him for death to begin. 

I am not a religious person and I will not presume to know what happens after we die but I know from losing enough people in my life that the possibility of ones mortality makes us cling tighter to whatever God we believe in and prepares us to accept death as graciously as humanly possible.  I hope larry was at peace with death in the end. 

The last time I ever saw Larry alive was a Thursday too, a week after I saw him at the office.  He was confined in Makati Medical and he specifically told us he didn’t want visitors.  I was there for a visit with my OB anyway and I thought it was a perfect excuse to drop by. 

He looked older, weaker and smaller but he was wearing the goofiest morphine-induced grin too.  Again, it was a situation I was not prepared for.  It was awkward, almost wrong, to see him that way. 

Still I managed to say to him, Sir buti naman bumalik na ang kulay mo.  You look better than the last time I saw you.  When I said that that time though, I knew I was lying.

There are people who had the opportunity to be closer to Larry but never took it.  I’m glad I’m not one of them. I’m glad I never stopped myself EVER from barging into his office anytime I wanted to talk.  I’m glad that I came back after resigning two times to work again for a man who happily took me back in like a devoted father would a prodigal daughter.  And I am glad that when he first hesitated to accept my request to be our ninong at our wedding because he was afraid that he wouldn’t last long enough to attend it, I just shushed him and insisted that he just had to be my ninong.  See, it was my only opportunity to officially make him my family, and I wasn’t about to pass that up.

Salamat sir sa lahat ng naging posible sa buhay ko dahil sa inyo.  Salamat sa lahat ng naituro ninyo sa akin.  Salamat sa lahat ng ibinigay ninyo sa akin.  Kahit minsan hindi kayo nagdamot ng kahit ano sa kahit kanino.  Totoo siguro ang sinasabi nila, maagang kinukuha ang mga mababait.  It was my honor and my pleasure to take orders from you, to argue with you, and to laugh with you.

I wrote a blog entry about you in 2004.  I will repost it now because i want to end this happy.   http://compulsiveeating.blogspot.com/search?q=the+third+stooge

Friday, July 06, 2012

Para sa iyo

Hindi mo ako kilala at kung sakali mang magkakilala tayo balang araw ay malamang hindi rin tayo magiging magkaibigan.  Ngunit netong mga huling linggo ay naging tagamasid ako sa buhay mo, sa hinagpis at daing mo.  Kahit hindi man makarating sa yo ang sulat kong ito ay gusto ko lang ibahagi eto sa uniberso sa baka sakaling ika’s kanyang mabulungan ng konti sa aking dasal para sa iyo.

Bagamat hindi ako mayaman sa experiensya sa buhay na pwede ko sanang paghugutan ng payo, hayaan mong ikwento ko nalang ang nangyari sa isang napaka importanteng babae sa buhay ko.

Tulad mo, naging mabuti syang asawa at ina sa kanilang walong anak .  Buong bente kwatro oras sa araw-araw nya ay dinedika nya sa kanyang pamilya.  Lubos na nagmahal, labis na nagsilbi, at higit sa lahat, walang inasahang kapalit kahit isang halik man o kusing.

Isang araw ay nalaman nya na may ibang babae na pala ang kanyang asawa at hindi nagtagal, ay iniwan nya eto kasama ng kanyang mga anak.

Alam kong hindi naging madali ang desisyon na yon para sa kanya ngunit ginawa nya yon ng walang hesitasyon.  Ang sabi nya ay miski mahal na mahal nya ang asawa nya at kahit gaano kaimportante sa kanya na sana’y manatiling buo ang kanyang pamilya, ay hindi nya hahayaang maliitin at bastusin ng isang tao ang buong puso at buong kaluluwa nyang ibinuo. Miski pa kung ang taong eto ay ang pinakamamahal nya sa buong mundo. 

Mahirap gawin ang ginawa nya at, malamang, kung mahanap ko man ang sarili ko sa sitwasyon na yon ay hindi ko rin matutularan.  Pano nya tinalikuran ang buhay na kinagisnan nya ng ganon ganon na lamang?  Bakit hindi niya ipinaglaban ang dapat ay kanya? Siguro kung tatanungin ko sya, eto ang isasagot nya sa akin “hija, sanay akong makipaglaban.  Hindi rin ako takot matalo.  Pero hindi ko kayang tanggapin na kailangan ko pang ipaglaban ang dapat ay akin na.  Na kailangan ko pang magmakaawa para maibigay sa akin ang dapat ay akin talaga.  Mahal ko ang asawa ko, pero mahal ko rin ang sarili ko.”   

Yan ang lola ko.  Isang maganda at napaka lakas na babae na namuhay mang mag-isa sa kanyang pagtanda, ay namatay na masaya, puno ng pagmamahal at BUO.

Hindi ko alam kung paano masusukat ang kabuuan ng isang tao.  Pero hindi ba dapat na miski man puno tayo ng lamat ay dapat manatili tayong buo.  Dahil kung hindi tayo buo, paano natin rerespetohin ang ating sarili.  At kung wala na tayong respeto sa ating sarili, ano pa ang gagawin natin sa kung anuman ang natira?

At yan nga ang dasal ko para sa yo, na sa hirap at hapdi ng dinadaanan mo ngayon, ay lakasan mo ang loob mo na manatiling buo.  Huwag mo gawing batayan ang kahihiyan mo sa iba, wala sa kanila ang sagot sa problema mo.  Wala sa asawa mo.  At wala ring sa isang pirasong papel.  Nasa mukha na humaharap sa yo sa salamin.   Nasa puso na ipinaglalaban ka sa loob ng pagod na pagod mo nang katawan.     Nasa sa iyo, friend.  Nasa iyo.

Sana ay manatili kang buo.

Mula sa akin. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dear Ets,

Well well well, look do we have here. A bun in the oven. A baby in the belly. A fetus in the innards. And so soon after the wedding that came so soon after the proposal that came so soon after the relationship. My, my, aren’t we living life on fast forward these days?

First things first, I believe congratulations are in order. You are fertile after all. Good job. Felicitations, too, for easily making drach a willing accomplice to this. Let’s face it, that was the bigger, sweeter feat. Very well done.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk shall we?

Ets, I’ve known you for 37 years. You are still the lazy, happy-go-lucky, under achiever you were in grade 5. This casual attitude you’ve taken that has, admittedly, protected you from some of life’s humbling blows has got to change somehow. You give up easily and you fail quite yieldingly. You could have been such a big loser but, fortunately, you’re able to bounce back as easily. But now, you have to start taking yourself more seriously.

You know how when people ask you why you never seem stressed and you tell them in a firm and resolute voice that seem to carry with it the wisdom of Solomon that “you know what, I don’t save lives. If I bungle a direction from client, no one dies.”

Well, guess what child, this thing that you are about to do is the greatest life-saving project you will ever be a part of.


You have been entrusted with the care of a human life. I’m sorry ets, and I’m sorry to all the feministas that might stumble upon this blog, but nothing you will ever do will ever be as important as this. Please take this seriously. Never mind that your only qualification is wanting this too much for too long. Find a way to make this work.

So I’ve taken everything I know about you and made you a list of how you could make this work. Refer to it please whenever you can.  

1. Do not pass on your fears to your child
Its bad enough that you could be passing on your hips to your child but please do not pass on your fears. Let him explore, let him climb, let him fly. It is not your place to hold him back. Just make sure you're there if he falls and hurts himself.

 2. Communicate
I know you always want to keep things light and breezy. So you ask about the fun and funny things and tend to ignore what lies deeper. Find a balance please. Ask him about his new crush but also ask him about his insecurities and fears. Yes, even if he’s only three.  

3. Be honest
You owe this child honesty, so that he may hear it graciously and that he may give it tactfully. If he writes a bad song like anna banana, tell him “anak, medyo masama eto. Wag mo nalang siguro ipost sa youtube. Halika makinig tayo ng eheads. Nagsulat rin sila ng kanta tungkol sa fruit. Actually fruitcake. Pero simple rin lang pero may konting lalim.”  

4. Open your mind.
You are as much a student in this as he is. This child will grow up in a different world in a different time. Learn it with him. Understand it with him. Do not let him be an alien to you and vice versa.  

5. teach your child kindness.
While you’ve always believed in the inherent goodness of man, you’ve come to realize that you might be a little wrong. The potential to be good, to be kind, that is what is inherent. Not goodness itself. Some people are born strong, some are born intelligent, but you don’t believe that anyone is born either kind or unkind. Kindness is taught. It is nurtured and encouraged. Teach him to be kind and remember that the best way to do that is to practice it yourself.

Okay that’s about it. Good luck chum.

Love, Ets  

As of this writing, i still don't know the gender of my child so i used him / he. wala lang.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Through the eyes of my twin

If you ask me, I'll tell you without blinking that the best wedding I've ever attended was mine.

But, of course, that's just me.

I mean sure it wasn't perfect. There was a surprise pink wedding at the park that ruined the walk from the fountain that I saw myself doing since the day we booked the place. Then there was my imeldific hair. So big migeads. But to me, it was perfect. Not my hair, the wedding i mean.

So I am sooooo happy when other people tell me that they had fun at the wedding. Especially when its people who really know what fun means.

Here's a blog from my twin brother, pats, who captured the wedding beautifully in photos and in words.

from THE El Camino>

Monday, February 27, 2012

white lace and promises

I am married.

The next time I have to fill out a form, there will be a check mark on the married box and the single box will remain empty. My mom will finally, after 36 years, be relieved as my in case of emergency person. My husband will be getting that call now. There will be no more 6-month searches for one’s self in an island somewhere. No more sudden resignations just because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning. No more of those hasty decisions I am so used to making.

I am no longer just me anymore.

Legally, I am attached to this person. This person who is not my blood. This person who did not see me grow up. This person who just came to my life some years ago. Let me say that again because its big - I am legally bound to this person. Isn’t that terrifying? If I should ever choose to unbind myself from this person, there will be legal impediments. There will be court cases and petitions and consequences and maybe even custody battles. Of course the implications are not just legal. There will be judgment and whispers and assumptions that somehow, in some way, I have failed.

I should be terrified. I should be shaking in my flats. I should be holding on to my mommy’s hand for dear life.

I’m not.

In fact, I am unbelievably and ridiculously happy.

For the rest of my life, I am bound to this person. This person who makes me happy. This person who makes me laugh. This person who has seen me through so much shit and, despite that, remains determined to spend the rest of his life with me. Its only been two weeks and already I cannot imagine not waking up next to him.

And of course it won’t be a walk in the park. I am, after all, ME and he is, after all, NOT.

But what’s so nice about walking in the park anyway? If its such a big deal then why arn’t more people out in the park walking. In fact, people walking in the park these days are either emo, jobless or lurking for their next victim. Yeah, I don’t care for that. I want to be where happy people are, DISNEYLAND! Because right now I am on a ride with my seatbelts fastened, my arms up in the air, screaming at the top of my lungs “AAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

I am no longer just me anymore :)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

WOTY 2012

bet your bottom peso im gonna!