2016: One Hell of a Year

I write this with just a few minutes to go before 2016 officially ends for me, my family, and my little world. It was one hell of a year.

My mother died in February and it has left a huge hole in my heart that I know will take more than this lifetime to get over. I always imagined how hard it could be to lose someone in your immediate family, but to lose the one closest to your heart—it was a heartbreaking first lesson in the tragedy that is death in the family.

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Less than a day ago, Kobe Bryant just played his last NBA game. It would’ve been memorable if he simply just made a few buckets and posed for the cameras, basking in the emotions of his season-long farewell tour. But ever the competitor (and showman on the court) that he always was, he poured his all to give us one last great performance, a glimpse back to the show he always brought to every game. Sixty points to lead the Lakers to a comeback victory, it sure was a fitting cap to his career.

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Unconditional Love

It has been 40 days since you passed away, and today you’re supposed to be looking at us from heaven, seeing us finally pick up the pieces and move on. But you knew it wouldn’t be easy, but we’ll try hard anyway.

We’d likely stumble and fall, and maybe quarrel amongst ourselves—but we also know you wouldn’t be there to fix it for us, so we’ll do it ourselves. We’d simply look back to a memory of you, doing the things you always do, and we’d know how to mend our hurts.

We’d be facing hurdles much tougher than we’ve ever conquered, but we promise we’d have the humility to pause and think, the resolve to persevere, and the faith to never lose hope. Because that’s the way you’ve taught us—the right way to live life.

Maybe at some point, we’d be forced to confront forks on the road that cannot be ignored—but we’d simply choose the one you would’ve chosen, the choice that leads us closer to God.

I will miss the conversations we used to have, even the bad arguments. But I will always look back to the times I’ve told you about my struggles in life, not because you had the answers to some of them, but because you were just always there, ready to listen. Like only a mother knows how.

Though you’ve carried much burden and hurt in life, you still chose to love unconditionally. It’s a beautiful thing—how you can give much after losing most of yourself. But I was wrong to think that way—because you always had faith. Now I know that through faith, you can love without questions, and without bounds.

I could only hope I can live life like you did. It’s sad to say goodbye, but what choices do I have?

I love you, Mommy Fe. Thanks for the memories.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards…


2015 turned out to be more than a simple year could be. It’s comforting to finally see it go, without regrets.

Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.

Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood.

Happy Birthday Pangga!


Happy birthday Mama Hana. bigsmile

I’m terrible at surprises and gift–giving, but that doesn’t stop me from greeting you here on my blog.


The big little boy and I are so blessed to have you, and we could only wish the best for you, because you deserve it all.


Here’s to a lifetime of blessings and joy!