a month after

Tatay’s death was so sudden, after that life changing episode of our lives I thought days and months would be lengthy, I thought everything would slow down to a year or so because that’s the expectation other than we need to keep going while still mourning because we have to. There were legal matters to clear up, issues to fulfill and a project to pick up again. And whether it’s a choice or not I have to involve myself this time, I’m expected to lead being the eldest. And this time there are too many things a lot easier said than done.

At a loss. At times I caught myself staring in blank, and then there were random things that will flashback and as if these recurrences weren’t enough there will be flash-forwards that would flicker. I wanted to stop so I’d lure myself to sleep, into a deep one, sometimes, never wanting to wake up. No, don’t get wrong I’m no suicidal by any mean.

Why I am so tired? I feel I have too many on my hands right now, the issues keep coming yet none has been nearing closure yet. There were too many issues back home and yet I was not spared from work, my patience is thinning and yet I have to behave while waiting for things to get better. Sometimes I’d like to believe that I’m made to battle many storms. I’m no immortal please.

Today, I pray for strength and guidance. I pray that during this difficult time the Lord will bless me extra strength to endure all pains and sufferings and to continue ahead. Please bless me with inner strength to find the blessings and all the lessons it contains. Likewise, please calm my heart and take away all my anxieties.


A month after Tatay’s death we went out once again as a family to one of his favorite restaurants nearby, I was holding back my tears and tried to keep the mood light but it’s hurting because he’s no longer around to remind us not to indulge much on crispy pata. The food seems to be very cold that afternoon and I can’t help but be reminded of the last time we were together, it was Palm Sunday.


Our little dollet seems so happy with her slice of chocolate cake; I envy her spirit and her cheerful smile. Ysabel would be our forever reminder of Tatay and her love for the patriarch that will never die.


P.S. Monday blues 😦


a LEGO party for baby J ♥

The highlight of Jo and his family’s homecoming last August was Johan’s Baptismal and 1st Birthday which we marked in one occasion.


Chris Joseph, Johan, Badudels, is the youngest crew of our brood, the muy guapo and everyone’s apple of the eye because it was everyone’s first time to meet him. Curly hair, big eyes, flawless skin and calmness, I wonder where he got all his good looks? Momi Che would you claim all yours, I bet someone would disagree and make a comment on a whim. Hehehe.

Back in January right after Jo and MJ’s departure, Jo asked me to help them with all the preparations for Johan’s. I can’t say no of course because you know how I love parties however, I was still occupied with one major event happening in May. By June, the whole prep started to run –sourcing out suppliers, getting reservations, conceptualizations, running errands and so on and so forth. And though there were some hiccups encountered even at the early part of preparations –change of venue bec the Admin at the university suddenly cancelled our reservation for reasons that were a bit inconsistent, it got us worried also because the host/performer we’re eyeing was already fully booked hence if we change the original date he penciled for us he won’t make it, there were minor concerns too including no baptismal schedule during Saturdays at the church nearby, well, good thing that we have more options for this considering Indang and Tagaytay’s proximity. Despite the distance, Dubai, Manila and Cavite, we were able to sort out the major ones.


I failed to attend the baptismal rites because I was in-charge of the overall prep back at Tropical Greens, I have to ensure that all suppliers arrived on time  and they’re doing it right based on our agreed terms plus I needed time to organize the party favors and prizes. Part of it I need to received guests who went straight at the venue. Whew!


So, I’m missing this photo op 😦

Anyhow, let me share you how great the party was. It was indeed a happy occasion, the happiest birthday I’ve witnessed so far.


The theme, the other option was Handy Manny but then we all fell in love with the colorful and bright Lego theme. ♥

Good thing that Google provided all the Lego ideas I can only imagine from backdrop, invites, party favors, name tags, gift tags, cake designs, photo booth supplies, etc.


The venue, we made early bookings at The International House, we thought it was perfect considering the location plus the venue was spanking new however, things happened so we ended at Tropical Greens Clubhouse in Tagaytay. Not so bad considering the good weather and the privacy we enjoyed.

The caterer, Olaes Catering provided all the kitchen stuffs including the overall table setting and manpower. Had we come to their event’s place earlier we might have considered holding the party there, I highly recommend the venue tho a bit remote in my opinion. Oh, I have to commend all their crew for being so attentive and friendly and pro!


Backdrop, balloons, standee and table centerpieces were provided by Gloom Balloons. The couple behind GB was so easy to work with, especially Ivy. We had all our conversations and agreements in facebook and I never doubted any, they delivered very well.


Cake was also provided by Gloom Balloons, it was exactly what we all had in mind. ♥



Host/Performer was an old friend from the telecom industry, Glenn Angeles a.k.a Yoyo Master. Glenn has come a long way after our separation with the former employer; everyone at the party was wowed at how entertaining and brand new his hosting style and yoyo mastery was, even the grown-up’s attentions were captured by his humor and talent. It was indeed a great party, thank you Glenn and Eileen.


Baptismal invite


Birthday invite


Photobooth, we provided the hard hat 🙂



Dessert Buffet

Invites (we have two sets), Tags, Photo Coverage, Photo Booth, Dessert Buffet was provided by my batchmate, Sherwyn Romen and wife. Because they lived somewhere North we made all arrangements thru email and facebook, plus point of working with someone you personally know –I can demand anytime of the day and I can easily pinpoint changes, and improvements.


Escalante Catering (ehem), Nanay and Che’s first big venture. They provided the food per se from lunch up until the mid-afternoon merienda cena. The food was delicious, of course love your own plus you know how our palate can be so picky that’s why we normally pass up home-cooked meals when dining around. Menu included the following: pork bbq, shanghai roll, salt & pepper spareribs, pork asado, sweet & sour pork, buttered veggie, yang chow rice and pancit canton. I’m proud of you guys, however, I have to point out that coming on time is a big plus and creates a lasting impression. Also, there’s this shortage of rice again, I wonder why it happened all the time. Now, to Nanay and Che, you’re more than ready now to accept catering opportunities, good luck! Don’t forget to tip me for advertising your services free of charge. Hehehe.


There’s a lechon carving station also. The lechon were commissioned.


We also ordered food from Jollibee for the kiddos to incorporate that “bida ang saya” feel. Hello there, Aouie girl! 😀


Tokens from Invento Central which I ordered online –personalized round tins with mints. These tokens were for the grown-ups and titas and lolas. 🙂


Patchino in orange paper bags

Token for principal sponsors were Patchi chocolates which Jo and Che bought back in Dubai. They carried a luggage full of chocolates and it made everyone so happy.



Party favors for the kids, contact me for this 🙂


Prizes includes hard hats, building blocks, lego themed characters, gel pens, rubic cubes, packed of haribo’s and chocolates and many more! 

Party Favors, Prizes, other stuffs. I have to personally take care of these because when Che said she wanted the party “so bongga” everything must follow. Ze husband and I made several trips to Divi market, excluding my solo trips at the mall to complete the list –at least 50 pieces for the prizes alone and 70 buckets loaded with toys and snacks. I made sure every kid will went home with smile ear to ear, a birthday party they will never ever forget.






The party was well attended that even distant relatives from the maternal side made it. Everyone was cheerful except for the isolated case –kiddo almost drowned at the clubhouse pool.


Tatay and Papa Nopes 


And lastly, the photo above made me cry and miss him more. Tatay was so alive then. Sorry, I can’t help but feel emotional everytime I’ll remember his last few days, it was so soon Tatay. 😦


Now, allow me to shoot a short message to my newest godson –Johan.

You will not probably remember our first meeting, by the time you’re 2 or 3 I hope I’ll make an imprint on your very young memory then.

As you get taller each day may you learn about the world around you, despite the distance to home country may you grow up with the customary values we had had. I’m not saying that it’s bad to learn something from your country now instead took advantage of it, make use of the additional wisdom so you’ll live stronger and your spirit happier.

Listen to Daddy and Mommy, to Kuya Jorrel and to all the people who love you. Listen to each drop of rain, chirps of birds or slap of waves every visit at Jumeirah Beach. Listen to your gut feeling and appreciate silence. On those quiet moments keep in mind that God is closer, learn to pray and obey wholeheartedly little boy.

Lastly, love. Love God with your everything. Always remember that when all else fails He will comfort you and lead and love you no matter.  –Ninang E ♥


P.S. Ninang will make it up to you next year plus I’m not forgetting my belated gift to you. 🙂