Category Archives: Family

Because family is a top priority.

Farewell nanay Carmen


My beautiful nanay, mother of papa, passed away Friday last week at the age of 79, three days short of her 62nd elopement anniversary with mamay. Now, she suffers no more. She was only 73 when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and had suffered from then on. She was in poor health in the last days of her life having been confined in Mediatrix Lipa. Earlier this year, nanay had suffered from mild stroke. This led to her other complications. Her lungs had failed from pneumonia, and then she can no longer eat which made her even weaker. In order to sustain her life, my aunts, uncles and cousins all contributed for nanay’s medical needs. Tubes were first fitted into her nostrils so that she can have food intakes. The last time I saw her was last year on Tope’s 25th birthday when we paid her and mamay a visit. She was thin, lying on her bed with her nannies, and murmurs few words like a baby. She can no longer remember anyone of us.

When I mama broke the news, I felt sad because I had lost another grandparent this year, my lolo Panching just last March, same date with nanay Carmen which was also 22. I was sad because will miss nanay. I thought about the time when nanay used to take care of me, ate Gzeth & Jen because my parents had moved back in Mindoro on 1996. I remembered the days that before I leave for Montesorri, nanay would prepare our sumptuous meals with the help of our yaya Alma/Eva. When I had been ill from german measles, nanay accompanied me to the pediatrician and took care of me. Looking back, I felt grateful again for the love nanay had poured unto us.

Bracing ourselves for the unruly tides, Stephen, mama, and I took the last Supercat trip to Batangas. I just had to see nanay on her final night. Looking at nanay peacefully resting inside her elegant, dark, narra, coffin, I was awestruck. She was so beautiful, had looked like 15 years younger, and mestiza as ever. Her cheeks were plump and rosy, her grey hair now as black as ebony, the way it used to be before her Alzheimer’s took her memory; and her thin yet lovely lips arched in a delightful smile. She looked so happy and so much at peace now; free from the sufferings her body had endured in the last days of her life. She was the beautiful nanay Carmen who traveled in the United States with mamay, and had returned because they badly missed their family. She had cried when her father, and mother whom I met twice years ago died of old age. She had attended my first holy communion, scolded me when I said that the wine that symbolized as the blood of Christ tastes bad, taught me how to pray with the rosary, eat hawot, large beans, and sayote grown by mamay from our backyard, took me to the cathedral and tuklong  to pray fervently, and taught about pamamalengke at the age of 7. Her good-natured self once made her and mamay a “Huwarang Senior Citizen Awardee of 2002.”

She was a God-fearing, kind, and lovely mestiza barrio lass of Aya, San Jose, Batangas who had captured the hearts of numerous lads including the grandfather of my old friend who now lives somewhere in the west coast. On her grave, mamay repeatedly thanked her for the love, care, children and memories she had shared with him. She had chosen mamay from among her suitors, and loved him, and their brood endlessly. And we love you too our dear nanay Carmen Andal-Perez. 

It should be Evo first


I was going to kiss my baby Evo goodbye when I saw his eyes fixated on the laptop placed by mommy near his crib. The music as well as the cartoons dancing before his eyes absolutely enthralled him. How attentively he listens on the nursery songs playing. He was so engrossed that he barely noticed me when I approached him to pat a gently kiss on his fluffy cheek. Oh how I miss the feel of his soft, plump, and smooth skin. Having flu last Sunday not only put me on a bedrest the entire day, it also banned me from kissing my son for days. By Monday, I had not recovered yet so I left without touching my little Evo. I didn’t want him to catch colds so we only played for a short while that day.

I didn’t want to leave home this morning. The sight of Evo acting if he is a captive trying to escape from being trapped in his cell (his crib) while keen on watching baby nursery videos is too irresistible. I just wanted to hold him, to sing for him his favorite phonics and numbers for the rest of the day. But I had to endure my longing; one last glimpse at Evo and then I left. On a regular day, I spend more time working in the office than playing with my baby. My thoughts are always occupied by him though. I always wonder how he was doing, did he finally say his first real word, can he sit now on his own? I feel sad when I think of not being the first to see his baby milestones only because I wasn’t home. I cannot tell when was the first time he baby-talked because I went back to work shortly after his third month. Even though bi kept telling me before to resign in my office of three years, I returned following the lapse of my maternity leave for practical or rather selfish reasons. And the opportunity cost has started taking its toll too since then. First, Evo started ignoring me at times. He’d rather bite his fingers than respond to me. I missed his longing for me. Next, transferring from Filipiniana office to ORMECO stopped me from going home during lunchtime to breastfeed him. This made Evo dependent on formula milk alone, thus draining my breast milk supply. I wanted to breastfeed him but can no longer perform this motherly task. Third, he had to move to and from different homes and nannies from time to time like my mama, tita Bless and lola Ett, mommy and daddy just to be taken good care of while bi & I are at work. Frequent change in his environment and his teething period I suppose had made my darling Evo sickly. He was even confined due to diarrhea merely two weeks ago, and has taken medications too plenty for his age just to recover. Whenever I come home every afternoon, he is either asleep or playing in his mommy lola’s bedroom. Then I would cradle him in my arms, look at those beautiful eyes, and express how sorry I was for my absence; how much I have missed him. Evo would smile back at me as if to say, “Mommy, I forgive you. I missed you too.”

I love my son so dearly. He resembles more of me as an infant except for his a bit chinky eyes, long permed lashes, and teeth-like gums. I think about resigning to be able to solely devote my time for him. But the thought of wholly depending our expenses on bi scares me. His tendency to nag about finances sometimes abhors me terribly. Then I think about my sister too. Had I resigned earlier, ate Gzeth could have relieved or assumed my position and not left for Bohol anymore. I have my reasons why I cannot resign just yet. Despite all of it, I still hope that one day I will find a home-based job with a lucrative pay or hit jackpot in the lottery so that I can give up my work as an employee. Either of the two will allow me to cuddle my bundle of joy whenever I want to.

Evo’s first anniversary last Feb 7


One lazy afternoon, a year ago at exactly 3:30PM, bi & I found out about Evo. He jumped for joy while I cried in fear because I knew right then that my life will change; that I’ll be a young mum soon! I couldn’t stop crying so bi wiped my tears, hugged me tightly (except my tummy area which he didn’t want to squeeze) and kept saying “Bebe, I love you. I love our baby & I am truly happy.” 

Now, we are doting parents to a healthy, cute, & well-behaved baby boy who recently turned 4months old. Evo is indeed a blessing and he has changed our lives for the better. We ♥ you anak:)


I posted this in my Facebook account last Feb 7 and amazingly had around 55 likes from families and friends! It means a lot to me letting everyone know that our son Evo has always been a blessing since the day we found out about him. I may have my worries and fears before but I have forgotten all of it the moment I felt him kick inside my tummy. I hope and pray that in God’s grace Tope & I can be the best parents to our little seraph. May he always be an angel to us. XOXO 

Underneath is my baby Trevor Vincent who recently turned 4months old. He’s one charming baby isn’t he?:)


To Bohol she goes


I was busy scan reading my friends’ updates in facebook when I saw a scanned photocopy of a job hiring ad the other week. The content reads the company needs an accountant, loan officer, and several bank tellers for the First Consolidated Bank branch here in Calapan. The bank’s name rang a bell. Then I reckon that before I gave birth to Evo last October, Tope took me to Hotel Mayi for a business meeting with Lorenz, their would be tenant at Alberto’s building. Lorenz is connected with FCB and he wanted to establish a marketing office in the heart of the city. Luckily, he chose the pricey office space in the building of hubby’s family. Short description, FCB is a fast-growing bank from the island of Bohol now taking big steps to penetrate the north’s banking industry. Their entry in my humble province would mean not only new bank to invest money in, but more job opportunities for my fellow Calapenos as well.

Knowing their office is just in front of Tope’s house, I encouraged my unemployed sister, ate Gzeth, to try applying in any of those vacant positions posted. I edited her resume and application letter then emailed it to her gmail account so that she can send it right away to Lorenz. We didn’t have to wait long for him to respond. The next day, ate received a reply from Lorenz asking her to email her transcript of records for reference. She went to my office again that week to scan and email her TOR. He replied quickly after presumably checking her records. He said she has to report to his office on Saturday at 1PM to take written exams. She got nervous at first but then shrugged it off. After all, weeks of reviewing for Civil Service Professional exam made her quite prepared. I promised to accompany her to FCB’s office that Saturday so I can introduce myself and her also, hoping that I can somehow leave an impression on Lorenz being their landlord’s wife. I think it helped. A subtle eyeshadow and cheek tint did the trick too! She looked presentable, more like a professional banker along with her good choice of semi-corporate dress. Ate and her high school classmate Joanne was graciously accommodated. We hoped, fingers crossed, that she passes the exam and initial interview.

Soon after her exam, she chatted with me about the job. If she gets hired, she’ll be staying in Tagbilaran, Bohol for the next 6-8 months for training and bank internship. That’s almost a year without seeing her, but I know we have to be strong for her career to prosper. I was kinda expecting already that she’d make it, and she did. The following week she was called for an interview and the outcome was overwhelming. She got the job. Over the weekend she’ll be flying to Bohol, all expense paid. It came too soon than expected. She had mixed emotions like I. She was happy for getting the job, but also sad because she’ll be leaving behind mama, and her nephews. Eight months, that’s too long. A lot of things could happen in a span of eight months. She might be busy now preparing her employment requirement but that can’t conceal her sadness slowly building up inside her. She feels homesick already while I am missing her already. To perk up ate, we jokingly ask her for bizarre pasalubongs like a real tarsier (a tarsier might kill itself already once captured) or like bi’s request, “bring home infamous Prunee.” Ate had no idea who the heck is Prunee so the thought of going to Bohol to see these for herself sort of excites her.

With mama and Binggee, they paid lolo a visit last night. Ate Gzeth badly want to see lolo as she’ll be leaving for Bohol this Saturday. Ate Gzeth is also lolo’s favorite apo and I know it pains her too seeing lolo growing weaker each day. I hope and pray lolo regains his strength so that when ate Gzeth returns, lolo is still here with lola Ett and the whole family.

I’ll miss you ate. I know Evo and Binggee will miss you too. Today is your last day here in Calapan for tomorrow you’re off to NAIA already. I will leave office early just for you so we can have quality sisters’ bonding time. Thank you for being loving, and patient with Evo and Binggee. You be good over there!

Atty. Tomtom, I salute thee!


Last February 29, 2012, the 2011 Bar Exam Result was revealed to the public. I was tagged by my cousin Jestine in a photo showing that our good cousin kuya Tomtom passed. I instantly rejoiced and congratulated him as well as the whole Perez family for his amazing feat. He passed with just one take after all. In the past years, bar exam hopefuls usually wait til March for the results, but this year the results came out earlier thanks to the revised exam method (40% Multiple choice & 60% Essay).

Kuya Tomtom is an admirable person. He graduated as class valedictorian during his elementary and high school years. In addition, he is also diligent and studious. I didn’t doubt that he’ll pass the bar exams. While looking at his name in my laptop lcd (1419. Perez, Richard V.), I remembered him telling me this some three years ago, “Ate Joanne, graduating ka na pala ng Pol Sci. Mag-law ka na. Sayang ang panahon. I can give you my books.” We were at Shakey’s Lipa for Wacky’s first birthday then and papa sought some paralegal advice from him for the case involving our acquired commercial land in Mindoro. I simply replied that I’d love to but we don’t have the money to finance my studies yet. He smiled then told me that I should not lose hope. I reckon he would gladly volunteer driving for us (Napi, Jestine, Anine & I) in the mall whenever I pay them a visit in San Jose despite his demanding studies so that, we, cousins could have a bonding time.

If there is one word best suited to describe kuya Tomtom, it is humble. He keeps himself grounded no matter what achievements he’s made in the past and even up to now. He always makes it a point to pray, return to his family, be grateful, and share whatever blessings that come his way. A good person does get rewarded for good deeds. To Atty. Richard V. Perez, kudos to your achievement kuya! Thank you for inspiring me to take up law studies as well. I know tito is very proud of you up there!:)

Amazing June!


I didn’t mean to skip posting for the month of June. It’s just that June has been pretty amazing and we’ve been so busy I wasn’t able to find time to open my wordpress. Since I was on my 2nd trimester during this time, we were able to travel to Tagaytay. It was my third time in Tagaytay but it’s definitely my first time to witness the majestic Taal Volcano. We attended Rotary 3820 DITAC with bi and our other fellow Rotarians (Bong, Tere, Jun, Toper, ninong Dante, ninang Tess, Sherwin, tito Romy, Hans, Don) last June 18 and slept over a small hotel. We went to Lipa the next day to visit papa and my siblings there (ate Jessyth, Jepi, Jen & Raf and baby Binggee, as well as mama who is also visiting them). There, we parked bi’s DMAX and headed off to Araneta Coliseum to watch Rain or Shine’s game live with Ian. After all, it was Father’s day and bi will soon become a dad:) We had dinner afterward at Gloria Maris, a sweet treat by Bunik and Ger. A little tour around The Fort, Taguig City later then slumber at Bunik’s place in Rockwell, Makati. Day 3 also was also very exciting! We returned to Lipa to get bi’s pick-up then started our trip to Acuatico, San Juan, Batangas. The place was surreal; Balinese inspired. I couldn’t explain how beautiful it was; like we’re somewhere else but good thing it’s still in Philippines. The place made bi and I realize that our country still has something to brag upon seeing this resort. The white sand, though not the fine sand bi that bi expected, was pleasing to the eyes as well. We took pictures until our cam’s battery went off. Then, we went swimming in the infinity pool and continued to take wacky shots. Exhausted, we took hot showers separately and then grabbed dinner at the buffet. The food was exquisite. Oceania Restaurant served dishes from different places like Chicken Macau, Batangas Caldereta, Grilled Pork Chops, Carbonara, etc. The salad and dessert bars were likewise filled with delectable goodies. They even have “make your own halo-halo” for dessert which bi enjoyed. Dinner at Oceania definitely tickled our taste buds. “We’ll come back here with baby.”, bi said before we leave Acuatico the following day. Day 4 is all about shopping for baby, then for us. We spent more than 10k for baby stuffs at SM Lipa. Take note, we bought only the essentials. I bought a pair of ballet flats, red dress, cute white bag and some toiletries. Bi bought himself Dunham long sleeves for Rotary Induction and for his new work, hopefully. He can’t find anything else that suits him so we dropped by also at Rob Lipa wherein he bought a Fubu tshirt. Bi drove me to papa’s place in Lipa that night because I wanted to sleep with my siblings. He slept in Sta. Teresita afterward since he’ll be picking up mommy in NAIA who will arrive from LA the next day. I enjoyed spending my 4th night with my siblings. I missed them especially my nephew Binggee. He’s so big now! He is pretty tall for his age at 8 months. On the fifth day, I had breakfast with my siblings. I missed mama’s homemade daing na boneless na bangus so I ate plenty. I played with my nephew after breakfast until bi arrived to fetch me. Bi and his hired driver picked up mommy in NAIA and drove back to Sta. Teresita so she can rest from her long trip. I was touched to receive Revlon pressed powder, Godiva chocolates and Coach long wallet from mommy. Bi handed it to me when he picked me up in Lipa. We went to Bunik’s unit to give her mommy’s pasalubongs; shoes, chocolates, bags and wallet. Bi and I then drove to Festival Mall in Alabang to shop for us. I had fun shopping there since there’s plenty of cheap finds. Bi bought 3 GQ tops that are on sale, 2 pairs of Manel’s shoes and some cute stuffs for Mariel. I bought sandals and clutch bag from Manel’s, baby booties from Enfant and a vintage necklace. We had a disappointing merienda at The Old Spaghetti House. The mussels in the seafood alfredo he ordered for me smells bad and bi had eaten one of those which caused his LBM for 5 straight days. Poor bi. That night, we picked up mommy in Sta. Teresita then went to Batangas pier to start our journey back to Mindoro.