About My People

Since I mostly write about myself and my journey to God's heart... and a little bit about the people around me and how they enrich my life, then I might as well give you a little bit of info about them. Like most people, I was born, but the day that happened was confusing. Based on my birth certificate, I was born on the 14th. But my Ma has her own story and she insisted that I gave her a grueling time in labor by coming out only on the 16th when she was already all set (having contractions) in the hospital on the 14th. One thing that was clear though, I was born on a Sabbath when the hot noonday sun was giving most people a headache. Due to economic reasons, I only celebrate one day--- the one on the official document. Lesson learned: double-check important documents even if you are in the painful throes of post-labor and don't be too difficult. Two days of holding out love is enough to do damage. Forgive and move on.

I was raised by two people who were extraordinary in living ordinary lives. They simply go by their names Ely and Myrna. I know them as Pa and Ma or Ma and Pa. My father worked very hard for most of his life. He was happy working. He loved what he was doing. He was a Literature Evangelist. That's where my love of books came from. My siblings and I may not have toys while growing up, but we sure had our books to keep us company. Pa was the most generous and thoughtful person I know. The last time I saw him, he bought lots of Filipino food for me to bring on the plane in case my daughter and I would get hungry during the travel. Too bad, I had to refuse him because of airline flight policy. He was even there to see me off, even after we had another of our famous clash. (Difficult child am I.) Ma was a beautiful and passionate woman. There is nothing that she could not do. She was a great dancer in her youth, a dramatic actress, a skillful designer and seamstress, a playwright--- an artist. She was full of life and ideas and dreams. She was also a very warm and supportive mother. She was courageous. She left everything behind her and took the path God has for her. And she never looked back.

I miss both of them. I lost them in a tragic situation in 2013. They disappeared during typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban City. With their disappearance, I felt lost. They were the home that I knew then, wherever they were. It takes time getting used to not being able to 'go home'.

My siblings and I live far from each other. I am the second of four. Myrel, who is one and a half older than me, chose to stay in the Philippines with her two children. Her children are one of the world's smartest and beautiful children. Same goes with Helen's little ones. Helen is the one who comes after me with the same one-and-a-half age gap. She and her family lives in Florida. Our youngest, Elmyr, lives in California with his wife and soon-to-be two little girls. I miss them terribly and wish times were simpler, and we could just sing together again, laugh at our own corny jokes and enjoy Ma and Pa's cooking. (Ha!)

I am married to a man who allows me to warm my consistently ice-cold feet on him and listens to my strange thoughts. He is calm and easy-going, but can get really animated when he's about to go fishing. He goes by the name of Ivan. We have four children who are just so beautiful and bright that they make me feel so blessed for being able to witness God's awe-inspiring creative prowess everyday simply by being their mom. They'll be ten, eight, six and two in the coming months of this year (2016). They are Mikhail, Angelika, Gabriella and Roxana. We are a multi-cultural family and we speak/understand at least four languages at home. We are looking forward to what God has in store for us.

Aside from the family I grew up in and the one I am raising with my husband now, I am surrounded by people who are so dear, they treat me like family despite of distance and even with (only on my part) neglect and something bordering on exploitation. In fact, I have come to believe I have a big family. I have been welcomed into homes and not once was I made to feel like I have overextended my stay. I have been accepted even without bloodlines, and even without my ability to pay back. With this, I am very optimistic about the human race. As long as God is alive, we have hope, we can love.


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