St. Patrick's Church, Summer Hill NSW
04 May 2008

Today, Maya became a child of our (Catholic) God. Donning Bea's christening outfit, Maya was particularly attentive during the ceremony. She was just quietly taking in everything - the priest's soft voice, the waft of perfume from her godparents, the solemn ceremony, chilly air, her sister's excitement, and her parents' cuddles. But that's trademark Maya. The silent stare that seems to linger forever.

Even as the priest poured holy water over her head twice, she was silent to the amazement of the few yet very, very dear friends who were with us.

It made me think how vastly different our two daughters are. Bea's cesarean, while Maya was normal birth. Bea's baptism was a huge, huge occasion with over 50 guests turning up and family and relatives abound. Maya's, however, saw only four people with us during the ceremony. Yet in the stark contrast of these experiences, we still count ourselves fortunate. Our family has grown, and we have found new friends.

I've included a photo of the fabulous cake made by Maya's equally fabulous godmother, Maritza.


Recently, in my private journal 'Under the World', I've written a piece on sadness, which at one time or another, afflicts all of us. I've published it below. Tell me your thoughts.
Whatever this affliction is, I feel it feasting on my core. Tearing away at my limbs. Burrowing itself deeper and deeper into my being. And then, I really don’t know what happens next.

I would hate to give it a name. Depression. Blues. Boredom. Evil. That would be confirming its real presence. I prefer it confined to lumps of descriptive thought. Harness its force into prose or poetry. Anything to keep it imaginary.

But how long can I cage it in me? How long can I put on this face? How long before it gnaws at my mask and leaves me bare and naked before the world? Exposed.

I try to tell myself this isn’t me. I’m not THIS vulnerable. I can’t be weak. Especially not now. The timing would be devastating. But how can one inject the convenience of time into an unknown demon?

Not demon. Maggots. I shall call them maggots. And I will try to keep them at bay today.



Flying a kite. Feeding ducks and swans. Borrowing loads of books/ magazines from the library. Reading them under the shade of a tree. Running around playing tag. Playing the guitar. Munching on cookies, lychees and bananas. It's nice to go back to the lowest common denominator of childhood fun. This summer school holidays, with me being heavily pregnant, we weren't able to venture far away from the city. Instead, we took on a different perspective of 'fun'. Now, it was going for a quick drive to the park or beach, and staying there 'til sunset. And because it's summer, daytime can stretch up to 8pm or later. Noice.

On one occasion though, while we were all stretched out on our banig, absorbed in our own books, we were surprised to hear Bea shriek. She was scampering away. Perplexed, we turned towards the direction she was hurrying away from, only to find a solitary duck. It was right in the middle of our banig. Even I had to move farther away, as I recall a not-so-very-pleasant childhood experience with a crazed duck back in Pinas. Apparently, this duck nibbled on Bea's feet, maybe asking for something to eat. Cute! We broke little pieces from our biscuits and fed it. Pretty cool moment. Wish we were able to take a photo, but these days, we're not as big on the camera as we used to be. Alfred's Unmarked Plains is likewise gathering moss. :(



She had so much fun this day, that I never suspected she'd tell me a week later that she doesn't want to play her violin anymore. After four continuous years of learning with her private tutor and over a year playing in the school orchestra, Bea says she just lost interest and doesn't enjoy it anymore. Hard to believe (or accept) but I guess kids, like adults, have the right to give up on things, too. So now, the family's scouting for her next instrument.

During her last concert, she played Minuet 2 by JS Bach. After the soloists, all students played the ever-so-quintessential 'Twinkles' by Mozart.


Hello, family and friends, and people who arrived at this page by accident! Apologies for the much-delayed pictures. In the meantime, I've been moderately (and steadily becoming heavily) pregnant, having the time of my life rediscovering my body and what it does without my knowledge or permission, and well, hitting the beaches as the mercury climbs. Alfred and I also had the chance to watch Soundgarden's Chris Cornell in concert here in Sydney, but sadly, no pics of that. We were too much in a hurry after the concert to pick up Bea from her cousins', but it was still unforgettable. To hear 'Spoonman', 'Seasons', 'Fell on Black Days' and 'Black Hole Sun' once again (and this time, live) is so exhilarating. Brings back memories of when we last raved to this music, we had beer and cigarettes in hand. And to watch Chris strip. Don't get me started on that. I had no idea he looked more a supermodel than a rock star. He started taking off his jacket, then unbuttoned his polo to reveal a sculptured six-pack there, until he finally just took the darn shirt off. Unreal.

I guess the nesting bug hasn’t hit full throttle yet, although Alfred and I have constructed our own blanket box already. From pieces of pre-cut wood we bought at a hardware outlet store, mind you. Not the flat-packed ones, so we did a fair bit of customising, sawing and measuring here... Ahem.

Yes, it’s summertime here in the southern hemisphere. The quilts have been rolled away, sandos, shorts and short skirts have been taken from their hiding places under the bed and back inside our draws, and showers, well, we do that almost twice a day now.

If you want to view all the new pictures, just select the month November 2007 from the menu on the right, as I’ve bunched them all together in one go – Bea and my three-days-apart birthdays, trips to beaches, a photo at home of Bea washing dishes (oh, yes), and photos of Bea’s book parade this year.

Well, enough blah, and on with the show. Hope you enjoy it. Tell me what you think by clicking the "O" at the top of each picture. It will lead you to a page where you can leave comments so we can hear from you, too! We miss you all so much!


Silly face blowing my surprise cake after a long day at work. I was expecting flowers in Carbie when they picked me up from work on my birthday, but found nothing. When we got home, I was half-expecting flowers on the dining table, but nothing. When I went to the bedroom to change, I was expecting flowers on the bed or at least a card (I lowered my expectations), but nothing. I asked Bea who was with me inside the room if she made a card for mum. She said sorry she couldn't because there had been too much homework that day, and that she would make one after dinner. Then, I heard Alfred calling out from the kitchen. I walked over with all hopes for a present dashed, only to find a mango cheesecake with a tall solitary lighted candle in the table. And that's when the birthday song erupted. Beside the cake, there was also a homemade card from Bea and a framed poster designed by Alfred on canvas. Unbelievable. I told them both they're getting good at lying, as I wasn't able to detect a hint of a present from the moment they picked me up. I usually smell something fishy with these two, but not today. Anyway, it was a good 31st birthday for me, real good.


Kids never tire of all this cake-blowing. Mum and dad, on the other hand, were exhausted after today. And we only had eight guests over! Hirap magpaparty kung wala si Ate Evy!


Bea with Cake Number Two, on her intimate celebration with her cousins and a few friends last Saturday. The day after, her actual birthday, we plan to have a quiet day with just the three of us, er, four pala, including Maya.


The girls (and a few boys) in Bea's class crowd up to her to get one of the six sugar flowers on her cake. Bea takes her time choosing. Oh, the dilemma...


Sliced 26 pieces that day, for the whole class plus her teacher, and still had several to take home. For Alfred and I, of course, over tea or conversation... or... or while thinking up more excuses to have another slice.

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