Monthly Archives: March 2013

when time flies so fast….

I could still remember the time I had my first child Camille 19 years ago. It took my family by surprise that I was about to give birth to my lovely daughter. I was not prepared for motherhood at that time. I did not know what to expect. I did not know what mother’s are supposed to do. I was turning 18 then. I missed my debut, I had to stop school for a while but I never treated it as a failure in my life. I was young and I knew back then so many things can still happen. I went back to college went on with my life. It was so normal for me. I started working part-time because I did not want to burden my parents with everything. I would admit I was not able to enjoy being a first time mother. My child called me Achie, it was chinese for Big sister. I did not really mind because we were together most of the time and I love her. She was adorable. Loves to sing even if she can’t carry a tune. She likes putting lotion on my tummy. Loves to read books and magazines which now I know why she wants to be a writer after her degree in Mass-communications. She grew up to be an Achiever. From Pre school to College, Camille never failed to bring home the bacon. Medals, certificates, achievements. She gave it to me and I am a proud Mama.

Camille at 19
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Three years had passed and I had my second child Coleen. I thought all long he was a boy. I did not have an ultrasound because I wanted it to be a surprise and boy was I surprised when I saw her and the doctor said “It’s a girl!” All I could think about was ‘AGAIN!” another girl??? But she was a darling. She was an extrovert. A show off. She would dance for everyone, talk non stop. She grew up a little naughty. Living her life as if there’s no tomorrow. Trying different things, experimenting. I could partially see myself in her. I call her “the REBEL” Although she is not as bad as I was when I was her age but she tends to go beyond. I let her do what she wants but I guide her. She knows that I wouldn’t allow her to do stupid stuff like I used to. I know better now. She’s my musician. She is great with the guitar. Has so much passion with music and Information Technology. She gave me grades of 1.5 for her First year in college. Who wouldn’t be proud of her? I am.

Coleen at 15
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My one and only living boy is Paul. Pao-pao as we fondly call him. My quiet warrior. He was born a year after his older brother Andre passed away. (You would know the history of this if you have read all my blogs). Pao is my miracle baby. He had a baby brother named Luke who also passed away 5 months after birth. Pao is such a joy to all of us. My daughters never felt jealous about the love he was showered. He is the baby of the family. What I like about Pao is he silently cares for the people around him. He doesn’t talk much but you would feel the love he has for you. Pao is the type of child who takes everything in stride. No pressure! He is a cool dude. Only worries when he has nothing to eat or nothing to do at home. He loves basketball, going to the mall and eating ice cream. I don’t really pressure him to do good in school. I just want him to enjoy himself. He is my teddy bear. I hug him even if he is now a teenager. sometimes he feels awkward most especially when there are people around us.

Paul at 13
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I guess my kids gave me everything that I never got as a child, teenager even as an adult. I had so many frustrations in life. I wanted to do so much more which I never did. but my kids are my greatest achievements. They have done so many things I am truly proud of. Whatever they have achieved in life, in my heart I know I was part of that. I am just the happiest Mom and the most fulfilled one because of my children. They inspire me, made me a better person. I am a complete person even without a man. I will forever be thankful to my kids.

Oh how time flies, I could still remember their faces as babies. When all they could say was Mama, help! Mama, ouch! Mama, don’t leave me. Now, they go on with their teenage lives. Started dating, being with friends most of the time. Doing their thing. I am not the conservative type of Mom. I let them be. I allow them to go out in the world and experience life first hand. I still have control but I allow them to be on their own, to make decisions for themselves. I am still here to guide them and give them advice. I want them to grow up strong, mature and disciplined individuals. I grew up with a very strong personality. I want them to have that. I don’t want people stepping on their toes. I want them to stand up for what they believed in. I love my children so much. Sometimes I feel sad that one of these days they will have their own lives, their own families and their own careers. I might end up alone. But I know my kids so well. We just couldn’t live without each other. but whatever paths they choose, whatever lives they want to live, I am just here to support them, nurture them and love them all the way. Mama will always be there for them, no matter what.

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I tell this to all parents to love your children, spend time with them, listen to them, allow them to breathe and spread their wings. Our children are the most precious jewels we will ever have. No husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend can take their place in our lives. Time flies so fast that if you do not cherish moments with them it will just pass by and you will just have regrets that you never had the chance to be with them.

Love them, protect them, nurture them….. Sometimes, they are all you’ve got in this world.

my FIRST LOVE!!!

Have you ever fallen in love so deeply and passionately? Well, I did! Yeah, the moment I learned Home Economics at school I knew I was madly in love with COOKING!!!!!

This is an actual picture of my Pancit Canton and Carbonara
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It was not a boy that I first fell in love with but with Cooking. Well, at first I had a fling with Baking. I first tried my hand in Baking Cakes and Cookies. I was so hooked with my Mother’s oven at the age of 12. Whatever I learn from school I would try it at home. From Chiffon cake, Chocolate cake, Banana Nut Cake, Banana Carrot cake, Crema de Fruta, Pineapple upside down cake, Butter Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies and so on. My official tasters was my brother and my Dad. So hooked that my Dad would buy me ingredients on a weekly basis. I would spend so much time during weekends at my Mom’s kitchen. Mom saw the potential that she was planning to open up a small bakery for me. But as I’ve said, it was just a fling. I then moved on to the real deal. Cooking delectable dishes. My Dad was a natural cook. He is Chinese, so most of the dishes that he has passed on to me was Asian cuisine. I loved it! He taught me well and he passed down all the dishes he knew to me. Dad taught me Chinese Adobo which has a darker and richer sauce. My first lessons in the kitchen started with my nanny Edith. she was really a good cook that I couldn’t forget her Chicken Adobo (chicken with lots of garlic, pepper, soy sauce, laurel leaf, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper). Her rice cakes and cassava cake. Edith taught me the basics of cooking. I am thankful for her.

Mom said I have a talent for copying the same exact dish even without a book or list of ingredients just by tasting it, I would know. Which was true. I love to experiment with flavors. I watch cooking shows to give me ideas on better mixing of spices and herbs. But all in all, my recipes are basically unique. It’s simply a trademark I have earned through the years of cooking for friends and family.

My Lumpia Shanghai, Tacos, Fried Chicken and Pasta
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Cooking for me is one of my greatest passions in life. Apart from Hosting events and Blogging. Cooking gives me the rush I need whenever I am feeling all the pains and problems of life. For me, it is not true that you must not cook whenever you feel pain or troubled because it would show on the taste and presentation of your food. For me, whenever I cook, I give my best. My very best. I think of the people who will partake of the dish. I want them to feel special, loved and satisfied. When I am in the kitchen, I feel like an artist. Creating art and flavor. I don’t feel tired even if I was cooking for 400 to 500 people, which I did when I tried the catering business. It was financially fulfilling and at the same time I was able to execute my passion.

Grilled Pork, Macaroni Salad, Nachos and Bicol Express
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I wish I could put up a restaurant business someday. I want to be able to showcase my creativity and talent. I have received numerous comments about my dishes. For me it is personal. I take it seriously whenever I cook it has to be perfection or at least put a smile on the face of my crowd. My greatest fan was my Dad. Whenever I learn something new or would want to try out a new recipe he would officially be the judge. He was my critic but it was all praises from him. Not because he was my dad but because he knew I got it from him. Dad knew I put my heart and soul in every dish I make. The enthusiasm of holding a Wok, slicing vegetables, sauteing garlic and onions. The adrenalin rush of meeting a delivery deadline. I would feel so tired but there’s no stopping. The kitchen is my kingdom. I am the queen there. It is so overwhelming most especially if the dish I am preparing is the most awaited meal by my family.

Cooking is such a pleasure for me. It releases my stress, allows me to forget my problems and sometimes it helps to score with men. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I get Wows! from the men I date whenever they find out I am a good cook. It helps though because they know that you know your way around the kitchen. they won’t get hungry or rely on Delivery take out services. I haven’t really cooked for my new partner yet. I am thrilled to be cooking for him for the first time when he arrives from Sweden this May. Well, I am confident that he would love my cooking and my dishes. Ha Ha Ha!

Chicken Curry, Pork Stew, Fried Chicken and Lumpiang Hubad
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My first true love is Cooking! I got hurt from all the frying, I cried from slicing onions, made me happy whenever I get good reviews. Satisfied me whenever I earn money from my catering jobs. At the end of the day, I am a fulfilled cook. I want to learn more, get as much experience as I can and hone my cooking skills further. Ah, The joys of Cooking. I will never get bored of this.

A Mother’s heart never heals when a child dies…

It was exactly seven years ago, a normal day at the hospital. I just finished feeding Luke through the tube on his nose. My 5 month old baby with a rare genetic disorder called Methylmalonic Acidemia.
We both dozed off while I was caressing his tiny little head. I was dreaming we were home. The nanny woke me up and said Luke may have stopped breathing. I looked and I thought it was just another seizure attack. The nurses were called as well as the doctors. They said my little boy stopped breathing. They revived Luke, deep down inside I hoped that it was just one of his usual attacks. After 2 months in the hospital I was getting used to the fact that he will have these seizure attacks after the diagnosis.

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Methylmalonic acidemia is a disorder, passed down through families, in which the body cannot break down certain proteins and fats. The result is a build up of a substance called methylmalonic acid in the blood. The disease is usually diagnosed in the first year of life. It is an autosomal recessive disorder, which means the defective gene must be passed onto the child from both parents. The disease can cause seizures and stroke. Babies may appear normal at birth, but develop symptoms once they start eating more protein, which can cause the condition to get worse.

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I was in denial. After the death of my third child Andre who died of the same disease I was very hopeful that my youngest will survive this. The clock was ticking, and the ICU nurses were called to our room. It was a code Blue for the hospital. The metabolic doctor arrived and helped with reviving of my son. I was calling random people on my mobile phone, asking for prayers and support. My heart was pounding and I was in tears. I hoped and prayed. Please God, not again. Forty five minutes and they stopped. Our doctor looked at me and said “Maybe Luke is tired already, maybe he wants to rest.” She ordered the tubes to be removed from Luke and he carried him and gave him to me. She asked me, “You want to hold your baby? Luke is still your baby.” I took his lifeless body away from the doctor and started crying. I couldn’t remember that I was hugging him so close to my chest that maybe I was about to crush him with my pain and agony. I can’t explain the pain of losing another child. My then husband tried to take him away from me because I was now crying profusely. When Luke was laid on top of the bed. I cleaned his fragile body, put powder on his body and face, changed his clothes even his diaper. Place a blanket on his body while the tears ran down my face. I looked at his angelic face and I knew he was peaceful. After his long battle, rest came to him and somehow there was a tinge of peace inside my heart. I just couldn’t believe it that I lost another beloved child.

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But still, I keep questioning myself and God, Why???? Why take my baby away from me? Could I have done more to make him well? What did I do wrong to deserve this? The pain was unbearable especially that it was the second time that I lost a child from the same genetic disorder. My marriage was falling apart then and my children were the source of strength and joy but with the passing of my youngest son I was lost. I was hurt and I was broken. I did not know what to do nor feel. I was becoming numb because of the pain. I find comfort in memories of days I spent with Luke. Days that I saw a smile on his face. Days that we had in the park, Days we spent at home listening to music. Those days I will forever cherish in my heart. I kept their things in a box. Clothes I do not wish to give nor share with others. For me their stuff was sacred. Some people said I have not moved on nor healed. I can say, YES! I have moved on. Life goes on even without the special people around you. But the heart of a Mother never heals when a dear child dies. It will forever be broken. I have learned to deal with the pain through the years. I talked about them as much as I can. I still shed tears whenever I have my quiet moments alone. The pain never goes away, it’s just there. It never passes. You just learn to cope day by day. Many worried for me because they say it’s just too much to bear to have lost 2 children. I have a strong personality and I still have 3 living children that need me most especially with the difficult situation of my marriage breaking down. I knew I needed to be strong for them too. My children Andre and Luke would not want me to be unhappy with their passing. I am very sure that they wanted me to move on and be happy. I am fine now but I must admit that there are days that I just want to break down and die. But I just can’t give up just like that. I know they wouldn’t want their mother to quit easily. Life is precious. There are people who needs me, a mission I still need to fulfill.

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Everything happens for a reason. And I have leaned to be a better person and be the best mom to my children. Lessons I have learned which I want to share with others. A story of courage, love, hope and faith.

Today, I remember my beloved Luke or Porkee as we fondly call him. I remember his very short life that brought so much love and happiness. I know that where he is right now is a much better place with no more pain, hunger, fear, sickness and hate. He was given to me to be a part of my life and my heart. For me to become whole.

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I love you Luke! you will never be forgotten and you will forever be loved. Rest my sweet angel.