Thursday, February 24, 2011


Why did this happen? The unexpected death of loved ones is hard to accept and this most painful incident could happen to any of us. What makes it worse is that even though you were given chances to be with them even for a short time, yet you let thoe chances pass thinking that there are other chances to get together. The lack of time to bring this important relationship to a positive close causes much anguish to those of us whose loved ones die without a warning. We wish that we could have known in order to say and do what we wanted to. Talking about my own experience, I wish I could have just one more brief moment with my cousin to tell her how much I cared for and loved her; apologize for ways I might have hurt her; explain why I treated her the way I did; or let her know what she really meant to me. Weeks ago I was rushed to the hospital due to severe asthma attack. I could barely breathe. Trying to catch my breath felt like drowning. It almost felt like being on the verge of death. Praise God I got to recover. On the fifth day before I left the hospital, despite having an inserted IV in my wrist, my cousin visited me. The next day she fell sick. She was happy then as she narrated her new teaching experience in one of the upland barangays in our City. I gave her advice as she considered me “dite” (older sister) who had a longernteaching experience. But during her visit I didn’t chat with her that much because I felt weak and I gasped for breath everytime I spoke. I didn’t even feel that she had already left my room as, so my sister told me, I fell asleep, maybe due to anti-histamine intake. Despite my health condition, I pushed myself to visit her in the hospital the other day when she was already in coma and could no longer hear what my heart wanted to say. I knelt and prayed and asked for another chance at life for my cousin. But maybe God has his own way of giving our body complete rest. I knew my cousin fought for her life as she felt our presence, giving her moral support while she struggled for her life in ICU for almost three days.

We had no preparation and no time to gradually absorb the reality that at a snap of a finger everything is would change dramatically. I felt miserable for my widowed aunt and the sudden death of her daughter who happened to be her one and only child. It was really too traumatic for her. The physical and emotional shock appeared to be more intense as the days passed by. Lord, helps us to understand that life is a gift and that it will not remain with us for long. Help us to realize that though life is a sorrow, we can overcome the pain. It is an ironic but positive consequence of sudden death that I appreciate and value life more now. God gave me another chance to live life according to His will, to share to other the real essence of living. Lord, use me as your instrument for this purpose.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reaching the Hands of Indigenous People

I accomplished this major task from November-December of 2010. This project was entrusted to me by my German uncle who happens to be a member of Dr Luppa Projekthilfe foundation , which is based in Amberg, Germany. The foundation has a great mission and compassion to extend a helping hand for the under-served not only in the Philippines but in other parts of the world. During those months, I almost experienced frequent sand storms in the area. From Bataan to Zambales, I traveled by land. I usually went on site for project inspection every weekend in order not to hamper my regular office work. I was forced to prepare myself for an early and exhausting travel with un-air- conditioned mini bus for approximately 4-4.5 hours depending on the pick-up of passengers along its route going to Botolan, Iba Zambales where the project is located. However, during those trips, you will get relaxed as the cool breeze of the wind touches your face and you'll get mesmerized as you see the beauty and wonder of nature. What makes me feel so pleased is that, when you come to the project site, you will see the thankful and happy faces of the recipients as they see for themselves the development of their long hoped-for public comfort rooms. All the stresses and body pains i got from this project paid-off because of its fruitful outcome. “Don’t wait until you make your first million to make a difference in somebody’s life.” 

Nationwide Pamaskong Handog 2010

It took me almost three months before I had the chance to update this blog. Too many things have happened in my life, so many that I almost forgot that time passes by so quickly. I just want to share with you first the happiest moment in my life that occurred during the months of December 2010 and January of this year.
The project beneficiary was situated at Barangay Culiat, Tandang Sora, Quezon City. Photo was taken together with our relative in a certain Congregation, Sister Lanie, who serves as the Project Coordinator. After this project, she was transferred. She is now assigned to Bacolod City. Another anticipated long journey this year.

Photo of the nuns together with my aunties
Project beneficiary was located at Barangay Imus, Kawit, Cavite--- the place where the project originated. Photo of Project implementor Ms. Ma. Lourdes Bugay-Amann, my loving and very generous aunt together w/ my other aunt, Ms. Thelma Bugay.
The 3rd site of the Pamaskong Handog program was at barangay Pto. Rivas Ibaba, Balanga City, Bataan. In photo was my Uncle Rey who handed a bag of groceries to lucky beneficiary. My sister-in-law was in charge of the roll call of beneficiaries.
In photo is one of the lucky beneficiaries of Pamaskong Hanapbuhay worth P5,000. The recipient was teary-eyed when my uncle handed the cash. It so happened that on the same day, the recipient's niece was in hospital and had no money for medication. God is really good.
The 4th site of Pamaskong Handog project was at Barangay Dirita, Botolan and Palanginan Zambales. Approximately 450 lucky recipients were given bags of groceries, cash for selected senior citizens and Pamaskong Pangkabuhayan to some luckier recipients.
Pamaskong Handog recipients from Barangay Dirita, Botolan and Palanginan Iba, Zambales. 
This photo of Pamaskong Handog recipients was taken at Carreta Cemetery in Cebu.  As per Father Max Abalos written article "In Carreta Cemetery, right in the heart of Cebu City, there are approximately 30 families living inside the graveyard and another 30 families who go there everyday to earn a living. Carreta Cemetery is in-between two other cemeteries: the Chinese and Municipal Cemeteries. Business establishments surround the cemetery."

Pamaskong Handog distribution photo with the Projector Implementor-Ms. Ma. Lourdes Bugay- Amann (My Aunt) and Father Max Abalos, SVD of Carreta Cebu.