Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Different wheels move different things. I found these somewhat interesting.
Like this beautiful blue tricycle which a family uses to collect cardboard and other saleable garbage.
While shooting the tricycle, this boy moved in.

Like him, sometimes we stand at the other side of the fence as cars move by.
So I shot him with his tricycle, which he protectively (and a little proudly) stood beside.
Of course, some cars move faster than others. Hurry, hurry, ding ding.
This Buick seemed quite a prize, lovingly refurbished, like a precious piece of history.

That's one beautiful lady, don't you agree?
Whatever you are moving in, what's more important is that we must move on.
Some memories can be cherished and lovingly refurbished, like this Buick, made to look exactly as it did before, no major distortion.
Some memories we unconsciously edit and rewrite. Painful memories from childhood, relived later in life because we didn't know how to really process and let go. You're stuck, just like the most expensive car of the latest model that ran so fast it crashed. Your life slowly burns.
Because you move too fast thinking you can avoid the process. And so, you never really move on.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A classless society

These look like beautiful homes in a peaceful and well-groomed neighborhood. Actually, they are houses for the dead, mausoleums. My husband and I visited the cemetary where mom's wake was held with our dog, LuckyHappy. It was so peaceful, so unlike the busy avenue just outside the gates. The further down you go in the cemetary, the more quiet it becomes. I once read in a book that in the desert you experience perfect silence. In a cemetary, you feel tremendous peace. Maybe that's what it's like when you cross over.
I wouldn't mind living here. But it struck me that just outside, there are living people who reside in shacks, while in the cemetary you have these structures for the dead.
Some mausoleums, close up. Now, these are for the rich dead, let me add.

As we walked along, I saw these tiny orange buds. Not fruit, mind you. They bloom into lavenders, like what you see to the left.

That's my hubby. Some people can't afford mausoleums, but they have these above ground structures. with a place to put potted flowers and a bench.
I love how the two trees cross towards each other.

LuckyHappy is very camera shy, and it took great effort to get this closeup of him. Ed and I really wanted quality time with him. He wandered quietly, observing everything around him.
And as usual, he ducked when he saw me aiming my camera.
We found this delightful family of askals who apparently live here. They barked our way, and LuckyHappy looked curiously. Then they ran back off to a fenced area that they apparently consider home.
We found this sitting area near a gravestone on the ground. No wonder some families like to picnic in the cemetary. I could see myself here with a laptop and going online or just writing.

These, I suppose are for the urns of those who were cremated. But many years ago, when I was in gradeschool, we lived near a cemetary for poor people. At that time, people in the Philippines didn't cremate their dead. They just put the bones in little boxes like these. I used to be fascinated and felt a bit sad for those people.
"Lay no flowers on my head. Sing no sad songs for me." I love what they carved on stone.
28 years later, someone still remembered to bring flowers:)
Isn't it beautiful the way this gravesite is adorned with flowers?

Mom's grave is something like this, just on the ground. The lapida is supposed to be ready in 2-3 weeks. Alice, Ted and I visited her plot and Alice placed flowers. But since mom was buried in a cemetary different from the one where her wake was held, I am showing this to give you an idea of what it will be like when her lapida is ready.
I wondered why the cemetary is so beautiful and clean, so fragrant when so many living people outside the wall live in squalor. But I also know that in the Philippines, on all Saints Day and all Souls Day, families gather around their relatives plot with food, beddings, music, guitars, everything and it's like a party. they even get to know the people from the nearbye gravesites. So cemetaries are also parks for the living here. It's all part of the cycle. and then in heaven, there's a classless society.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Friends Who Came

That would be Francie-Poo in blue. He was our buddy since college, with Bets and Nenita. Nenita is the old lady standing. She is maybe 79 going on 16. As we all are...
Ricky Feinsein, the cantor of mom's neocatechumenal community. Seated is Teddy Cua extraordinaire. Betty Samson, college bud. writer, teacher, speed car racer, wall climber, traveler, mag publisher, dog trainer, adventurera todo el tiempo.
Photo removed at Sam's request. Love you sis!

To the right is street parliamentarian Narz Lim and her hubby is in the green shirt.
Sockie, multi award winning director of commercials and films, and I are trying to be fierce. We were actually more fierce in college. Now we are just fabulous.

I think Tyra Banks would be very proud of us right now.
More of mom's friends from the community. Mrs. Feinsein, Margaret, and Teddy.
And more community friends
and more....
Friends, friends friends.
That's mom's fabulous head nurse Gwen, greatly loved by all of us. In fact, we felt so sad when she briefly had to go and were overjoyed when she came back. She is nurse par extraordinaire. But mom's other nurses were wonderful too, especially Ruth, Joanna, Rosalina, and another young one. We also missed Malu, one of mom's first nurses, who was also very excellent. Nursing is a noble profession, a vocation and you need to love the job and your patients as much as be excellent in what you do. They were all wonderful, loving and excellent.

Dondi and Esme came every day. They are an extraordinary young couple. On top of that, they have cats!
My buff guy Ed with Melo
My buff guy with Mr. and Mrs. Panser Tumangan, from his Bible cell group, and our church Victory Christian Fellowship. DA best!
Mommy's special angel Mary Felix was at her side when Mama died. She is a wonderful woman, Mom's dear friend from her community. I love Mary Felix, now and forever.

That's Agnes Dungca in the foreground, another of mom's close community friends.
Butch Toledo, Ed's buddy since way back when (left) poses with three buff priests from South America. Los guapos.
That's Nathan and his mom Chelo, my former Bible cell leader and Kat's former ballet teacher. Gorgeous lady, yes? She specializes in spiritual harvests.
And so I pose with Chelo and Nathan, removing my specs in hopes of outdoing her in the beauty department.
This was the day of the community mass when I had my photos. so-- more community!
But there were so many others who came too, how I wish I had my camera then. Ed's and my church, Victory Christian Fellowship sent flowers, and I know they were praying for us, thanks Pastor Ariel!!!!! Thanks Miel and Mash!!! Of course, Bambi and Martin Perez.  Bambi is the height of graciousness and you always feel good with her.  Other friends of ours were (I hope I got them all) Nancy Reyes- Lumen, *(the Philippines' Rachael Ray) who is always the first to visit a friend when they are in the hospital, or at a wake, or simply having a huge problem, which is why Nancy keeps her friends; Ju.D Lao (The Philippine's Fruitcake Lady), Mao Hinlo my beloved best bud from STU Inc. where I work (the officemates wanted to visit Monday but I was truly beat and stayed home with a migraine. Then by Wed when Mao called again for them, we were about to bury mom. But thanks for the love!!!!) Washington Lou, William Lou, Pastor William Sy, Val and Tin Perez, Marilou Galaraga, Pastor Gerry and Glo de la Paz (parents of the amazing G kids), the unbeatable, irrepressible, everloving everlasting Alex and Sol Depnag. Neighbors from Tahanan the Garcia family from across mom's house, and the neighbors beside them (I"m so sorry, I just remember you are the parents of Norman...), Mrs. Gamboa, Bernie, and Lance and 2 daughters, our wonderful loving and perfect neighbors the Virinas Tere, (who always works to save our environment and does good things for people secretly like the saints do), Rene, Clau and Sara, Alice's Sigma Delta sisters who love her and never fail to walk the extra mile for her (the Lubi sisters Tita and Leni, Rosary Benitez, Dr. Baby Allado who was there with her team on Sundays for no reason except to check on mom because they love God and Alice, some Upsilonian friends of my brother Vic, Alice's former officemates, even the parking lot friends from UP who still remembered Alice and Vic came.
I know I have not written all names, because I forget some, others I didn't know. but all of you , thank you for loving mom and for being there. I also thank those who texted me, Doc Helene, Eileen and Sheila, Tere Salas, Netong for calling, Rose for always always texting me and encouraging me. Thank you, all of you!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Growing up Gaviola

Photo of Sami and her boys removed at her request

Mommy comes from a family of 12 brothers and sisters. Half of them have already passed away. But the Gaviola tradition of being there for you when you need them remains. And so, here are the members of our wonderful Gaviola clan. Above, sis Sami and her boys Martin and Franco Pie.

Photo of Sami's boys removed at her request
They are praying.

That's Uncle Alex standing, the Padre de Familia of our Gaviola clan. Friends from Mom's Catholic community are seated. In the back is Sami.
Gaviola by marriage, my wonderful hubby Ed (left) with his friend Melo.
The Gaviola Buffs and Hunks. Evans in the background, in a checkered shirt. Next is Raffy, who kept everybody laughing. That's RicRic seated with blue stripes and another Gaviola. Well, I'm 53 so I'm allowed to have memory lapses.
Mamma Mia, muy guapita! The pearls are Sami's. The dress was given to her by Terrie years ago. She had Bally shoes from Alice, but since it's bad luck to wear shoes in coffins, they were simply placed beside her. She also wore the bracelet from Alice that she never took off and held a rosary from Lourdes.
Another Gaviola by marriage, Theodore Tanoue in the foreground. He had this running joke for the longest time of being photographed with just one eye. This time, I arranged for the one eye shot in consideration of him. Seated too is buddy Vic Fornier.
That's Dolly and hubby Gerry seated sweetly together. Sami is beside her and behind, I am maintaining my Tyra Banks fierceness.
The ladies divine, Aunties Nelly, Josie and Litang. Auntie Litang sang a Visayan song and her face was amazingly expressive. I gotta get the film...

That's Binky of Jaquielouville, Auntie Nelly and Auntie Josie. After Mom's burial, we all had lunch at Dencio's compliments of Alice and Theodore Tanoue, who flew in from Romania and the States.
Uncle Alex with Auntie Fe. She defeated Alice in the contest for "Crying Lady". In the Philippines, some people hire ladies to cry at funerals, but some of ours cried naturally, so no need to hire, haha. Auntie Fe totally took the prize but she gamely laughed afterwards when we all got to talk about it.
That's Alice's back, who we expected to be the No. 1 crying lady. Beside her is hubby Theodore.
Oh, it's great to be Gaviola. Menchie, Emmy (looking back), Maritess, Maye, and Gemma the family Brooke Shields.
And here they are in full force, during the mass.

Uncle Alex in blue, Auntie Fe, Alice, Theodore. Notice? The two top "crying ladies" sat side by side....
Take 2 for the Gaviolas in full force .
Bye Ma! The photo shows Mom and Kat, my daughter. Mommy was holding a --horrors -- cigarette!
Dolly with camera. I shot her before she could shoot me.

Alice's buds Ed Tamayo and Claire Magno, with Binky and Auntie Nelly.

Other relatives came whom I was unable to photograph, like Auntie Rorie with children Sigfrid and Henry, Tita Tits, Venny (wife of buff Evans), and buff Roy, husband of Brooke Shields Gemma whose name I forgot in my senior moment from a photo up above. Rex, hubby of Sami, always so supportive. Bong, hubby of Menchie, Kyla and Jovie, Venny's son (whose name I can't remember, another senior moment), please forgive me, those I forgot to add. Out of 12 originals, come so many others multiplied many times over. I love the Gaviolas!!!!