Archive for the 'THE PAST REVISITED' Category


A Eulogy For My Dad

First of all, allow me to apologize for not being active on the blogosphere for the last few weeks. The last few posts were automatic posts I have scheduled earlier before a family crisis came.

I recently lost “Tatay“, my dad. He died last month at the age of 68. I was miles away when he left. My sister had to call me to deliver the sad news, and I had to flew back to the Philippines the following day to give my last respect. In my entire life, that was the saddest 9-hour flight back to home.

It’s been a while since I posted something really personal. And this post in particular was written with many revisions. I couldn’t write for my Dad especially days after he died. I tried, but for some reasons, the words just couldn’t come out.

The night before his funeral, I found an old letter in one of my boxes located in a bedroom that used to be mine. The letter was written by my father when he was still working in Baghdad, Iraq. The date was August 27, 1982. I was 7 years old that time. Amazingly, the date I found the letter was August 27, 2011. The letter was written for me by my Dad exactly 29 years ago. This letter inspired me to write the eulogy. I felt, that for some reasons, Dad allowed me to discover this letter, so I could find the words to say about him.

What follows was the English translation of the eulogy I delivered during Dad’s funeral. Before he was brought to the church, he was first brought to the barangay hall where he was given some honors for serving our community for 10 years as a Councilor. Here was where I gave my necrological speech.


Before I start my eulogy, can I request everyone to give my Dad a big round of applause. (Some claps). Actually that was also for me, to give me enough strength to speak in front of all of you today.

My name is Nelson, for those who don’t know me yet. I am the second of Tatay’s four children. I was the one assigned to speak about our Dad as a FATHER. The truth is, it would be very difficult to put all the things I want to say about how Dad was as a father, in a few-minutes talk. I can write a book about his fatherhood. But this afternoon, allow me to just share with you some very short stories about him.

When my siblings and I were still small, we would wake up to a well-prepared breakfast. Dad would make coffee for my sister, coffee with milk for me, and plain milk for Pits (my younger brother after me). Each cup would have a small plate on the side with pandesal that he precut into bite sizes. Dad prepares all these to get us ready for school.

When I grew up and started my nursing studies, I needed to wake up as early as 4am in order to get ready for my hospital duties in Manila that would start at 6am. My father would wake up earlier, about 3am – to prepare my breakfast, and baon, as he would not allow me to leave the house without eating.

When I started working as a nurse in Ospital ng Maynila, I had the same routine of waking up at 4am for my AM shifts that start at 6am. Dad untiringly wakes up between 3 and 4 to cook my breakfafst.

Later I got married, and before our baby was delivered, I had to leave my pregnant wife under the care of my parents, as I needed to leave to start my work abroad. My wife delivered our first baby, and everything went well. My wife had to go back to her work later and had to leave our baby to our parents. My wife had to leave as early as 5:30 in the morning to be at her work on time. Again, Dad would wake up around 4am to prepare my wife’s breakfast. When my wife has left for work, he would check the plates to know whether my wife ate enough. He would be worried if she ate less. This is for my wife this time – and he was doing this because he loves me – the husband of my wife.

But the touching part of this was knowing that during these times, when he was preparing  breakfasts for my wife, he was already hemiplegic. Half of his body was already paralyzed after suffering from a stroke in 2003. Imagine him cooking all these eggs and hotdogs, setting up the table and washing all the utensils – with just ONE functioning hand.

A dear friend of my father told me a story when they were still both working together as construction workers in Baghdad, Iraq. They were both there during the time the Iran-Iraq wars started. There were bomb explosions everywhere and they were told to evacuate their accomodations. They were told to carry ONLY the most important personal pieces. Dad then carried the boxes of toys that he had bought and meant to give to us, his children, when he returns home. He left his clothes and other personal stuff and ran with the boxes of toys while bombing was everywhere. That was how he loved his children.

Allow me to read a letter which he sent to me when I was still small and he was still working in Iraq. This was dated August 27, 1982, and he sent this to me via snail mail. I was only seven years old that time.

Dear Nelson,

How are you, son? I heard you got sick. I hope you don’t get sick anymore, because I feel sad when you and your siblings get sick.

Nelson, I received your letter. You write very well! I will buy you a toy, also for Lito and Pinan. I’ll get you nice toys.

I hope you don’t go to the Municipal Building anymore (Dad didn’t want us to play around that building because of the cars that go in and out of the area). That’s what I like. I know you are all good children.

Always pray so that you don’t get sick anymore.

Please write again, so I would always be happy. I am also glad because you always follow what I say.

Okay, Nelson. Kisses to you, to your siblings and to your mother.

Your father,


I am also a father now. I have a 3-year-old son, and I try my very best to be a good father for him. My father did not tell me how to become a good father. He simply lived and let me watch him do it. I learned how to become a father by example. I learned how to offer myself whole-heartedly to my family.

Dad had 4 children and all of us were able to finish our studies. The eldest is my Ate Ren who’s now an elementary school teacher. I am the second and I’m a nurse in Abu Dhabi. The third is Pits, who’s a civil engineer in Canada. Last is Jay who now works as a high school teacher. All of our good life now, we owe to our Dad, with Mom’s support. Our parents tried their best to provide for our education.

And if there is one honor or achievement that would be considered the greatest in Dad’s entire life – that is – he was able to successfully fulfill with flying colors, his role as a father to the four of us.

Tatay, thank you for everything. We are very proud of you.


I would love to hear your comments…


Why I became a nurse

I am actually not sure why I chose this career, except that nursing was something that I have always wanted to do as far back as I could remember.

I was in grade-school when I was brought to the hospital to be checked for complaints of abdominal pains. I was not admitted that time, but I saw how nurses worked around and I was completely amazed by the skills and caring attitude they showed to the patients. I guess that started it all.

I come from a clan of teachers. But I had one aunt who worked as a nurse in the US, and I can say, she was one of my influences. I did not see how she worked, but I saw the good life she had and the life she provided for the family back home.  I came from a poor family myself and I thought, I would want a profession that would fulfill, not only my life goals, but would provide economic stability as well.

So when I was about to make a career choice after high school, I decided to choose a path that would allow me to be in a helping mode, and at the same time,  earn enough to be able to uplift my family’s economic conditions. During that time, nursing was a popular choice, even for males because the job was in-demand in the US, and it was easier to get there with this profession as a passport. I thought, I could also bring my family to the US and start a good life in the Big Apple.

It was a rough road trying to finish the 4-year course.  My parents found it difficult to pay for the school fees and on my first year alone, I almost transferred to another school, and to another course, with lesser tuition fees. But I was determined to finish Nursing, so I decided to work at the same time while studying. Being a working student was really tough, especially if your course was Nursing. I had to wake up very early for my hospital internships, go to work after that, and attend the afternoon-till-evening classes in school. I never had summer vacations, as I had to continue studying even during school breaks in order to graduate in time.

And to graduate in time, I did. I passed the board exams the same year and got my RN license. I also took the exams needed to be able to get to the US (CGFNS, NCLEX, and IELTS), and passed them.  Why I am still not in the US is another story. I’ll probably tell that in another post 🙂

It’s now 15 years since I graduated, and I have never regretted my choice many years ago. I fulfilled my goals. I am in a helping profession, and I was able to uplift my family’s economic status. I may not be in the US, but that was not really a major concern for me now. I had my ups and downs, bad days, and bad cases, but those times did not deter me from staying in this job.

Being a nurse allowed me to understand life better. I appreciate every single minute of my life, and the people around me. It is a great opportunity to be of help to those who are vulnerable, to those whose life is in danger, and to those who put their trust on my hands. Being at the bedside for so many years made me realize that each and every one of us are just alike. No matter how different we are – rich or poor, good-looking or not-so-good-looking, black or white, educated or illiterate – we can all get sick. We have the same human anatomies after all. And we need each other to survive.

I am writing this because I needed this self-awareness. Many times, it gets really stressful and tiring at work. There are so many challenges and the work gets demanding everyday. But sometimes, a little reminder of why we are here on the first place is enough encouragement and reassurance. I hope other nurses who feels that work is just becoming too much, are reminded of this privilege – of being used by God to heal and help patients.


Where God Wants Me

This is another old forwarded email worth sharing. I am not sure who the original author is. This is in time for tomorrow’s commemoration of the 9/11 attacks eight years ago. Hope you like it.


september_11_burningOne day I happened to call a man on business whom I will probably never talk to again, but this day God wanted me to talk to him.

He was head of security at a company that had invited the remaining members of a company who had been decimated by the attack on the Twin Towers to share their office space. With his voice full of awe, he told me stories of why these people were alive and their counterparts were dead.

All the stories were just little things.

You might know about the head of the company who got in late that day because his son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring donuts.

The one that struck me was the man who put on a new pair of shoes that morning.
He took the various means to get to work, but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. That is why he is alive.

So, Now when I am stuck in traffic, miss an elevator, turn back to answer a ringing telephone… all the little things that annoy me… I think to myself, this is exactly where God wants me to be at this very moment.

May God continue to bless you with all those annoying little things.


(video from wesleyschacht)


How would I look like if…

Have you ever wondered how you looked like, if you were a fashionista during the 1950s up to the 80s? Will you be sporting a different hairstyle? or will you be having a different fashion taste?

Here’s my peek into a world I’ve never been! I tried the different hairstyles and wardrobes of the earlier eras, and checked how I would look if I lived during those times. It’s like getting into a time machine! I had a good laugh doing this.


Want to try this on your pic? Visit yearbook yourself and start having great fun!



My Second Mother

Yes, I have a second mother. And no, she is not a stepmother.


I got to know her first as my English 1 teacher on my first year in college. Professor Jovita H. Orara was a very strict teacher. She was like a visiting professor from UP then. My classmates feared her because she would use her UP style of teaching in her classes. But later on, we found her very friendly especially outside the classroom. She was like everybody’s grandma.


After the first semester, she was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. During that time, there was no CAS existing in our school, and that meant that she needed to start her office from scratch.


That time, my parents have told me that our finances cannot support my nursing studies anymore because of the expensive tuition fees in our school. I was told that I should transfer to Bulacan State University, and shift to another course, hence I will not be able to continue my college studies. During that time, tuition fees in BSU was very cheap (as compared today) and so affordable especially for less privileged students. I felt terrible then, because I really wanted to finish what I have started, and become a nurse.


Having regarded Professor Orara as a friend, I told her about my dilemma during class cards distribution. She was quick to suggest that I work in her office so that I will not have to pay my tuition fees, so that I could continue my nursing studies.


My parents did not object, and I promised to them that I will try my best to balance work and studies in order to graduate in time. They supported my decision and believed that I could pursue the goals I had set for myself.


During my stint as a student assistant for Dean Orara’s office, I came to know a lot of things that I still value up to this day. My tight schedules taught me how to value time. I would wake up very early in the morning to study, and prepare for my nursing internship in hospitals. After my hospital duty, I would rush to Dean’s office to do some errands, and some paper works. Later, I would be seen attending my classes until 7pm. I would also accompany Dean Orara home, a trip from Bocaue to Quezon City (where she lived), and back, on Mondays and Wednesdays. I would be home by 9 to 10 pm.


Ma’am O (I got used to calling her this way) also taught me how to become organized.  I absorbed her system in running her office. I made sure memos were signed by receiving persons, corrected even the smallest typographical errors, and made sure files were labeled and in order. I was made to manage a small library, which further improved my organizing skills.


I was made to deal with people more often. I was a timid person initially, but got over it after I dealt with different kinds of people as part of my work. I helped in the enrollment process where I got to deal with students. I assisted teachers with their work. I circulated memos. I was made to visit teachers in their respective towns. I was introduced to the UP community. I got to watch quality movies, stage plays, and ballet performances.


My values enriched as she taught me a lot of life lessons. She would tell me stories about her struggles in life and how I should get inspiration from hurdles and impediments. She trained me to become a strong person, enduring the sometimes harsh realities of life.


After graduating, I was then absorbed by the same office as an Office Assistant. Later on, I found a nursing job, and I found it difficult to leave the place. But even after leaving my office work, Ma’am O  and I never lost contact and she remained my mentor for life. Whenever I needed to make tight decisions, it was her that I would consult. She considered me as the son that she never had.


She would also call me if she needed some help. And I would always come running at her doorstep. We started a unique friendship. When I went to work abroad, we remained in touch through phones, letters and cards.


When I was about to get married, I found it difficult to tell her. I knew I would break her heart, as real mothers would. And break her heart, I did. She felt so sad when I announced my wedding. But I knew that was just an initial reaction. I knew that she was just worried if I was making the right decisions in life, just like any parent would think in that instant.


She does not usually attend weddings, unless it is her daughter’s, I know that. But she attended my wedding. Mine was an exception to the rule, ah!


Today is her 81st birthday (Nov 15). We celebrated her birthday in her office yesterday, together with her faculty members. I think this is my first time in five years to be in the country for her birthday, so I really made an effort to be present. I bought her a cake from Red Ribbon. She just sent me a text message this afternoon telling me that there has been a lot of food during the day, but yesterday’s cake was still the best, not because of the taste, but because it has full of love. Whew! So inspiring…


I owe a lot to Ma’am O and words cannot just measure how much her contribution is to my life. She made me become who I am today and she will be part of who I will be tomorrow. I will forever be grateful for having been blessed with a second mother.


FRIENDS COMICS: A Past Revisited

I have a very imaginative mind as I child. I would make robots out of medicine boxes. I would sculpt figures out of clays. I would draw and write the whole day. I got involved in art competitions and really enjoyed art classes. I never realized that later on my passion in art would connect with another passion, to be able to connect with people.


I was 11 years old when I started making my own version of comics. I folded bond papers into two, and stapled it in the middle, just like local genuine comics would do. I would draw girls in flashy clothes for the cover. The contents would include children poems, short stories, comic strips, and other works of fiction, all brought about by my very wild imagination. A friend suggested the name FRIENDS COMICS. And that started it all.


I would then let my classmates borrow my masterpiece and would allow them to write anything they want – comments, suggestions, greetings, and sometimes literary contributions. I enjoyed the response I was getting, as my classmates enjoyed the entertaining reading material that I created. It then became a weekly publication. My sister and my neighbor once borrowed the comics and brought it to their schools. Instantly, I had readers outside our school waiting for the following week’s issue.


 The comics would come back to me full of writings, and almost worn out. I did not mind if the comics came back in poor condition. My intention was to make people happy through my artworks. And I think I was able to do it in my own little way. I would keep the read comics in my drawers until I was able to collect piles of my masterpiece.


I continued making comics until I entered high school. I grew up with my readers, and as my readers and I matured, the contents developed as well. The article contributions included older-themed poems, advice columns, watercolor artworks, and even love song lyrics.


The use of photocopiers, scanners, digital cameras, computers, and the internet, was not as popular before as it is today. So the limitation in modern technology was a factor in mass-producing a personally-crafted weekly-published comics. My comics remained as a single copy, passed from person to person, until it comes back to me, when everybody has finished reading – and writing their own literary and art contributions. Its being a single-copy-comics had its advantages though, since it allowed my friends to write down on the pages personally, so that the next readers would read what they wrote. The early readers would come back reading the comics again, so that they will be updated on what has been added.


The weekly publication was ended by a farewell issue dated March 1992, just before our high school graduation. I wanted to continue it during my college years but my college studies did not permit me to do so, since I took up a very demanding course.


Fifteen years after I stopped making comics, I stumbled upon piles of my masterpieces in my old monobloc boxes. As I opened each pages, I started a time travel, and I was brought back into my younger years. How I laughed at my old corny jokes, and artworks as I child!


The comics issued when I was in high school were even more interesting. My classmates’ writings and contributions were a reflection of how colorful teenage years were. There were revelations about crushes and even word wars among friends. Two of my friends who have already passed away were made to live again by their writings. Ah, what a way to reminisce! I realized I never lost those joyful times of my childhood, as they are wonderfully inscribed forever in the pages of Friends Comics.


And hey, before I forget, I should give credit to my special friend who gave my comics its name – she is now my wife.

If you know Friends Comics and is interested in revisiting the past, visit I started posting scanned pages there. Join me in my time machine! I assure you it will be a very interesting journey!


No one person can ever experience all that life has to offer. It is only through sharing - experiences, feelings, insights - that we can hope to grow beyond our own meager lifetime.

Nurses are tough people. But behind great nurses are inspirations to keep them doing what they need to do - TO CARE.

Nurse or non-nurse, please feel free to move around the site. Everybody needs inspirations to be encouraged every now and then.

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***Inspirational quotes are lifted from elsewhere (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram). If there are issues regarding copyright, please let me know and I'll take the post down.

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Health posts here are the author's opinion and should not be taken as professional advice. It is still best to consult your physician. Posts in this site protect patient confidentiality, so if you have any concerns regarding any of the nursing posts, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them.

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