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On Sunday Morning

May 24, 2014.

It was a Sunday, and while waiting for mass to start, I was outside for the breeze.

These have been hot and humid days, and I am thankful for a respite.

This young family caught my eye… I like to watch people as a pastime, and when I saw them, I could not help but pay attention…

They were a young family…appearing to be in their early 20’s, with their young boy wearing the same outfit as them. They kept close together, and their movements were free, but familiar. I could sense that the parents were happy with each other, and were comfortably talking, while their boy, who was used to his parents’ affection, kept close and also paid attention.

Their body language showed that they cared about each other, in that unobtrusive way that I liked. I could see that they moved with an easy grace as those who were used to each other’s moods and tempers. It was a delight to watch…

I have a fascination for people. I simply can’t stop marveling at what good things people are capable of, or the way they interact with each other.

It is definitely a beautiful thing.


Mother and Son.


Mother wiping off a bit of dirt on the child’s face.

IMG_20150524_115836 (1)

An intimate conversation. 

Photos: The funeral of a great guy

Whenever he’s mentioned, people tend to say, “Job? He’s a great guy…”

My Tito Job was buried today. He was a distant relative, but where I come from, people tend to go to funerals because the person that died had an impact on them in some form or other in their life.

He died of liver cancer…he was being treated at the hospital I worked in and I ran some errands for him, and tried to help them out when I could.

He lost the battle to cancer very recently…but in everyone’s hearts, he never wasted away in his last few days, but instead, became an even bigger man, by staying true to his work as a councilor, being a dad and husband, and cracking a joke or two to people who appreciated a boost.

He was a nice guy, he was always kind.

I never got to know him intimately in my childhood, but at least, where it mattered, I was able to know him.

Tito Job will be missed, not only by the family, but also by the town…

Slow Dance

It makes me think of slow dancing.

Taking his hand when he asks for mine…acutely aware of the distance that’s closing between my heart and his…the fear of being drawn into the mystery of the unknown, torn between the happiness of the moment, and the fear of uncertainty thereafter.

My lips would quiver with words left unspoken, for they would taint the moment of otherwise pristine perfection. So instead, I’ll just breathe the words in sharply back, back into my terrified heart, for I will not have the courage to say them out loud.

Loud enough to reassure my heart. “You’ll be ok, you’ll be alright…it will all be ok.”

So instead, I’ll just lean in closer, and will have to still my heart with the promise of his soul.

…That effervescent essence from that deep,special place which I believe with all my heart that is only mine.

And then, maybe I can finally say…farewell.

To unspoken broken promises…to houses on hills built from cotton candy hopes…to hot tears that flow in lieu of words, to perennial aches from riddles that we won’t ever have answers to.


Slow dances may never be simply what they are anymore.

I relish these times of the day when I can have the house all to myself to work…and dream.

For tonight, I’m feeling hopeful…. I first heard this song on television, but I didn’t really appreciate the finesse of the performers at the time. After I took away the distractions, I was left with this beautiful, soulful song.

Sam Smith might have done the original version, but Charice’s version is what stirs me more.

Ok, now I feel infinitely better. The answers, whatever they may be, will come someday.

~ S.

On serenades

I saw an episode of the semi-finals of The Voice (US) and Sawyer Frederick’s version of this song made me feel…nice inside. Granted, he’s a good-looking guy with a guitar, but I could not deny that I felt an irrepressible urge to play it just a few more times to “savor” the “eeek” feeling inside.

A couple of Valentines’ Day’s ago, I got a surprise serenade from someone , and they sang this song. I eventually found out later who it was…but that’s not the point of this entry. 🙂 I just wanted to remember this one fond memory of a song played just for me. And only me.

Oh, and I just found out that a friend of mine had saved this video of me during that serenade. The guys with the guitar are frat neophytes who go around the hospital serenading the ladies (and gents) for their admirers who paid the fee.  All in good fun.

P.S.  More happy-making music. I love this one too… So polished, simple and easy…

Video: Fell in love with a boy

I’ve always loved this Joss Stone song…in fact, I tried to learn how to sing it.

I figured, if I knew the words…and I had had life experience, I could do it easy.

The voice? Somewhat. The life experience? Definitely, for this one experience anyway.

Falling in love with a boy, that is.

It was both exhilarating…and devastating (the song is not entirely about that, anyway).

I love this one anyway. And the blues. (One needs “experience” to do the blues.)

~ S.

Dawn Procession (Sibulan Scenes)

Took some (others blurred) pictures of scenes here. As much as possible, I want to document my time here, as well as show how life is like where I’m fro


image-122 size-full” src=”” alt=”IMG_20150513_050805.jpg” width=”2448″ height=”2448″ /> “Dawn” procession that got moved to an early morning schedule… Only a handful of people joined for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. 🙂 (Actually, I didn’t know it was, but my mother told me, so here I am.)

5AM, walking the streets while praying the Rosary.

5AM, walking the streets while praying the Rosary.


Many devotees go to Sibulan on the 13th for the monthly feast of St. Anthony of Padua.


This is at 7AM…later in the day, this whole courtyard is going to be filled with people, devotees from all over the island.

Monsters in the Backyard

I was called out of the house one morning. My father was harvesting one of the Singkamas (Eng: Jicama or turnip)  bulbs that he planted some time ago. He had to loosen the ground with water… and there weren’t one, but two monsters. 🙂  Pretty cool.

Also, it was only this morning that I noticed that they had some fruit trees growing in the backyard. Can’t wait for the next “harvest”. 🙂


Mother’s Day at the Boulevard

It was like any regular Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Boulevard…vibrant, alive and well, colorful. 🙂

“I Love Dumaguete” in color, and then some. Also, I like taking pictures of kids.

“wallflower” was the first word that came to mind, with the space reserved for his “friends”, but it seemed that it was a choice to have fun on his own terms. 🙂


The weekend walkers. The breeze was nice that afternoon…

Little girls. And little kids in general. I love taking pictures of them.

The world is all the better for these moms who take the time out to enjoy their kids. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day to the fulfilled women of our generation. 🙂

It’s a couple effort…they were slicing up ripe mangoes so he could sell them. I liked how “yellow” they were.

The ship will always find the port. 🙂

There are many kinds of moms…there are dads who are moms too.

Moms keep you safe.(Maybe sometimes too safe, but safe, at least.) 🙂

There was a guy and his wife who were cracking these sea urchins and putting them in a bottle. He only had a snorkel and was diving down for these… On the side note, i tasted some of these before. We put vinegar on it. They tasted like…the sea. For lack of a better word. Maybe if they were prepared differently…:-)

It’s the “cool dude” stare. Or maybe they noticed me taking their picture and didn’t like it. haha


Down by the river

Early morning sunlight improves the mood. I needed some physical activity and quiet contemplation earlier this mornin, so I did what I usually do when I’m in the mood. I grabbed my camera and went for a stroll.

Today was a slow Saturday (for me, at least), and I saw there wasn’t a lot going on, except perhaps for the usual. I was contemplating things today,htinking about work,  life, love..  

One of the luxuries of living where i do in the province is the amount of time and space that I can take to work on things that I need to think about. It gives clarity to a lot of things.

~ S.


The Early Morning Explorers

    After a conference of consultants from different medical specialties, I was given an option to ride with other doctors home to my island. Where I come from, it takes a 15-20 minute barge ride to cross from Cebu City to Dumaguete. It was a nice summer morning, there was hardly a breeze, and not a ripple of a wave in sight. 

While waiting for the van to take its place in the barge, I was able to snap some pictures of the community near the pier area. Liloan, Cebu, had a well-kempt little commuity set-up, and were accustumed to seeing tourists and other passengers regularly walk through their streets and piers for years, so they paid no heed while we were there.

The calm, limpid waters were very soothing and the early morning light was still nice. I could not resist but take pictures of my favorite subjects (yes, people). 

While in the car, it was mostly business talk, as the other consultants were discussing start-up ventures, most such as a new hospital that a doctor-slash-businessman was planning to put up in our city. Currently, there were 2 private tertiary hospitals in Dumaguete, and one government hospital, so it is still a promising venture. 

They actually asked me if I would like to invest, but I politely declined for now, as I was still starting my own career in the city, and hadn’t the capital to invest. (“Ask your parents, maybe they would be interested.” they suggested. 🙂 Side note: We doctors have a late return of investment as we start our careers late.)

Anyway, I was very interested of course, but that can wait. I still need to be able to stand on my own two feet first.


There aren’t many psychiatrists where I am from, and I am the only female one practicing in our city, so when I gave out my cards, they were very encouraging and suggested that I already apply for a consultancy spot at the hospital. I had done my internship there, so they already knew me. One of them commented that I needed to teach as well. 

It sounded pretty promising, and when one of them said that he really needed to refer because there were many depressed patients among the chronically-ill ones that he was handling, i saw a ray of hope.  The psychologically-minded physicians can be very good partners. I’m even more encouraged to do my best.