Early this morning we found our dog Madonna dead at the back of the house. Stiff and with ants all over, we were all surprised by her sudden death. We did not expect this to happen because she had been eating with much appetitie as usual the day before. Her last meal was given at around 430pm, a little past her usual time of 4pm, because me and our house companion Cristy just came back from the bank and bought some groceries near the entrance of our village.
Since last year, we noticed some eye cataract on her and on/off skin problems. We haven't had the chance to bring her to the vet because she was so heavy and it is so hard to put her inside the car. We gave her some old prescribed ointments for her skin which cured her skin problems but because she likes to sleep or roll on the garden soil often, her skin problem keeps coming back.
Her untimely death came at a time that my Yaya Wawa is currently seeking medical attention. Many times had we encountered that when someone is sick or on travel, a family pet leaves us behind. We feel that again, a four-legged friend saved the life of one of us in the house. This is one of the reasons why we had been pet lovers since I can remember. There is this mutual bond that binds you and your family pet for a lifetime.
We don't know exactly what's the age of Madonna at the time of her death (i.e.she was already an adult dog when we got her sometime in 2003), but we will always remember the fun times we had with her---she was a great watchdog and an intelligent dog who likes to stand with 2 legs and rest her front paws on the veranda grill bars. Her bestfriend dog-Choo Choo would surely miss her too.
Today-January 18, 2009, my 15-year old cat Skyflakes and almost 12-year old dog Spice died, approximately 4 hours apart. Spice was diagnosed with liver and kidney problems and a mouth tumor. Skyflakes simply became weak and had a lower than normal temperature. Both showed signs of loss of appetite, and difficulty in standing. Spice died 2 days after seeing the vet, while Skyflakes died only a day after seeing the same vet. Considered both senior citizens,Skyflakes and Spice are considered 75 and 70 in human years respectively.
Skyflakes is fondly remembered for her ticklish reaction when her back is touched that arouses her deformed tail, having the most number of changes in her favorite sleeping places like on top of me, the massage chair, inside carton boxes, under the chair, on the sofa, near the altar, on the piano, beside the telephone, on top of the skycable box, over plastic bags, and many more. She loves soup and fish. She often likes to jump on my table when I am eating, just to have a drink of cold water from my mug. She likes grooming, and sleeps long hours. She had toilet-training on her own by picking a corner of the living room as her regular pee spot, but when our nanny shouted at her, she transferred to the toilet room to do her thing, up to her last day when she can still walk. She had a major operation almost 2.5 years ago when her uterus went out of her body during her last birthgiving. She is the most photogenic among our cats and with special unique poses captured on my camera.
Spice has been the most behaved among all our dogs. A gift from my high school friend Asela, I buckled her up in my seat belt while I was driving to bring her to our home. Ever since, she had never urinated in our bed when we were sleeping together during her younger years. During the years I worked in Myanmar, she became a canine companion to my mother by sleeping on her bed or under her rattan chair. Her joy was overwhelming and had a face of disbelief when she saw me again after 2 years. She often peeped out the window during her younger years, checking out who had just arrived or is standing near our gate. My nanny took care of her like a baby, feeding her with Cerelac during times when she lacks appetite in eating leftovers.
Our whole household is grieving on the loss of these 2 lovable pets, and it's the first time that we lost 2 of our pets on the same day which happens to be the Feastday of Santo Nino. Truly, their long years of service had brought us great joy and love, that we shall remember forever. We will remain grateful to God that He has given them to us to brighten up our lives.
I had the chance to travel to Bangkok last November 9 to 12, 2006. It was not intended for a vacation. I went there to apply for a new business visa so it was shouldered by the company. As stated in my contract, I can only apply for a new one in Bangkok, as it is the nearest country to Myanmar. But because I got the visa so quickly, I had the rest of November 9 afternoon till evening of November 11 to tour the city as well.
I was initially tensed while preparing for the trip. The ticket was only bought a day before the expiry of my visa, and I was not too keen to proceed with the travel as it would be the first time that I would be arriving at the new international airport, and I would be travelling alone to find my way into the city. It was a good thing that I had friends in Bangkok to help me-Rinna &Carlo, and Jonathan, still in Manila at that time, took turns in texting me in finding my way around Bangkok, in riding the BTS skytrain, and assuring me that the lodge I was staying was a safe place, despite my room not having double locks in the room door, and in the window leading to the side street, and the room phone can't make outgoing calls. I also appreciate Ned, a friend also based in Bangkok, who recently visited Yangon, that even with his super busy schedule, was able to treat me for a Thai food dinner.
Carlo was so helpful during my shopping spree at Chatuchak market as he carried almost all the things that I bought. He even accompanied me to see an IMAX movie, a wooing 1st time experience...it felt like you were really inside the movie itself and able to touch the characters inside. I found Siam Paragon Ocean World advertised in the map, so I checked it out, as it claimed to be the biggest aquarium in southeast asia. It was similar to a place I visited in the Mall of the Americas in Minnesota. Being alone at that time, it did not stop me from enjoying the place as I was able to take pictures using my mobile phone, and requested the staff and other tourists there to take my pictures.
Rinna and family were not able to meet me though, She and Mike were so busy at work. However, it was a good thing that me and Rinna was able to chat for a long time over the phone for several times and with Mike on one occasion. I haven't seen them since they transferred to Bangkok in October, 2005, so maybe on my next Bangkok trip, I hope they already have the time to meet me.
I learned so many lessons from that trip. I learned that God indeed gives us worries and problems to make us stronger, and experience is the best teacher. Before leaving Manila, I disciplined myself in riding the MRT/LRT to save on taxi fare so at least, getting used to riding the BTS skytrain in Bangkok was not that difficult. Also, my new company in Yangon let me stay for 3 weeks in a cheap hotel last May, 2006, where there were also no double locks inside the room door. So even if I still had some worry on the safetiness of my BKK room, I was not that scared anymore compared to my first time experience. I also got fooled by the taxi driver coming from the airport, making the meter start at 73Thb instead of 35Thb, but they can't fool me the next time. Also, even if the Thai staff at the lodge where I stayed were not that warm to me, I just gave my best smiles in every query I made. In the end, they were so excited to have a picture taken with me, that they even put their best make-up on.
But the most that I like from this trip is that I knew that I can really count on my true friends again. I hope I can make it up to all of you in the future.
Today, the 4th of November, 2006, is my mom's birthday-her first birthday after she died on July 20, 2006. This is the first time I cannot make an overseas call from Myanmar to be able to hear her voice, because I have to accept the fact that I will never ever be able to talk to her again.
The last time I celebrated my mom's birthday with her was in 2001, a week before I left Manila to go to Yangon when I joined UL-Phils. For the succeeding birthdays-2002 to 2005, I never failed to call her long distance, and each time, I made it a point to invite some friends in Yangon to eat out in a restaurant to celebrate her birthday.
The last time I talked with her over the phone was on May 14, 2006, when I greeted her on Mother's Day. I am now just holding on to this special memory by keeping a copy of the telephone bill that was given to me by the company whose GM that time lent his mobile phone for me to be able to make that phone call. To this very day, I am very thankful for him for being there at the time that I have no other phone available to make an IDD call. I will forever treasure those 17 minutes and 11 seconds of conversation that started at 6:54:55 Yangon time, or 8:23:05 Manila time.
I am glad in knowing that my brother Danny, my father, and yaya Wawa were able to visit her gravesite last Oct. 30, 2006, and my father and my mom's personal aide,Cristy were able to visit her again on Nov. 1, 2006. As for me, I just prayed and lighted up candles for her in my bedroom on Nov. 1&2, 2006, infront of her blow-up picture that I placed on my table, the last one that was taken in April 20, 2006 using my mobile phone. I also know that my Kuya Joey & his family who are based in NJ, always include our mom in their prayers. While writing this blog entry, my brother Danny, and nephew James informed me that they are on their way to her gravesite to offer flowers and candles.
I thank God for giving me my mom, and may she be blessed with eternal happiness that she truly deserves.
Yesterday was not a good day to me. When I woke up I was burning with fever. The day before that, I even bragged to my maid that I never get sick because I always take vitamins and drink calamansi juice (2 bottles of which I bought way back in May, 2006 at the time that they still allow passengers to handcarry liquids inside airplanes).
I must have gotten the virus from my maid because she complained of itchy throat so I gave her Dequadin lozenges. But her immune system might have been stronger because it did not turned to something more worse. She even told me she felt better already after taking the lozenges.
But yesterday, I still had to go to the office. I used up a lot of tissue because I also had a running nose. It was only at night that I was able to buy amoxicillin and take paracetamol. I even bought a cold pack which I placed in the fridge.
I was touched by the action of my maid because yesterday morning when she knew I wasn't feeling good, she offered to cook porridge for me as my dinner, for which I said yes, and when I arrived at home, it was served hot and delicious as I would wanted it to be.
I wasn't able to attend lifenet-a weekly prayer meeting held every Thursday within the same apartment building where I stay because I had a 39 C or 102 F fever. That night it was so horrible for me because I also had pain in my stomach.
It took 2 paracetamol tablets and the cold pack which I put on my head to get some sleep, before my fever subsided. It was a good thing that I was able to report to the office today, because our company's Board of Directors had a scheduled meeting.
Although I am not fully recovered until now, I still went to the internet shop tonight to go online, because this is what keeps me civilized in this place which time forgot. Anyway, I can rest tomorrow, because of the Hindu holiday-Diwali which is a non-working day in Myanmar.
This is the last picture of my mom which I took using my mobile phone. Although she died last July 20, 2006, her memory and goodness will always remain in my heart forever. I know she is at peace and is with the Lord now.
Happy Birthday to my Kuya Joey (in NJ) & Victor (in Vietnam).
Kuya Joey has been my best friend since our childhood days. It has been almost 20 years ago (i.e. since April 24, 1986) that he opted to migrate to the US to join his wife and son. The first 3 years were heartbreaking-at a time where only snail mail was available, every long distance phone call from him would end up in tears, it was hard to hold back. We were playmates till the time he was leaving and I was still looking for a job then. Every night/day I would stand at the garage waiting for him to park the car when he arrived home, and spend the night away till the wee hours of the morning just playing crazy 8s with him. We never got bored doing the same things over and over. At the dinner table, you should be fast enough to get your share of bangus belly and spaghetti, otherwise, after you get a meager portion as a first serving, he would eat up all the rest. He is the "George Javier" of the family, not only because of the similarity in looks, but because he can crack jokes that would make you laugh so hard, you could die laughing. After all these years though, he looks more like Rico Puno, though I still have to hear him croak a tune to see if he can also be a singer like him.
Victor is similar to my Kuya Joey in the sense that he is the life of the party. He may not be able to crack as many jokes, but every word he utters would make every listener so amused and excited on what he is telling you about. It was only once when I had the chance to travel in Bangkok with him and another friend, Hyat. He was truly an enjoyable and fun companion to travel with.
To both of you, may you continue to give joy and laughter to many people.
It was in my November 5, 2004 blog posting that I marked the day that my close friend forgave me by telling me "Bati na Tayo" only a day after we had a misunderstanding. Relationships even if between the best of friends can really be unpredictable and sensitive. At one point, you will feel that everything is going on well, then suddenly something goes wrong, and it is no longer as it used to be.
For me, asking for forgiveness takes a lot of effort, sincerity, and humility. It will not need further discussion and explanation from one side to the other. But there is a huge difference if you are on the other side. Even if both have their own hurts - are you the one seeking forgiveness or are you the one who is asked to forgive?
My misunderstanding with a close friend on November 4, 2004 is a much different scenario than what I am going through now. The issues are no longer comparable, and now, I am the one on the other side, the one who is initiating. But if it is a consolation, I know I have done my part to explain my side and I am doing my best to be aware of my own faults. I cannot undo the things of the past but I will still be hopeful that the feeling of happiness I had on November 5, 2004, can again be possible.
I am a person with so many imperfections. I know I have a lot of things to change in my life, how to deal with people, setting my priorities, and so on.
I know that I should have made this sooner, but it is with the above realization that I am seeking forgiveness from the people who I have hurt, offended, and abused-the people who have treated and considered me as friend and family, the people who went out of their way to help someone like me. They truly deserve much value and whose kindnesses would really make me be forever grateful to them.
It is then with all humility that I am reaching out to these people, to let me have this chance to be heard, to know the sincerity of this message, and let me have the chance to start anew from where I went wrong. I hope that with the help of God, I could knock and be welcomed in your hearts.
From the Bible:
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. Psalm 41:1-2 (KJV)
I Will Be Here
(click on arrow to hear the music)
If you have at least one close friend in your life, you need not worry. It is assuring to know that someone will always be there for you.
To my family and friends-a promise I will keep--I will be here for you as you have been there for me.
As Francis Bacon said: Friendship doubles joys and reduces sorrows by half.
ALL ABOUT ME
My Favorites: Colors-Blue and Green Foreign actor-Keanu Reeves, Harrison Ford Foreign actress-Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, Sandra Bullock Animal moviestar-Airbud, Paulie, Andre Cartoon character-Snoopy, Scooby Doo Foreign movie-Legally Blonde, E.T., Jack Ryan series Animal movie-Andre, Airbud, Beethoven Animated movie-Beauty and the Beast, Shrek Broadway play-Beauty and the Beast, Lion King Filipino food-Adobong baboy, Kare-kare Myanmar food-Mohinga Japanese food-Salmon, Shrimp tempura Soup-French Onion Pasta-Spaghetti al Pesto Desert-Creme brulee, Black forest cake
CANINE CELEBRITIES AIRBUD - Basketball
AIRBUD - Baseball
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