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little girl

The day she came was much anticipated by everyone. We made sure Mom never got tired or laid a hand on anything that she herself got frustrated with being stuck in bed or on a chair not having to do anything. It has only been a few months yet we couldn’t seem to agree upon a name for her. Each name we came up with, no matter how long it took for us to think of it, just never seemed good enough. This would be the name our youngest sister will be carrying and living with for the rest of her life, so it had to be beautiful, it had to say much and enough about her. Whenever we had a moment to pause and take a breath off work, we would approach Mom and gently rest our ear against her tummy and talk to the being inside which was soon to be born. We would talk to her, assuming that she heard any of it. We would shop for her soon-to-be clothes, carefully choosing for one she would love and be very comfortable in.

Finally, the day we’ve been waiting for had arrived. It was the 13th of December, 2001. It was the first time Mom was going to give birth that my sister and I were fully aware. There she was, lying on a bed, Dad’s hand in hers. The nurse arrived to take her to the room where she will be giving birth to our sister. We couldn’t help but be worried. All the excitement for the arrival of our sister were momentarily replaced by the anxiety of how Mom would be. We watched as her bed was pushed along the corridor to the room where it would all happen. I can’t even remember how long it took, but it was definitely more than an hour or even two. In my vaguest memory of it, it almost seemed like one whole day. My sister and I fidgeted in our seats every now and then, eagerly waiting for any sign that it was over.

However long it took, it had finally ended. The nurse exchanged a few words with Dad, and we were finally allowed to join Mom in the room. It was something we’ve waited impatiently for, but when it was there, I just wanted to savor every second of it. I walked as slowly as I could. The nurse had to smile and stretch out his hand to tell me that it was okay. I took his hand and slowly walked in. The first I saw was Mom in bed, holding this reddish figure gently wrapped. All my fears had gone and I skipped all the way to Mom’s side which wasn’t occupied by my sister and Dad. I looked down at that little thing which was our youngest sister. I asked Mom what name she decided to give her, and she said “Abigaile”in a voice that, without even looking at Mom, I knew was full of joy. That’s a beautiful name, I thought to myself. Why Abigaile? “Because it means ‘a father’s joy’, and that’s what she will become”, my mom explained. Wow. In that moment, there weren’t much words exchanged. As for me, I was content just looking at my new sister,already imagining the fun we’ll all be having together.

Years passed. Eleven, to be exact. Abigaile has grown to be a lovely and intelligent little girl. I’ve had so many dreams of the kind of girl she would become, but let’s just say it was too early to see all of them come to pass.

A lot of things happened in between. Elementary happened, wherein I was so focused on school and on friends. High school followed, where I was even more occupied. Finally, college, where I stayed in a dorm for at least 4 days in a week, and sometimes was not able to come home in a month. I was full of stress from my classes and club activities. Instead of having to come home to relieve myself of stress, I would just hang out with friends. Whenever I got home, I don’t even remember stopping to ask how Abby was doing. I would just go straight to bed. When Mom or Dad would ask me a question, I’d answer in a word or two. Fine, a sentence, at the most.

Even as I write, I still don’t have a box to fit Abby in. I have no idea of who she really is inside. I would catch a glimpse of her now  and then, listening to music or writing stuff. She’s much closer to Nikki, the second eldest. I’ve been making attempts lately to reach out to her, but no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to build that transparency I have with Nikki, with her. She loves writing. Nikki loves writing. I even taught her how to make a blog so  she could publish her works online. However, no matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to bridge the gap formed by over 10 years. Lately when I’d come home from an errand, I’d overhear Mom and Dad discussing how she’s being bullied in school or how she never seems to develop that self-confidence. With these thoughts in my mind as I go to bed, I couldn’t help but curse myself for not being there for her like I said I would. Things could’ve been different, I keep telling myself. If only I had been there for her at the start, we may have prevented any of this from happening. If I was there to appreciate her, teach her, help her believe in herself, listen to her, give her pieces of advice, she may have seen things differently. She may  be much happier than she is right now.

I tutor her now in Math, Science and English.  I follow-up on her activities in school and help her with homework. Nikki works on her projects, since she is gifted with more creativity than I could ever have. From time to time my patience would wear off, but then I make it up to her by taking her out on lunch dates or buying her some desserts when I come home. Recently, I’m the one who goes easy on her when everybody else is playing bad cop. Things are getting better, I can say.

When I come to bed and am haunted  by that “what if”, I would shake it off. Things could’ve been different, yes, but things can still be changed. What we call yesterday may never be brought back, but we can still change today, so that it won’t end up being another regret that’ll haunt us tomorrow.





good start, not bad for a 12 year-old. 🙂



“Mom,why do I have to come?”I asked, irritably.”Gian,you just have to.”Mom answered for the 20th time.”What kind of explanation is that?”I asked her for the tenth time.Mom didn’t answer,she just continued filling the backseat with unnecessary things with her shaky hands,like my favorite car when I was 5, my sisters dresses, and…”MEOW!!!” Our cat Bob,came near, wiping its soft fur on mom’s leg,expecting a treat or something better.Mom carried it to, trying to load its fat, furry body into the back compartment.”MEOW!”It cried like it was oblivion.”Mom!Your hurting Bob!”I said in alert,doing my best to free his fat body out of the small opening.Miraculously, I did.Bob jumped off my arms in terror.From his eyes,I knew that I would never see him again.Poor thing.”Oh”, mom said,smiling awkwardly,realizing what she has done.Mom blinked her eyes for 15 times,looking at the things in the back compartment, she stared at it blankly for 30…

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Twitter Terms and Literature

Interesting Literature

TwitterlogoThe word ‘tweet’ – meaning to post a message or item of information on Twitter – has this month (June 2013) been added to the Oxford English Dictionary or OED. In honour of this occasion, we thought we’d offer some interesting facts about terms associated with Twitter, and the stories surrounding their earlier uses. Many of them have a literary connection.

The word ‘tweet’ – as a verb – is first attested in 1851. It may have been in use earlier than this, but the OED cites 1851 as the earliest known date of the verb’s use. The word features in a poem by George Meredith, novelist and poet, author of Victorian sonnet sequence Modern Love. (Meredith was also the author of the poem ‘The Lark Ascending’, which would later inspire Ralph Vaughan Williams to compose his celebrated piece of music.)

The poem, one of Meredith’s ‘Pastorals’, contains the lines:…

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Tangled: Un film qui m’a touché…

<<Tangled>>… c’est un film qui m’a plu vraiment. J’aimais ce film parce que, d’abord, je pense que l’intrigue du film est très bien-pensée. D’une ancienne histoire racontée à tous les enfants autour du monde, un bon coup de théâtre était fait. Ma partie préferée dans le film, c’est la fin… ou près de la fin–la partie ou Flynn Rider a choisi à mourir que vivre et voir Gothel continuellement profite de la puissance des cheveux de Rapunzel, donc il a coupé ses cheveux. Je pleurais après l’avoir regardé. Pour moi, c’est le film le meilleur actuellement. Je pense que c’est parce que, avec mes amis (et oui, ma mère aussi), des garçons qui sont sincères et respectueux aux filles sont très très rares. C’est pourquoi voir un film comme ça m’a fait croire que c’est possible qu’ils existent toujours. Mes sœurs me moquent parce que, la plupart de temps, je pleure après (ou pendant) je regarde des films comme ça, mais ce film, c’est le seul film qui m’a fait pleurer même après l’avoir regardé au moins deux fois! Parfois, je veux le regarder encore.

Aussi, ce film est la raison pourquoi j’aimais le <<Lantern Parade>> à l’Université des Philippines, parce qu’il me rappellait de ma scène préferée au film–la partie avec les lanternes..tangled2tangled3tangled4tangled5


Les Français et Les Philippins

Deux cultures très différents… qu’est-ce qu’on a?

Les français… Oui, quand on l’entend, on peut penser que “Ah oui, ils ont tous, ils sont magnifique, leur pays et le meilleur. Les gens sont beaux avec leur grand taille et peau claire. Ils ont un belle culture et la langue la plus belle…“ Parfois on pense qu’il n’y a rien dont ils ont besoin. Mais non. Les français aussi, comme les philippins, ont leurs envie. Les jeunes, par exemple, adorent les américains. Ils même imitent le comportement des jeunes des États-Unis.


Les philippins sont connus pour leur hospitalité, leur être respectueux, et leur bonheur malgré des problèmes. J’avait une professeur de français il y a deux années. Elle est française, et elle nous a dit que quelquechose qu’elle a remarqué des philippins, ils aiment chanter n’importe-quand et n’importe-où. Ils chantent en travaillant, en étudiant, en mangeant (O___O). Ils chantent quand ils sont heureux, et ils chantent quand ils sont tristes. Elle a dit aussi qu’elle pensait que c’est positif cet attribut. Et je suis d’accord. Je crois que les philippins sont forts. Les Philippines est un pays qui a beaucoup de problèmes–la pauvrété, la corruption au govérnement, le chromage, manque d’établissements pour l’éducation, et plus. Mais, regarde ces gens. Ils sont affectés? Oui, bien sûr, mais regarde encore une fois. ils continuent, ils travaillent plus dûr, ils font tout leur possible.
Les français et les philippins sont différents, oui, mais il y a des similarités dont on peut profiter pour améliorer les rélations avec les étrangers. 🙂ImageImage