1. I’m a minimalist. I love the simple things of life. I think I embody what simplicity is but carried it to extremes sometimes. My younger brother once commented on the way I dress, “Bin, di man ka simple- losyang man ka!” I laughed but got hurt a little ( the truth hurts!).
2. I’m the eldest of 7 children. I have 5 brothers and a sister. Two of us in the family are married while three of my younger brothers are still going to school.
3. Once, I dreamed of being a flight stewardess. The prospect of flying high up in the air and landing in another country with new beautiful sights were too tempting for a young girl! But, just like any dream this died down when I had to wear eyeglasses on 5th grade and developed contact dermatitis. You know, stewardess had to be flawless with 20/20 vision. Well, time to abandon the dream 😦
4. I learned to play the piano when I was 8 years old. I had a total of 4 teachers! My original and the longest teacher is Ma’am Valdehueza. She is an epitome of the phrase, “music makes you younger.” She is now 84 years old but you can never tell it. She looks 20 years younger than her age! She advised me to never leave my music. Something I never did.
5. My second teacher taught me church hymns and choir pieces. But our relationship was not long-lived. She taught me for two summers, two december breaks only since she had to concentrate on finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of the Philippines.
6. My third teacher was the substitute teacher of Ma’am Valdehueza when she left for the states for 1 year.
7. My fourth teacher, continued to taught me choir pieces.
8. I studied for 7 straight years and was accepted to the Conservatory of Music of the University of the Philippines (Dilliman). But being the eldest, I had to let go of this dream and opted to stay at my home city.
9. I studied Biology instead at Xavier University on academic full scholarship. I thought this was a big help to my parents who had to shoulder my brothers and sister’s education.
10. My mother told me when I was young that I cried when my younger brother was born. I was only 1 year and 7 months when Rey was born. I would never leave her side and bite my lola when the latter will get me. So, my mother had to breastfeed rey on one side and lull me to sleep with the other hand.
11. Rey got married almost 7 years earlier than me. His eldest, Boyd will turn 7 next month. Boyd was followed by Kokay (Rebecca) a year after and Rose Belle 5 years later.
12. I used to treat Bodi and Kokay to movies and McDonalds when I was still single and living at home.
13. Once, a student saw me with my niece and nephew in tow and he commented later that he thought they were my children!
14. My eating buddy back home was my terter (sister) gladys.
15. Can’t believe how many sodas (with coke as our favorite) we could down with sisig! (finely chopped skin face of a pig sauted with onion, garlic, soy sauce and placed in a sizzling plate with raw egg placed on top).
16. I know it was unhealthy, but we just couldn’t resist going out and eat and eat and eat to our heart’s content!
17. Because of #16, I was way overweight. Well, Gladys was too.
18. So, we ended up on a gym battling out fat and more fat.
19. Guess what happened? It was a battle that we won by the skin of our teeth!
20. To stay healthy and fit, we had to stop downing so many sodas and curbed our eating habits.
21. But not for long! hehehehe
22. I mean for #21, it was a tug and war of being a bit slim then overweight and being slim again… and overweight again…
23. Until, I seriously decided that I should keep my weight within the normal range for my height (almost 5’5″) and age.
24. But, I never thought that once I get married and breastfeed, I would slim down! ( I can almost hear my brothers opposing)
25. I’m not kidding but I am way lighter now that I breastfeed than my pre-pregnancy self. I am just 120 lbs ( hehehe, got to write it while it lasts!) now.
26. My friends 18 years ago are still my close friends now.
27. They define what real friends are. They can forgive me if I’m late. The reason why I’m turning a new leaf (yes, I am on time now- hephep, hurray!).
28. My favorite movies are: Patch Adams, Awakening, Shine, Mr. Holland’s Opus- all moved me to tears.
29. Next are Amadeus, Snow Falling on Cedars, then comedies: Tootsie, Fifty First Dates and many more thatmade me laugh so hard I could not almost breath!
….. to be continued….