Kiki & Lala

Archive for the ‘We Are Family’ Category

What awful bloggers we are! Truly, shame on us!
But anyway – too late to dwell on that.

I haven’t blogged since I gave birth so what better way to make a comeback than to make the subject of this blogpost, the newest member of the clan.

He made an appearance three days earlier than expected in the early hours of December 31st. I made sure I hired the services of Oh Happy Day Photography to chronicle his very first meeting with his three older siblings later that same day.

I’m forever grateful to Polly Fong who took these heart warming shots. (Like you, Polly is an alum of both Poveda and Ateneo). She specializes in birth photography and her style is very journalistic. She does the posed shots but mostly, she melts into the background and shoots with barely being noticed. The result is priceless, candid images.

So here it is… a little slideshow of Xabier meeting his siblings (and maternal grandparents and uncle) for the first time. Not to mention the debut of my post partum, manas (swollen) look. But I don’t care. It was a special day and since you’re like NEVER here anymore, I’m happy to share it with you and the oh… five other people who read our blog.

These pictures help me forget the awful, awful post op pain I experienced the next day when they reduced my pain meds (uuughh!) But mostly, they make me incredibly thankful for all the crazy love I have in my life.


Easter Fun

Posted on: June 22, 2012

I was cleaning my room today and found our Good Housekeeping feature.  After reading the article, I felt guilty and ashamed so here I am, not necessarily back from real world hectic chaos because I’m still in a busy whirl.  Point is, I managed to find time to post.  I’ve been meaning to share with you this afternoon of pure laughter and fun that was Easter Sunday.  Insert snarky comment on late post here.  

So Christine and Kiki (another one) invites us over for Easter.  We had a wonderful feast of beef short ribs cooked by the Argentinian Chef, all kind of sides to go with it and a boatload of bubbly.  Here is some of the craziness that went on.

Welcome to the United Nations – in this picture is a colorful mix of South American, European, Asian and Middle Eastern diversity that you can probably only find in this city.

Enjoying the variety of meats that we got from our neighborhood carneceria.

Argentina vs Germany in horsing around.  Looks like Argentina is winning here.

After that decadent lunch we went up to the rooftop to take in the city’s spectacular view.

Kiki photobombing Kiki


Moments of sweetness…

And moments of silliness.

Blogging about this day makes me miss Chris 😦  Wish she were still here!


You missed another annual picnic. But what’s new…?

Actually, a lot is new at the family farm. We have more goats than ever!
And though you can’t tell from the pictures, they’ve been moved to the other
side of the property.

Breast milk is best - for all creatures.

Meet "Saddam"... so called because he is not a very nice goat.

Someone tried to climb the bamboo fencing to get closer to the goats.

We also have more shelter… sort of…

We had the usual carabao rides. Always fun.

But the highlight of the day was archery!


We had a crazy, sumptuous meal

(Sorry – I forgot to shoot the fabulous food. Just think mega barbeque and amazing veggies).

… followed by s’mores making – yaay!

And yes – that IS a fish head right by the marshmallows hahahaha!

The day would have been perfect except that we had some serious car trouble before we could even leave.

And while waiting for the problem to be fixed, we got rained on. Our little bahay kubo needs some re-roofing to say the least.

Hot wiring didn’t work so we had to leave the car there!
But who’s complaining? There was enough room in the other vehicles and had we not encountered all that trouble, we would never have caught this lovely sun shower.

I’m hoping you haven’t come across this yet. Apparently, we’re celebrating a century of Coca Cola in the Philippines and part of this milestone is the video below. It stars a 100 year old gentleman who shares his wisdom on life, love and happiness.

Get the tissue ready. This will make you miss our recently departed dear Lolo.

OK, so Lolo wasn’t exactly like the one in the video but I think he had the same kind of tireless spirit and dedication to family. I miss his quiet, smiley, comforting presence.

In between Trick Or Treat activities several weeks ago, the clan made a trip to The Aquino Center in Luisita, Tarlac. Being a hard core Ninoy-Cory fan as well as a closet history nerd made me really excited for this trip.

That Sunday it seemed our clan were the only visitors at the Center. As soon as we set foot in the museum, it felt like we were in a church or some sort of hallowed ground. Everyone automatically spoke in hushed tones. And I don’t recall seeing any “Silence Please” signs.

This is the entrance hall where some very dramatic and iconic images greet you.

There are some nice mosaics too.

The museum takes you through Ninoy’s life chronologically. There are many interesting personal effects on display such as the camera he brought with him while covering the Korean War, various hand written notes and the like but the real highlights are the bloodied bush jacket he was assassinated in and the reconstruction of his cell in Bonifacio.

No picture taking is allowed in the actual museum but this image is from Wikipedia.

You really have to make the trip there yourself to understand the feeling of being near the clothes that Ninoy Aquino was murdered in. It will make your hair stand.

Aside from the obvious, the blood stained clothes do have a story of their own. Only on the day of the funeral were they removed from Ninoy’s remains. Soon after, they were sent to some family friends in the US who were tasked with having them properly, expertly preserved. However, because they were so soaked they were told the treatment would not preserve the suit but rather only delay its eventual decay. The suit was tucked up somewhere in the family friend’s home in the US until Tita Cory asked one of her nieces to bring it back to the Philippines shortly before the opening of the museum in 2001.

The other highlight is the exact replica of the 3 x 5 meter prison cell where Ninoy was kept in solitary confinement from over 7 years.

photo credit:

Aside from marveling at how he kept sane in such cramped quarters, I couldn’t help thinking about how the family managed to keep so much of his stuff – things that I would not think twice about throwing out like his rusty bathroom shelving, old towels and slippers.

The point is, you absolutely come out of there with a whole new appreciation the price Ninoy and Cory paid to precipitate the return of freedom in the Philippines. They don’t make heroes like they used to. But remember:

And if you’d like to visit, here’s the schedule:

Here are some recent conversations I’ve had with my eight year old.

While waiting for the driver to pick us up at the mall.
Rocio: Mom, how did we ever survive taking taxis?
Lala: You mean like in Singapore or HK?
Rocio: Yeah! It was so expensive.
Lala: Well, don’t think you ride the car here for free. I have to continuously pay for the gas, the toll, the driver and even the bank every month because I borrowed money to buy the car.
Rocio: So it’s like you pay everyday?
Lala: Of course…
Rocio: Oh my god… I would never survive being an adult!!
Lala: (smiles wisely) Oh you will…

This is what happens when you try to teach your kid to be thrifty when shopping.
Rocio: I think our house should have a big space to run around and a bamboo pole I can practice climbing.
Lala: Umm… OK… but I don’t plan on building a very big house.
Rocio: Why not?
Lala: Well, the bigger the house, the more expensive it’ll be.
Rocio: Yes, I know. But what if you got it like on sale?

I love how kids see possibility more than limitation.
We were walking out of church and some guy in the parking lot in a white Starex threw a piece of scrunched up paper out his window.
Lala: Nice! That guy just littered.
Rocio: I know it’s so bad. It’s so dirty. Why do people do that?
Lala: Because they’re lazy and not properly educated.
Rocio: Well, if I were to rule the Philippines, the first thing I would do is teach people that it’s bad to litter. Look at Singapore, they’re smaller than us but they’re so clean and the people are disciplined. It’s embarrassing!
Lala: True but you need to realize a smaller country is also easier to manage than a bigger one. Get it?
Rocio: Yes, Mom… But then I could make it like the States which is way bigger than the Philippines and still people there don’t litter so much.
Lala: (silent thought bubble) Damn she’s good.

I wanted to share with you (and our 5 other readers) the shots I took of our precious little people (Pitufos!) during my quick- -as-lightning trip home.

Ate the Poser…

With Kim fighting over that bloody guitar

Presenting The Pitufettes!

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar??!!

Nad and Talia in their pretty party dresses

Kelly With Hot Mommy Lala

Frame by frame shots of Talia kissing her BFF Kelly!


Finally, the Pitufos with Papa Pitufo sans Kelly

I miss them terribly 😦

Tulong Para Sa Rizal

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