Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Macau, Days 2 & 3

Yesterday, we spent half the day in Zhu Hai, China. We crossed over the Macau-China boundary by shuttle bus, went through Immigration twice and shopped in Zhu Hai - Macau's answer to HK's Shen Zen.

Here, haggling is an art and a must. Haggling is done by who presses the lowest digit in the calculator. Hehe... Haggling brings out the fun and challenge in shopping but then, it does get tiring after a while. Anyway, favorite buys of that trip were our matching North Face jackets. I also got myself a NF backpack which doubles as a laptop bag. I can use this for those rugged outings. For Boydee, my favorite pick for him, was the Hugo Bass curdoroy jacket. The fit looked perfect on him! We bought PJs as pasalubong for our yayas and drivers; and for Bric, we bought PJs as well and 2 pairs of shoes. Fake Tiffany & Co. pendants were also where our shopping money went to, mostly for gifts. Then at 7pm, we all went back to Macau.

Today, we had lunch at an italian restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf; had several picture taking sessions. Then, Boydee and I went to Wynn's to have Mommy Nonie's Chanel watch fixed. The rest of them went back to Venetian. Boydee and I also dropped by the Penha Church which looked so inviting from the road. Nestled on top of a hill, it provides visitors with a view overlooking the city of Macau. The church itself was surprisingly small and simple despite the gothic edifice looking humongous from the outside. Perhaps a seminary was housed there? After a look-see, we went back to our hotel.

Back in the hotel, we decided to try our luck in the casino since we were in a casino hotel already. We played Black Jack and played with HK$1,000. After a few minutes, we were up by $1,500 so we decided to call it quits. As they say, 'Quit while you're ahead,' and so we did.

Now, we're lounging around our room waiting for dinner time. This has been a relaxing and fun vacation. Except that we're missing our Bric. But in a few more days, we'll be able to hug and kiss him again. For now, it's bonding time with Daddy, Mommy and Lola and the brotherhood and sisterhood, plus Agila and Mike. We're very fortunate to be able to afford this luxury to be able to travel together; luckier still that our family is a happy bunch and actually enjoy one another's company! It's like being in one big barkada, where it only takes so little to make each other laugh!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hello Again Macau!

We're back in Macau, the whole gang of us Dizons "adults" plus future Dizon, Zhar, and Lola Nene. This time around, we're spending four days in Macau instead of just a day trip when we were last together in March 2007 for Mommy Shalene's birthday.

Today is Day 1 and it's been an easy and tiring day. I've disrupted my sleeping schedule because we had to wake up at 4am today to make it to our 8am flight. Upon arrival, we took the hydrofoil to Macau. It is great how the cities of HK and Macau are very forward looking especially in developing its tourism industry. From the HK Airport, we can now go direct to Macau via the Ferry without the inconvenience of having to drag our luggage all over. We simply hand the Ferry staff with our baggage claim tags and then they get it for us and bring it with the hydrofoil. When we get to Macau, we claim our luggage with the same baggage tags. We didn't even have to pass through Immigration in HK. Really, really convenient. Kudos to our tour leader for this trip, Rondic, for making the travel arrangements and leading the pack! :)

When we got to Macau, we headed straight to the Venetian Shuttle where we were taken to Venetian. This hotel is just soooo huuuuggeee!!!! So huge and populated, in fact, that going around the lobby towards Bambu, the Asian Buffet outlet where we had our late lunch, felt like being in a marketplace with ambience. The hotel was just so full of people!

I thoroughly enjoyed our late buffet lunch of roasted goose, pork herb soup, chinese noodles, black pepper beef, and sweet and sour fish. Not too good were the sio mai and ha kaw. Despite a few let downs, it was still a good and full lunch with the older Dizon couples (Ate, Japa, Rondic, Lai, Boydee and myself) sharing shallow jokes and laughing heartily because we were all just too full.

After several minutes' wait in Dad and Mom's colossal suite room, our rooms were ready and we all headed to our respective sleeping quarters. Our rooms are luxurious, spacious and ostentatious. What's best is the FREE wi-fi internet access! At least, we're not cut off from the rest of the world.

Boydee and I spent our idle time watching the championship round of the Australian Open which saw 2 great future tennis players, Serb Novak Djokovic and a very promising and charming French player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. While Novak won the trophy (his 1st grand slam and the 1st Serb to ever win a Singles Grand Slam Tourney), it was Tsonga who won the hearts of the Aussies. His game was very fresh, 'free' and fearless. A lot more is in store for this new 18th seed.

I got hungry after the match so after a call to Ate, we all went down for dinner at the food court. We strolled around the Grand Canals Shopping Center and ended our day at Dad and Mom's room to decide what to do the next day. Once decided, we all went to our rooms one by one or two by two, actually.

It is now 12:40am of January 28. It is time to call it a night. We just finished Day 1 of our Macau trip. Tomorrow is Shopping day at Zhu Hai. Gotta rest so we can have the energy to shop, shop, shop!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Flight of An Angel

It has been 5 days since I gave birth to our 2nd baby, 5 days since she lay on my chest, 5 days since we said our tearful hello's and then, it was time to say our goodbye's forever.

In the early morning of January 4, I had consistent hourly contractions from 4am til 7am. I decided I had better have myself checked just to be sure we, Boydee, myself, Bric and Yaya, were ok to fly back to Manila the day after. We've been in Cebu since December 30 to spend New Year with my side of the family. Mommy Nonie called Dr. Milagros Chan, a family friend and a veteran OB-Gyne, and she readily said she'd see me at 9am that day.

Mom, Boydee and I went to see her in her clinic. After a brief overview of my condition and looking at my records, she checked me and asked me to have myself admitted to our preferred hospital. I was apparently already in labor and was already 6-7 cm dilated. We rushed to Chong Hua Hospital, got myself admitted then I was sent straight away to the Labor Room. At about 11am, I was being wheeled to the Delivery Room getting ready for delivery. Even if River was breech, I was relieved that Dr. Chan decided to do a normal/vaginal delivery for me. I was also quite relieved that I would be delivering my baby in Cebu where everything is just easier since everybody knew everybody here. It was easier to request that Boydee be in the DR with me so we can baptize River when she came out.

At 1:26pm, River came into our world at 7 months in my tummy. She was tiny and didn't cry much. Dr. Chan allowed her to rest on my chest for a few minutes. Boydee was standing beside us, and in a second, we baptized her together. She was baptized River Uy Dizon. Forty four minutes later, she passed. She lived long enough for us to baptize her, long enough for us to see her and hold her, just long enough for me to say I am so sorry she didn't have a chance to live longer and normally, just long enough for us to say we love her and just long enough for her to feel the love of her parents.

River wasn't born with the perfect figure, nor the perfect face. Her condition didn't allow her to develop normally. But her spirit was most beautiful and her soul most pure.

Her condition may have brought us much sadness, confusion and was such a trial of our faith but it also brought us closer to one another and to our families, and most especially deepened our faith in God. I believe we made the right decision in choosing life over death when we lifted all to God and gave Him the decision as to when and where to take River away. He couldn’t have chosen the more perfect day and place.

River would have been surrounded and showered with so much love here on earth but God intended for her to be with Him in heaven. Her beauty was not of this earth and her mission was not to live here with us; but to watch over us from above in the company of God, as our little angel.

River was cremated last January 5 at the Cebu Rolling Hills with her Mamalyn and Mama Rona as witnesses.

They say a soul goes to heaven three days after he or she breathes her last breath. River would have already taken flight by now and hopefully, is in the protective care of her Mama Mary.

We are most blessed to have an angel-daughter, and Bric, an angel for a sister. Til we meet again, River. Bring our love with you to heaven and watch over us. I miss you so much!!!