Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cory and Mom: A Simple Friendship

I visited Tita Cory’s wake yesterday with my mom and 2 of her friends. My Mom was one of the chosen few who were asked to speak during Tita Cory’s necrological services.

Listening to some of the speeches brought me back memories of my days in Cebu and visits in Manila when Mom and I would be in Tita Cory’s company. Those were the days when I was Mom’s constant companion, her shadow. But Tita Cory never made me feel like one.

As the shadow, I saw how their friendship developed. I saw the common thread that tied both of them together – their simplicity, their joy in little pleasures, their ‘cheap thrills’ when they go shopping and find good bargains or when they get latest scoops of showbiz chismis. Most importantly, it was their shared love for family, for shared memories of their husbands who have gone before them and for their unquestioning faith in God and the undeniable power of prayer in facing adversities in life that solidified their friendship.

Together, they were mothers who consoled each other when their child went astray. They were doting grandmothers – they would ‘show and tell’ pictures and stories of their beloved apos. They were simply two friends enjoying one another’s company. With Tita Cory, you did not feel ‘small’. She was real. She was human and very, very genuine. She was pure. She had no pretenses. She was the good in every human being. You just knew that her friendship with God was real. You knew she had a direct line to Mama Mary.

I am fortunate to have seen how Tita Cory was up close and personal through the friendship she shared with my Mom. I am blessed that she stood as our Ninang during our wedding. I cherish her gifts. I am grateful that she considered Mom her close friend. I am thankful I was given the opportunity to have been touched by her… even only as a shadow.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

After the Fight

After the fight, Dad decided it was time to rest. And the day he chose was today. He went without drama, without tears, without goodbyes. He just passed... as if it was the most natural thing.

I am numb. But I am at peace. I know Daddy Boy really LIVED his life. Of course there were so many other things he could have done more, but in his 67 years, he had received so many blessings fit for many lifetimes. But he also had his share of trials, and they were many, especially physically. He was ravaged and torn but he fought the fight. His spirit was not diminished... despite two major brain surgeries when he was younger, despite his bout with colon cancer, despite his struggle with diabetes (and believe me, this was a struggle because how he loved to eat!), despite his aortic stenosis, his pneumonia, his bed sore, his multiple strokes, his kidney problems, and so much more. Though it seemed physically he was weak, his faith was unshakable.

I believe God made him His instrument of what prayers, faith and love can do. Daddy could've left us earlier. In 2000, he died for a few minutes, but he came back. From that day forth, we considered each day a blessing, a new lease on life, an extended gift.

I never saw Daddy as the unapproachable, dictatorial, authoritarian dad. When I was introduced to him as Boydee's girlfriend, he told me jokingly that they had Chinese blood, thinking Boydee's being Filipino would be an issue in my family. In the next few meetings, he would ask me 'O! Kailan mo ako bigyan ng the IV, referring to a son.' When Boydee and I got married, it took us 15 months to be pregnant. Imagine the pressure especially when Daddy would be in and out of the hospital. I prayed so hard to God for Dad to be able to at least see the birth of the IV. I prayed so hard for a son. It was like I dedicated Bric to Daddy Boy. True enough, when Bric was born, somehow, they immediately had a special bond.

When Bric was a baby, his Lolo Boy would visit him in our room, and even if Dad wasn't as strong, he would try to carry our heavy son. When we put Bric on Lolo Boy's lap while he was in his wheel chair, the highly energetic, hyper Bric knew NOT to move so that Lolo Boy wouldn't have a hard time. He loved Lolo Boy, was always generous with his kisses and hugs, was always ready to sing and dance for Lolo if asked. Bric could make Lolo Boy smile from ear to ear. When Lolo Boy could eat, they would have merienda of noodle soup in Chowking.

I, for one, have always been a Daddy's girl with Daddy Victor, and with Daddy Boy. He was a pleasure to take care of. Sure, he had his moods but you just know that his heart was pure and gentle. In his quiet and calm moments and I'd be holding his hand, he would look at me and tell me thank you for taking care of him. Sometimes, for no reason, he would say thank you. He'd say I love you. And to me, it was not just words, it was a genuine heartfelt conveyance. Dad knew how to make one feel special. When you are with him, one can not help but give as much love and care as he deserves. He was a big lovable baby, one I could make 'lambing' to.

I can not even begin to say how much Daddy Boy meant to Boydee. He was his idol, and that says a lot. Boydee was named after him and that is a responsibility my husband does not take lightly. He carries it with so much pride because he knows that his dad is a great man, because he has helped so many and loved so much.

I feel you're just here Dad, in our midst, that you're just in your room sleeping, or in therapy. I still don't want to think that you've gone away forever. So for now, I won't say my goodbyes. I know wherever you are, that you will always still be with us. We love you so much! Thank you for staying for as long as you could. Now, you can rest and eat all the food you want! See you in Hong Kong!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


After months and maybe even years of prodding from my hubby, sisters and friends, I've finally decided to join the bandwagon and open a facebook account. My anti-social and seclusion days are over and I am now "public property".

I just signed up a few seconds ago and what's supposed to take just a few seconds became quite longer since I still had a few doubts. Boydee was beside me, continuing to coax me to join. I think he's only after my new ingredient if I sign up in Restaurant City. Bwahaha...

But I am sort of convinced of it being a way of keeping in touch with friends old and new. When I left for Japan (Nagano), I made a few good friends. I couldn't just email every bit of little news that would happen my way right? That's when I realized Fb is a good way to keep in touch and be updated. As Grace Ang said, you already have a topic of conversation, an ice breaker if you're friends in facebook and you see each other. Good point!

So, add me... Let's be "friends". hehehehe...

Profile name: Olivia Lynn Dizon :) hehehe

Monday, June 22, 2009

Quick Post

Just a quick post to show off my newest scrap :) hehehe... This picture was taken a few months back when Bric was just about to start his swimming lessons. Bought him a swimming cap and goggles. This was his first 'fitting' of the swimming paraphernalia. A tad bit tight, don't you think? His face is all wrinkly... like a sharpei... :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


We're here in Nagano, Japan where Boydee's Conference Chairman of the Nagano Asia Pacific Conference 2009 of the JCI. I'm technically the "first lady", sort of. And the Japan COC has really been taking good care of me, of us.

This afternoon is the Opening Ceremonies. I had my hair done at the salon. Costed me ~P2,100 for hair alone!!!! I decided to do my own make up to save on an additional P1,250! Imagine! So, salon is only for the opening and all th rest, I shall manage. That's a deduction from my shopping money. (as if I have any... hehehe)

Nagano is known for its soba (buckwheat noodles). Just this lunch, Kazuko-san, my interpreter and Hideaki-san who drove for us, brought me and Shin-a, wife of VP Teddy, to Tokaguchi, a mountain shrine with a forest trail. The place is also known for its soba. We had Ten Zaru Soba - cold noodles served on bamboo (zaru) plate and tempura on the side. It was delicious!!!

Yesterday, we were VIPs all the way! Felix and Grace were friends with the JAL President and he took care of them. Uncle Cecilio and I were only too willing to walk behind as "bodyguards". hahaha... They/We were given preferential treatment. Felix and Grace were upgraded while Uncle Cecilio and I were seated in the front row of the economy class but with business class seats. The flight took 3.30 hours. We were escorted upon check in to immigration and were even given lounge access. When we arrived Japan, someone was tasked to assist us, even getting our luggage for us! Now that's what I call service. It was great since it is Grace's first time to be in Japan, and she's doing so with style. haha...

Outside the airport, we were met by Yuki, who was holding a bond paper with my name on it. She was to accompany us all the way to Nagano. She was very sweet... Kaye, on the other hand, joined us in the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagano. She was funny and spoke with an American accent which she claims she learned by watching movies. At each stop, we were met and welcomed and assisted by the Japan COC or the Japan International Affairs. They were very hospitable.

When we arrived Nagano, Tomomi, a volunteer with a British accent, met us and brought us to our hotel along with 2 COCs. Mona, Boydee's interpreter/pa, greeted me at the entrance of the hotel. Then, I went to our room, then went back down to plan the next day's itinerary with them.

We then had dinner with Yuki, Obibi-san and Torizo to Torizo's restaurant specializing in chicken, chicken and chicken. We had chicken appetizer (drumlet simmered with soy sauce), then grilled chicken (yakitori), then chicken omelet and lastly, chicken in hot pot. It was yummy! Dessert of chocolate ice cream with frozen berries on the side was the perfect way to cap the meal. Obibi spent 6 months backpacking in Cainta during his younger days and he still remembers a lot of tagalog words. It's funny that his favorite Filipino songs are from Eraserheads. Usually, foreigners mention Freddie Aguilar's "Anak".

Anyway, we called it a night after that. I felt kinda woozy already. I unpacked, looked for Boydee and we went up together. Worked on his speeches a bit, chitchatted a bit and said our goodnights! :)


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Discovering Discovery Shores Boracay

Honeymooners...many times over...

February 22-24, 2009. Boydee and I took advantage of the super sulit promo of Discovery Shores Boracay. For only P18,887 net per person, one can avail of a 3day-2night stay in Discovery Shores, Boracay inclusive of roundtrip airfares via Seair, a 50minute Qi Massage in Mandala Spa, transfers to and from airport, and daily breakfast at Sands. How can you pass up an opportunity like that?! Normally, a night in Discovery costs $350!

Touted as our mini-honeymoon, Boydee and I excitedly headed off to the Old Domestic airport.
After our 30-minute flight, ~15minute ride to the dock, ~30minute boat ride on a PVC? boat, 30minute ride on an extended golf cart, we arrived Discovery.

Our Junior Suite

At Discovery, there are endless pleasant discoveries. They sure know how to pamper their guests. Little things go a long way. I was really impressed at the tiny details the management thought of in terms of service.

Welcome to Boracay sweets!

I loved... almost everything in the room. Boydee especially loved their shower, so much so that on the first day, he took a shower three times! I loved the personal touches to make us feel welcome. I loved the location and the beach front. I loved the spa serviced by the multi-awarded, world-recognized Mandala Spa. I loved their adobo for breakfast.

Sunset at the shores of Discovery

I loved the location. I loved the staff who were so warm and accommodating. I loved their welcome foot massage. I loved the free wifi! I loved the experience of staying at Discovery.

How can you NOT feel pampered?
When you go back to your room after a day at the beach,
your bed is turned up to invite you to sleep.
Even the slippers aren't left to chance!

I didn't like the noodle station for breakfast. I didn't like the position of the swimming pool. It was right in the middle of the property. Most of the guests can see the pool, and the swimmers, in their rooms.

Our trip to Boracay was a rediscovery of this beautiful island we've visited quite some time ago. While it had become a tad bit too commercialized for me, I still wouldn't mind going back over and over again. One of the main reason is the beautiful discovery of Discovery Shores... IF they have that package again. Hehe...

Visiting my Teachers

On February 13, a day before Sister Rose's birthday, I finally visited her in Tahanan, Manresa. The last time I saw her was when I was about to get married. I brought Boydee with me then, to introduce her to my future husband. Now, many years and a 2-year old son after, I visited her again. It was a long overdue visit! It was timely too since Sister Yang, my Chinese teacher, had just moved there from our school a few days ago. I was hitting two birds with one stone.

Sister Rosario Justiniani, for most Sacred Hearters who graduated in the late 70's up to the late 90's, is THE terror English teacher of our school. Surprisingly, she was well-loved and not a few graduates of our school would always go back to our alma mater and never forget to thank Sister Rose for imparting to us her knowledge of the English language and instilling in us the discipline to study and master our lessons. For elementary students who were not under her yet, she was the nun who would always nag us to keep away from her garden. In my senior year, I was finally given the opportunity to be under her. She helped me with my Valedictory address, editing what I had written and guided me during its delivery, telling me when to stop, when to make hand gestures, when to just pause. She was a mentor and the best part, she gave me high grades!!! Hehe...

Sister Teresita Yang, on the other hand, was one of the most gentle teachers of our generation. The story of her life can be summarized into one sentence: I go where God takes me. I submit to the will of God. Make that two sentences... :) Sister Yang reminds me of St. Therese, her namesake. She is humble, meek, soft-spoken and a very faithful follower of God.

On that day, I was supposed to be with Julie Christy, my high school batchmate but her son Josh got sick suddenly so she had to back out at the last minute. She sent her barbecue tho while I brought bilaos of pancit palabok. I brought Bric and Robyn with me. The sisters adored the babies!

I didn't know that Sister Georgette was already Provincial Head of the congregation. That means she's in charge of all the schools of Hijas de Jesus in the Philippines. When she knew I was there, she dropped by to say hello. She was in the middle of a meeting with Mother General - as in the head of the whole Hijas de Jesus in the whole world.

Sister Georgette was also one of the terror nuns when I was still in High School. I remember in Junior year, I was one of those she called to see her in her office to ask if I was sure I was ready to take the retreat. Of course I was. Hehe... That's when I realized I wasn't one of her favorites. Haha... Perhaps she thought I was talkative or didn't have my priorities straight, I'm not sure. Anyway, when I was serving as an officer and then president of our Alumnae Association, we were already quite close. By then, she was already Head of our school. From what I've seen, she was an upright and forward thinking Principal who achieved a good balance between what the school wanted for her students and what the students and parents wanted from the school. It was evident that her wisdom, management and leadership skills would get her places. And it did. She's now Provincial Head right? All for the glory of God.

I spent an afternoon with our Sisters. This was a first time in a long time that I got to be with them again. I promised Sister Rose I'll call on her again!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back for Good

It's been a month of 'iwan Bric' trips this February. Went to Cebu for an overnight to work during Valentine's day with Boydee at Chateau, then went to HK with muy chikas and chico for an eating spree, and then finally, today, got back from Boracay with Boydee for a mini-honeymoon. Imagine, Bric picked me up from the airport three times this month. Now, with no trips in the near future being planned, I am glad to be back for good, temporarily, til another destination comes along. So, I told Bric no more iwan for now. And he was happy :) Heheh...

It'll take a few blogs to talk about our trips. That will have to wait (again) since I'm getting sleepy. Zzzzzz.... Will head to bed :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

RaNdOM ThOugHts on...

Passport Renewal... I had my passport renewed and I am VERY impressed with this on line service - They provide a stress-free, very efficient passport renewal method. You apply on line, choose dates for pick up and for personal appearance to the DFA. When you get to DFA, you're received by Teletech/Teleserve agents and are treated like some VIP with your own waiting area. It practically takes all of only 15 minutes for the wait, the stamping of your thumbs and your signature at DFA and then you're all set to brave the Manila traffic. I just got my passport today. Just as they had promised. So, for stress-free passport renewal, log on to!

Passport Picture... While I am impressed with the site I just mentioned, I am utterly frustrated at why DFA imposed the rule of 'no smiling' on our passport pictures. I mean, don't we all look much prettier if we had a smile on our face? So, now, my passport picture has me looking like a school teacher. :(

Ayala Museum... Last Tuesday, a few MVC staff and I went to get some inspiration for our Ecclesiastical Museum. First stop was Ayala Museum, and my, am I proud that we have something like this! The museum was very well-maintained, technologically advanced and quite informative. I especially loved the essaying of Philippine History through the dioramas. Of course, the Amorsolo exhibit I reserve for the next paragraph. :)

Amorsolo's Women Exhibit in Ayala Museum... Just walking through the gallery of paintings by Fernando Amorsolo takes my breath away. Studying his painting, taking a closer look, I am whisked to a different time and place. His strokes are melodic. It seems like there is a rhythm, a music to his paintings. Sometimes, it isn't in the subject itself but the emotion that is so vivid in his work. It's magic. What a genius!

Bahay Tsinoy... A unique museum meant to bring about a deeper appreciation of our culture - the hybrid Tsinoy - descendants of local Chinese who know only of one country, the Philippines. Tsinoy... that's what I am, and so are countless Fil-Chi in the Philippines. We may be 'Chinese' but we're just as Filipino as the true-blooded Pinoys. The exhibit mentions heroes of Philippine history who were Chinese-Filipino. Jose Rizal, Emilio Aguinaldo, the martyrs Gomburza, and so many others. We're as much a part of shaping the country as our kayumanggi brothers and Philippines is OUR country. The 3D hologram on the 4th floor is a must see!

Boxing... This is our current form of exercise. My right ring finger is constantly sore but my, what a work out!

Well, that's it for now :) hehe...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Mini Reunions in Cebu

Cebu will NEVER be completely 'home' and 'familiar' without my precious friends. I met up with a few of my dearest ones while I was there.

My ZJC Mares. Grace will be leaving us to join her hubby in Perth, Australia so we had a despedida for her. A few days before that, we also met up because I was visiting. We had lunch at Cyma, then the despedida was at Golden Cowrie, all in the new Terraces of Ayala.

ATOM-D. For most of my college life, I shared my 'soul' to two friends - May and Dexter, who eventually ended up with each other. Hehe... And, who stood as my Matron of Honor and Honor Attendant during my wedding. Well, the friendship remains despite time, distance, children, pounds lost and gained (mostly gained). Of course, there's also Thomas and Leslie, our eating and our "corny, old-fashionably boring and wholesome" outing buddies. Well, again, since I flew in, we had to meet... this time with children in tow. We had a potluck dinner at Thomas and Leslie's place where Tiffy shared her gazilion toys. Here we are about to go home for a souvenir photo :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Simala, Himala

19 Jan 2009. This is Simala, a church dedicated in honor of the Miraculous Virgin. Here, the image of Mama Mary is seen to have shed tears. Located in between Argao and Sibonga, this monk-run shrine used to be a small shanty but because of Her miracles, devotees have donated so much that in its place is this huge edifice but holy, nonetheless. We went - Mom, Tita Aida, Tita Lucy, Tita Flor, Bric and yaya Mila on the Monday after Sinulog. There were quite a number of pilgrims but not as crowded.

To kiss the Virgin, we had to fall in line. While waiting, I lit colored candles representing different petitions, took snapshots, prayed, played with Bric and took in the magnitude of the church. This was built on donations alone! If God wills it, it will really come. This has never been more evident here.

After a few more minutes, we finally reached the image of Mama Mary where Bric and I whispered our hearts' prayers. We left the church soon afterwards, knowing our prayers wouldn't fall on deaf ears. But more than the prayers of petition which we lifted to our Mother, we also asked her to bring our gratitude to God for showering us with His love and friendship in this lifetime.

Friday, January 16, 2009

S-l-o-w-i-n-g Down in Cebu

I would never have thought I'd get to the stage when I'd not feel "at home" in Cebu. This was my home for a good 30 years of my life and yet, now, I realize, I'm not completely 'home' anymore. Things change. I've been away for four years and this morning, driving from the beach house in Mactan to our house (to borrow Audrey's high chair for Bric), I feel like I'm half home, half not in this city. For instance, I consider our bed in Manila as our (Boydee's and mine) bed and the bed I feel most comfortable in. Our room in Manila is the one that brings me comfort and rest. And more importantly, I feel Bric is most at home in the nursery in Manila. Given these facts, I still would NOT abandon Cebu. NEVER. I will always keep coming home and I am only too happy and feel most fortunate that I can offer Bric two worlds, two homes and two 'cultures'.

I have gotten quite used to the pace in Manila, though. In Manila, it takes 30 minutes just to go from the house to the office. Here in Cebu, it's just 2 minutes or even less. I could actually run to go to our office and be here in a minute since it's just next door with just a hole in the wall acting as the gate. Hehe... In Cebu, what takes me 30 minutes is the drive from our house to the beach, or even less. Or the drive from our house to Chateau, or even less. Yes, Cebu is just a small city but complete with all the cosmopolitan comforts. The pace though is just kinda making me sleepy. You accomplish so much in a day that you actually run out of things to do. No wonder I had so much time for badminton when I was here... or golf... or my extra curricular activities.

Here, it's so easy to organize get togethers while in Manila, I'm too lazy to even contact my friends since I have to plan my route. Here, everyone knows everyone while Manila is just tooo big. Traffic is bad in Manila. Cebu's is better. But what I love in Cebu is our food. Aaahhh... lechon, barbecue, Fely's cooking, Chateau's spaghetti. And I love how it's just so easy to spend a day at the beach and be close to nature.

I am glad and mighty proud to be a Cebuana. And even if Cebu isn't exactly my home anymore, a part of me will always feel that way, a part of me will always insist that I always visit, a part of me will always be Cebu. A huge, important part.