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From aversion towards organic vegetables, to a struggling organic farmer!

While living in the US, Whole Foods was my least favorite grocery store. It was nicely set up,  like a clean wet market, but their goods  were marketed and labelled as "organic", and therefore pricier than those sold in regular grocery store. It was not a complete aversion towards organic produce, I just didn’t see it as the best means to feed the poor and the hungry, especially when you're campaigning for diet diversity with fruits and vegetables. Usually, families who need to be educated about diet diversity are  low income, and cannot even afford to buy regular food available in a regular market, and Whole Foods is not your regular kind of market.

I am a parent to adult children

My first son was born when I was 19, while I was a sophomore in College. By the time I graduated, I had two toddlers! In my culture, having two kids as a teenager was unconventional, and unacceptable!!!


Today, my two sons are adults, in their late 20's, still single and trying to establish their careers. Since I had them at a very young age, they are much older than the children of my contemporaries. When my sons graduated from college, my friends were so envious that I was done with tuition fees and that I wouldn't have to worry about them as if I was free from parenthood. A friend who had her first baby when we were in our 40s asked me once, "when will the worrying end?" I reassured her by saying, "I hate to break it to you, it never does!"

Becoming an Asian Gringa

While I was on permanent resident status in the US, I was held at Dulles International Airport on one of my return trips from Manila. I was instructed to go to an area where other foreigners were watching the Football World Cup on the Screen (the real football according to my European friends) . It was US vs Germany and everyone in the waiting area was glued to the game, with no qualms of why we were being held by Homeland Security. By this time I had already been living in the US for almost 10 years, and had been in and out of the country at least 2 or 3 times a yr. It took a couple of years to overcome the anxiety of the possibilities of being denied entry every time I returned to the US, or being questioned of my stay even if I had legal status. So now this, waiting with the others who were facing deportation. 

One less Bernie supporter for Hillary

It was one of those scorching 100° summer day in Washington DC, not an ideal time to be touring a 13 yr old boy from Austria on his first international trip. Today we decided to go on the trolley hop-on-hop-off tour around the mall and the Arlington cemetary to lessen our sun exposure but we couldn’t escape the heat. After a quick selfie at the Lincoln memorial, we decided to get on a cab back to Chinatown to shop at New Da Hsin store.

The forgotten era in Philippine history

The other day, a friend of mine sent me a petition on for  educators to re-write the Philippine history books to include the full story of ousted president Ferdinand E. Marcos. This petition made me wonder what kids are learning in school these days. Thanks to movies like "General Luna" for educating the millennials and the generation after. Apparently, such movies did not only provocatively portray the conflicts among our heroes, but also "educated" the young audience why Apolinario Mabini was always seated! Turns out (some) students these days thought he was too busy to stand, and not because he was infected by the polio virus that confined him to a wheelchair. I am pretty sure this personal detail was presented in our history book by Agoncillo and Alfonso.

Trying to be creative at writing

LEAVES... green

sways with the wind

desperates for anchor

towards the grassy fields below


still so green...


Blown away

floating on air

exploring its surroundings

so free, so bear

My childhood song: “My Dingaling” – by Chuck Berry

At a young age of 8 yrs while living in Winnipeg, Canada in the late 70s, I learned to appreciate music by listening to a vinyl album titled “Dumb Ditties”. My appreciation of The Carpenters and the Bee Gees came after!

The Dumb Ditties album was a product of TV shopping. I saw the “once in a lifetime offer”, “must buy now” advertisement while watching “The Love Boat”, or was it “The Fantasy Island”? To my surprise, my parents heeded to my request to dial in and purchase the long playing album with 24 novelty music, including “The Monster Mash” by Jimmy Soul, “Alvin and the Harmonicas” by David Seville and the Chipmunks, “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” by Lucy Diner, and the famous “On Top of Spaghetti” by Tom Glazer and The Children’s Chorus.

Anyone who does not believe in climate change must be living in a different planet!

It’s only November and we are already experiencing the brunt of winter in the East Coast. It is not only the freezing temperatures, it is also the day to day temperature variation, and the rain and snow combination that can make you crazy! I hate both rain and snow and to have them together in one day is very confusing to the biorhythm and mental state! To make things even more unpleasant, gray dark clouds can really screw up your mood.

Giving Thanks without the Guilt!

On Thanksgiving we gathered around the spread of corn casserole, a 14 lbs roasted turkey with corn bread stuffing, cranberry sauce, stuffed grilled avocados, and bean and chorizo soup and expressed our gratitude through prayer. We remind ourselves how blessed we are to have this food before us, knowing that we will be eating turkey leftovers in the next couple of days, while the unfortunate worry about when the next meal will be!  This constant reminder of being blessed and fortunate is enough to build up what people refer to as the Catholic guilt!

Blog to blog with Shakira Sison

Shakira Sison’s blog on Rappler titled “'Ang yabang mo na!' and other things balikbayans are told” hits the nail on the head, big time! Thanks to my friend Elly for posting the blog on Facebook, and thanks to Shakira for being so brave in laying it all out so directly. After reading her blog, I realized that I am not the worst baikbayan ever! The comments under Shakira’s blog drew a lot of reactions from other balikabyans.


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