In light of the National Day of Protest in my country, the beautiful Philippines! Let me post a photo which would represent my protest contribution. This photo is not mine and neither have I sought authorization from the owner. I just hope that the owner (musicorspaceshuttle.com) would be generous and kind to permit me in using this photo.
Look at the photo and imagine them lifeless. This is iWire Center in Moline Illinois in its full capacity at 9,200 people during a Pearl Jam rock concert in 2014.
The full capacity of iWire Center is actually even lesser by a couple of thousands as compared to the number of extra-judicial killings and summary executions that has occurred since the day President Duterte has run and governed my country. At present, human rights groups’ count stands at 13,000 casualties.
No to Extra-Judicial Killings. And i pray that it ends soon.
The Wedding Reception Party of my niece Thatcher and new nephew Alexis is one of the coolest parties I’ve attended this year. And in this gathering held at the Marriott Hotel Manila, I was given the task by the couple to render a speech (me being the representative of the family of the bride).
Before you read my speech here’s the cool pre-nup video of the couple…
Here’s what I said during the grand celebration of love…
Hi! I am Neil and I am one of the loving uncles of Thatcher, tonight’s lovely Bride.
Like what everyone knows, it is unfortunate that Thatcher’s dad (my brother) passed away when she was still a little girl. I’m pretty sure that my Kuya Iko, Thatch’s dad, would be so happy now that she has grown up to be a fine woman and has finally tied a knot with a gentleman. Kuya Iko must be smiling and watching up there in Heaven.
Thatcher grew up with her brother Denden who acted as her father figure. It was always her Kuya Denden and at times Ate Erika whom she can count on. Kuya Denden and Ate Erika are Thatcher’s significant human beings that made Thatcher the way she is today. While I, along with my elder brothers Wreigh & Bogis and Ate Raquel’s elder brothers: Larry, Dennis & Nelson were her warriors if need be.
One of the most touching deed that Thatcher has done to me is a note she composed a couple of years back. The note was part of a gift she gave me that Christmas. I was touched when I read that note for it indicates how appreciated my being an uncle to her. That note was one of the best gifts I received that Christmas and up to this day that note is kept in my treasure file.
The first time I met Alexis was in Japan. Prior to meeting him, I have heard a lot about him from the stories of my Nanay Nengkoy, nieces Erika, KrisMae and Mica and nephews Denden, Luis and Miggy. One big conclusion was derived from their stories, Alexis is a rich kid who does not seem to know anything about household chores. Because of this pre-conceived idea, simple tests and challenges were concocted for Alexis during our family’s vacation in Osaka. These challenges were simple household chores that Alexis needs to undertake, i.e. from fixing the bed, to taking the garbage out, to even washing the soiled dishes.
At the end of that vacation, my family all agreed that Alexis passed these simple challenges. Though not with flying colors at least Alexis did his very best to get along with a crazy family like ours. He even passed the test of eating his vegetables as insisted and enforced by his Ninang Gaying. In my own personal analysis, the most impressive trait of Alexis is his being respectful. During our first meeting, he automatically addressed me as Tito Neil.
To you Thatcher & Alexis, now that you are married, let me correlate my unsolicited advice with that of your recent pre-nup video. Your prenup video was shot in Enchanted Kingdom, a theme park with various rides and attractions. Please be advised that life indeed is like a roller coaster ride. At times it may be like a happy ferris wheel or a nerve wrecking space shuttle ride. There would be moments that life’s challenges may seem to be like a trip inside a horror house. But you should always remember that no matter how hard and difficult trials may be, never stop falling in love with each other. I’m pretty sure that life will simply be a breeze when you’re together like that of a gentle ride on a Merry Go Round. I hope that you stay together forever and live an enchanted-kingdom-like life ahead! Congratulations and cheers to Thatcher & Alexis!
Canadians must be very pleased and delighted with their Prime Minister. As seen in the news, Justin Trudeau with his family joined (for the 2nd year in a row) the march and walked the streets of Toronto to celebrate Pride Month causing the internet to swoon over such a cool world leader.
Canada has indeed gone so far ahead as compared to my country in terms of respecting sexual diversity, equal rights and self-affirmation. It is sad to note that the present President of the Philippines (my president) – dubbed as the Punisher by Times Magazine and known around the globe as an iron-fisted ruler – joining a Pride march and the rainbow procession on the streets of Manila or Marikina seem very unlikely.
Watching the news about Canada makes me drool… Happy Pride!
I joined PAL’s Mabuhay Miles Mother’s Day Promo. Mechanics says that participant needs to post a photo with his/her mom in any memorable Philippine Airlines destination. Chosen entry will win 10,000 mile-points and an overnight stay for 2 at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar.
Though it looks like me and Nengkoy is not going to win because I saw the other entries and theirs were so stunning and beautiful, I enjoyed joining. It’s a way I suppose of expressing how fun to be with her and that I am proud of Nengkoy! This is my entry…
I actually don’t need to win because having Nengkoy, my Mudra, in my life is the ultimate reward! Happy Mother’s Day Nengkoy!
My Holy Week last year would most probably be the holiest Holy Week I will ever have, it is because I got to spend it right where the holy Holy Week happened, in Jerusalem, Israel. This year I am in San Francisco USA. And though it is definitely less divine compared to last year, I nevertheless got to observe Holy Week here.
I got to attend and celebrate Holy Mass at Grace Cathedral last Palm Sunday. I actually arrived 30 minutes before the mass started that is why I got the opportunity to take photos and go around the holy church.
One funny thing happened though. As I was about to leave the church after dipping my fingers into the Holy Water to make the sign of the cross, a lady approached me with the biggest smile. She expressed that she was so glad to see such a young man like me attending a Holy Mass on a Palm Sunday. She further expressed in a very gentle voice that new generation whom according to her I belong no longer attends a Holy Mass. She then uttered “God Bless you young man!”
I did not say anything. I just stood there. Listened to her and smiled. If she only knew how old I am and that I may actually older than her. I decided not to correct nor rectify her statements. Besides, I don’t want to ruin her beautiful morning. I just left the church smiling and thinking how much love I have for my anti-ageing cream….
Lumelebel… o baka naman malabo lang ang mata ni Inday.
One of the highlights of Nengkoy’s birthday celebration last week was my whole family’s visit to the National Shrine of Padre Pio located in Sto. Tomas Batangas (80 km south of Manila). Except for my younger sister Joie, it was everybody’s first time in the church.
Before proceeding to the main church area all of us took time to roam and check out the grounds of the holy national shrine. We even lighted a number of votive candles to give thanks and pray for some groovy and awesome intercession.
We failed to attend and listen to a Holy Mass but we were nevertheless lucky and were at the perfect time to have attended an awesome Healing Liturgy. And part of the blessed ceremony is that people got to kiss a sacred relic of St. Padre Pio followed by an anointment of a fragrant oil on both palms and the forehead.
Though it initially freaked me out, because I thought my lips are gonna burn (hahaha!) when it touches the relic, the experience was something serene, calm and divine. I definitely felt God’s blessings and Padre Pio’s embrace.
Visiting Padre Pio church in Batangas was one beautiful experience. It was one blessed experience!