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Archive for the ‘Me, Myself & I’ Category

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!

Alexis+Thatcher

Best Wishes…

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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.

cool Canadian PM (photo from the news)

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!

Happy Pride!

‘Di ko ma-imadyin!

 

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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…

winning entry! hahaha!

happy mother’s day to all

I actually don’t need to win because having Nengkoy, my Mudra, in my life is the ultimate reward! Happy Mother’s Day Nengkoy!

At sa inyo din, hapi mudra day!

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One of my monster pamangkins (nephew) recently shared this in his Facebook page…

It may have some good points but I’m sorry because I find this video-message seem to border on egotism, arrogance and conceit.  This is my personal stand on this clip after me and Nengkoy had difficulty looking for a greeting card. Hahaha!  I felt sadness while inside the National Bookstore (the leading books, stationaries and greeting card store in the country).  It is because the availability of greeting cards have dwindled in the stores where it is usually available.

Nengkoy wanted to send a Thank You card to one of her best friends who is based in the United States because this sweet longtime friend sent her a package of American-made presents.  Unfortunately, National Bookstore no longer seem to sell Thank You greeting cards and what is so evident is that greeting cards are now positioned at one lonely corner of the store with very limited themes and varieties to choose from.  Gone are the days when almost half of National Bookstore is filled with various types of colorful greeting cards.

nengkoy searching for a thank you greeting card

And I am blaming the millenials for this turn of events.  It is because the generation today no longer send greeting cards via post or snail mail.  Millenials may love to travel and go on an adventure but gone also are the days when travelers around the planet would get a postcard from a local store of their destination and send it home via postal.

Today’s generation can easily send a recycled, reused and secondhand digital greeting to a friend’s or relative’s social media account, which for me is a little cold, stony and unfeeling. It is unlike receiving a greeting card which is more warm, tender and congenial because you know that it took quite an effort on sending such a tangible greeting.

Yeah millenials are fast, smart and proficient but I just hope that classy and classic Greeting Cards remains available for the likes of Nengkoy and those who were born before this seem-to-be-conceited generation.  I hope today’s fast paced generation would acknowledge that the likes of Nengoy and the older folks are the precursors to the development of delightful living for today’s young population to enjoy.

Kalungkot lang…

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While at the Presidio looking for a nearby Starbucks to fulfill my coffee craving for the day, I happen to have found a fountain that features one of the most iconic fictional movie characters of all time.  While sipping my coffee and taking a much deserved rest inside Starbucks after a beautiful walk at the Palace of Fine Arts, I looked into Google Maps to determine how to go back to my hotel.

Google Maps pointed that I am actually steps away from a certain Yoda Fountain.  I just wondered if Yoda is the same Yoda that I was thinking of.  I absolutely had zero idea about it! And out of curiosity, I followed the Google Map on how to reach it.

you won’t notice it unless you’ve been told

taray ng lolo mo may monumento

“spontaneity” is the word

With my personal belief that “spontaneity is the best kind of adventure”, I had a surprising selfie with Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order!

Adapting to the famous movie line by Yoda, one of wisest beings of the galaxy, “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”, this type of surprising occurrence and unpredictable circumstance truly made my first time solo travel adventure so fulfilling!

‘Di ko akalaing makita ang huklubang Yoda sa Kalipornya!

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What’s the worst and stupidest thing a first time tourist in San Francisco USA would do?  That would be… not seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and shoot photos of it.  I apparently is not that person.  I saw, I touched, I smelled (and even tasted it) and had uncountable selfies!

daytime

yey!

kamangha!

view from the top

one lucky dude

I actually went and see the Golden Gate Bridge twice.  One during a sunny afternoon and second was at an early evening when the sun is about to set.  I went twice just to confirm and re-assure myself that the first red orange bridge I saw was indeed the freaking Golden Gate Bridge! Hahaha!

I love the bridge.  It’s elegant and mild from afar but absolutely robust and mighty when you got to step on it.  And as I was walking along the sidewalk, I kept on pinching myself to validate that I am not dreaming and that I really am stepping on one of the Wonders of Modern World.

nightime

happy!

And when I reached the mid-part of the bridge, I tried looking down at the frigid water of the San Francisco Bay.  All I can utter was, “This freakin’ b!@#ch is high!”  After seeing the bridge twice and marvel at the beauty and strength it possesses, I smiled and proudly told myself that I indeed is one lucky dude!

Ang taas ng pota!

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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.

my 2017 palm sunday church

lovely

solemn…

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!”

turista…

my instagram post last palm sunday

selfie muna

eto na yun… palaspas nila… pinitas lang.

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.

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

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Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.

Nengkoy

Nengkoy is the nickname of my mom during her pre-school years. Her parents and relatives call her ‘Ang Neneng Ko’. With her pretty charm and appeal, she was usually called in a melodic way using this lovely phrase. Until it evolved for easier articulation of the phrase, Ang Neneng Ko was shorten to Nengkoy.