Sunset Chaser

I was waiting for Papa for hours now, he’s coming home from another city. I can’t wait for his present. That was  my seven year old self. 

And now only a few months before I turn 40, it pains me so much that I can no longer hug or hear my Papa’s voice. No more conversation around the table. I would no longer see his face when I arrive home. No more food cooked specially made by him. It’s been 33 days since we lost him. Ignorance is bliss. It’s so hard for me because I know what happens at the bedside being a critical care nurse for almost two  decades now. We did our best, those  were the very words the cardiologist told me over the phone, a continent away. I was screaming and crying in pain. No words can describe my loss. I can’t believe that my wonderful Papa will lose his life over a bleeding peptic ulcer. 

I am angry now. Angry for how slow the clinical management of my Papa’s case. I am angry at myself for being thousand of miles taking care of other people and was not at his bedside. The list is endless.

I have become a sunset chaser. It’s like a balm to my hurting heart and spirit. It reminds me of God’s grace. And right now, I need lots and lots of God’s grace so I can move forward. To learn to forgive myself and others and most of all, to let go.  There is more to life than my heartache. Praying that soon this shall pass.

Conlu To Manikan 12-18-2016

You are my beautiful surprise.

Last year before the year ended, I prayed for a beautiful and wonderful 2016. God continually amazes me of how He answered that prayer from the mundane and menial to heart shaping and life changing circumstances.

Look at us, here we are together out of countless destinies. Here I am standing in front you, I made a vow before God and men, to be your wife.

I am imperfect in so many ways but because of your love I found myself grow, secure and I am able to dream again. It is also my hope that you will also grow to be the the best person you can be, a good son a good brother and a good husband.

It is my utmost prayer that as we start our life as husband and wife, may Christ be the center of our relationship. Let us seek God first and everything will follow.

I love you mahal ❤️


A letter to my first love 

Dearest Ali,  

I have been thinking a lot about you lately. I can still vividly recall your smile, your cheerfulness ,your vibrant spirit and the warmth of your love. I still cry every time I remember you. I carried you in my heart wherever I go. I fell in love with other men. But when I’m broken and shattered, you always came to mind. We were still young then when we fell in love with each other. It’s been 23 years since I lost you. 

I will never understand the reason why God took you so early from us. Why on that day the mountain that you wanted to conquer took your life. Whenever I see a picture of Mt Kanlaon, it reminds me of you. I tried to forget you. I tried to bury your memories. I tried to escape. 

But here I am again, like some other nights, sitting on my bed, wiping my tears away. Because I missed you so much. I miss the sound of your voice. I miss your smile. I miss the way your eyes lit up when you see me. I miss the little things you do to show me how much you care. I miss your handwriting. I miss our laughter. I miss walking on the beach with you. I miss your ” I love you”. I miss everything about you. 

I never thought that first love would be this powerful. It transcends time and distance. You’ve been gone for awhile now. But I can’t deny your existence in my heart. I love you. Sometimes, a part of me wish that there is a parallel universe. In that world, you became a doctor like what you’ve always wanted when you grow up and I became a lawyer. We got married and have 2 kids, a boy and a girl. Our boy’s name is Alexis Ely named after our fathers and our girl’s name is Madeline Ruth named after our mothers. Our kids will call us Papa and Mama. We will accompany you on your hiking trips. We will do a lot of camping together like what we used to when we were kids. You’ll teach our kids about constellations and life. They’ll have your pure and generous heart. And I hope they’ll have my strong will and caring heart. When you feel down and exhausted from taking care of your patients, We will be there for you. You’ll come home to a home cooked meal and the loving arms of the three people that loves you the most in the world. You’ll always be our super hero, a man after God’s own heart, our loving Papa. And when I come home disappointed and frustrated from work, you already have set up a dinner on the rooftop, so we can relax, enjoy the breeze and watch the stars despite of the city life. You will help our kids make a poster for me that says, “We love you Mama”. I will have tears in my eyes, wondering what did I do to deserve you and our children. We will serve God as a family. Our marriage will survive and grow stronger not because of our own might but because of God’s grace in our lives. We will teach our kids about Jesus and make sure they grow up in a Christian community. I can go on and on and on. I hope this world exists somewhere. Where our love story has a happy ending. 

Reality bites. Here I am. Bruised. Wounded. Shattered. In pieces. But I am still alive. Life goes on. I have to keep on choosing to be happy. I choose to be grateful despite of the pain. There are days that I am not sure if I am capable of loving again. I will take my time. I have to learn to love myself again. And one day I pray, that if I will fall in love again, I hope it will have a happy ending. Please cheer for me in heaven, will you? 


I wish a parallel universe exist. This is us.

Photo source: Google (
I wish a parallel universe exist. This is our family. 

Photo source: Google (
  Reality Bites. Visited Ali’s grave 2 years ago. Banate, Iloilo, Philippines

My knight 

You uttered the words

That I needed to hear

‘Twas sharp enough 

To break down

The walls around me

Your love is mighty 

And noble.

Knights in shining 

Armor do exist. 

Heaven sent me YOU.

                             —EEC 03/12/2016

  Photo courtesy:

The storm

Grey clouds
Dark skies

Heavy rain

The sound

Is deafening 

But it can never 


The beating 

Of my heart

I cried out a 

Simple prayer

please Lord

Watch over me 

Unknowingly heaven

Answered me

The storm brought 

You into my life. 

  Photo courtesy:

A letter to myself 

Dear Self,
Do you remember who you were 15 years ago? How brave and confident you were? you dreamt big and wonderful things. You nurtured the dream of working in the US as a nurse. You studied hard. You worked hard. You aced your exams without any  formal review classes because you can’t afford it.  Can you still remember how your heart fluttered and jumped for joy when you got hired in one of the prestigious hospitals in the Philippines? Your dream of working at Philippine Heart Center didn’t remain a dream. It became a reality, your home for three wonderful years.

Then you received a letter, notifying you that your papers were already at the US Embassy in Manila. It’s only a matter of time and you’ll have your immigrant visa. September 30,2004, You have your visa in your hands. You heard the bells ringing in jubilee. Like the heavens,were celebrating with you. 

But you made a few wrong decisions here and there. You settled. You compromised your non negotiables. You thought it was love but you were wrong, it was dependency.

You arrived in US with him. You started working in one of the best tertiary hospitals in Florida. It wasn’t a bed of roses. You paid almost 11 years of your life for a decision that you thought was the right one. Everyday you were losing yourself. You were getting sicker. You lost your radiance, your smile and your heart. You were turning into a monster. 

Then you woke up one day and said to yourself, you had enough. You were hanging by a thread. You summoned whatever courage that is left in you to walk away from an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. You did it. You broke free.

And while in recovery an unrequited love for more than 20 years found you. Yeah, he can still vividly remember how you look in your school uniform, your girlish smile and your naivety. You grew up before his very eyes into this beautiful and intelligent lady. 

So, it’s been a year since you gained back your freedom. Let me remind you of these things.

1. Keep the Faith – When it was dark and felt like a black hole, God never loses His grip on you.

2. Love yourself – Be whole. Pick up the pieces again. Be the best version of yourself. Strengthen your core. Nurture your heart. 

3. Do not settle – you deserve to be happy and loved. Do not give up nor compromise your non negotiables.

4. Financial Freedom – get out of debt. Save and invest.

5. Live a life of  joy , gratitude and grace- a paradigm shift looking at the glass half full rather than half empty. As you open your eyes in the morning, thank God for another day and if today wasn’t the best day then thank God that there is still tomorrow. Joy is being happy in the midst of difficulties. You can only experience that if you remained in the Lord. And most of all, as you received grace from God for all your sins, dispense and execute grace as well. 

I am looking forward to another great journey with you. You made it out alive in 2015. So, cheers to a beautiful and wonderful 2016! 



  Bow Bridge, Central Park, New York City 


I have said good bye several times but you refused and won’t let go of me.You said you don’t have a choice and can’t get out of the mud and mire you are in.

But I do. I do have a choice. I am the free one.

So here’s my new year resolution. I am starting over again.

 It is my wish that I would no longer be haunted even by your mere shadow. I will be stronger this time. I will keep on searching until I find all the pieces of my shattered self. 

A complete ME! 

Beautiful and wonderful,

that’s what I want my 2016 to be. 

  Central Park, New York City

Letting Go

I am in pieces

Every cell in my 

Body shattered

I can’t ran away 

From who I am

My heart is trying 

To reconcile 

The decision that my

Mind came upon

Of which is

to let you go

I want you 

to have the 

best of me

Not second guessing 


In a clean slate

Lets start again

I will wait for you 

Come find me 

When you are 

a free man 

But if not I will be 

Content knowing at 

One point in our lives

I love you and you love me

                                -Elsbeth c.


 Artists Bluff, New Hampshire