23 March 2009
reblogged from Reen, Rain, Happiness, Sadness, Life - Mau's tribute to Lia.
Thanks, Mau, for allowing me to reblog this.
11 October 2008
Allow me to reminisce… I still miss her. Whenever I’m bored (lagi naman), naiisip ko pa rin na i-text si lia. Tapos bigla kong maiisip, ay wala na nga pala sya…
This was taken at our first Christmas sort of ‘morning bonding’ ng specialty team on December 2006. Sya ang monita ko, she was asking me kung ano ang gusto ko, sabi ko DVD ng ET (pero syempre yung pirata lang). E wala syang mahanap sa fave tambayan nya, ang Divisoria, so she gave me a dolphin stuffed toy and uber cute abaca bag from bicol. Sabi nya, gamitin ko daw yun pag magde-date ako. Hehe!
Tawa sya ng tawa nun kasi magkatabi kami ng desk, binigay na nya sakin yung gift pero ayaw pa nyang pabuksan habang nasa office pa kami. Sinisilip ko yung laman pag di sya nakatingin, tapos sinusumbong nya ko sa iba naming officemates, ang daya ko daw.
Wala kaming pictures ng Christmas ‘07. Kasi hindi ako pumasok. Pumasok si lia, sayang ang double pay hehe! Magka-chat kami nung gabi, naaalala ko lang nun, late sya at may nagpakain sa kanila =) Ang binigay nya saking gift nun ay pang-display na hindi ko talaga alam kung pano gamitin.
Teka ito ba yung Xmas kung kelan nage-effort si Sir Paul na gumawa ng music video para sa party ng company? Ang nangyari, ngarag na nga kame and everything dahil graveyard shift, pinilit pa kameng mag lip synch at magkunwaring nag-eenjoy sa pagsabay kay Mariah Carey sa ‘All I Want for Christmas is You.’
Hay, anong konti lang ng pictures namin. Sabi ko nga kay tingky, kung may moral lesson kami sa lahat ng to e yun ay magdala ng camera all the time to capture special moments. Kasi may mga pangyayari na mahirap nang ibalik, mahirap nang habulin…
‘Yang pictures sa taas, galing kay jay mula sa camera ni abba. Eto naman galing sa multiply ni nikki. Eto na ang last pictures ni lia sa pipolsupport. Nagkaron ng ek-ek pabonggahan ng pictures according sa Halloween theme per team.
Eto muna yung sa ABC. Karir ito kaya nanalo kame ng walang kamatayang Yellowcab pizza.
Syempre tawa ng tawa lola Lia mo sa hitsura ko. Pero mas nakakatawa naman hitsura nung iba di ba hehe! Eto naman yung sa team nila lia, walang ka-effort effort kaya wala ding Yellowcab hehe!
Before ang picture taking, ayaw tumayo ni lia sa seat nya dahil lang sa nakapalda sya! Hindi rin kame kumain nyan kasi nga nakapalda sya! Pag nauuhaw sya nun, magpapakuha pa sakin ng tubig sa pantry kasi nga… nakapalda sya hehe!
Nung isang taon lang yan… Eto Halloween na naman. Pero Lia, wag kang mananakot ha =) Sige ka, baka i-require kang mag-skirt ni Papa Jesus. Naihanap din nya ko ng ET, in fairness =) Ayun, di ko pa nabubuksan at di ko pa napapanood kasi naaalala ko yung nagbigay pag nakikita ko haaay…
Mababawasan na ang matatanggap kong gifts sa Christmas. Nabawasan na rin ang bibigyan ko… O nage-emote na naman. Tama na nga to. Basta isipin na lang natin siya lagi kung anong imahe ang iniwan nya satin. Nakangiti. Masaya. Ang daming kwento. Buhay na buhay…
Think of Lia
6 July 2008
I still haven’t thought about losing someone close to me. I mean, I think of life as different stages that we will all go through. I’ve been to debuts, to college graduations, to marriages, to the birth of new lives and christening of my friends’ children. I haven’t thought about funerals yet.
Lia was my batchmate at PeopleSupport. She was always kind and bubbly, but I didn’t want to be close to anyone so I maintained aloof. After training, we were both assigned at the graveyard shift. As our other batchmates took turns at resigning, we were left, just the two of us, to be closer friends as months passed by.
Who wouldn’t be enamored by someone who would go out of her way to always have something for me at the start of our shift. It started with fruits, chocolates, she’d even give me her own food if she couldn’t take her lunch.
She was my accomplice whenever I had some crushes at the office. She’d took photos of them if she happened to rode the elevator with those people whom she didn’t really know. She’d show me proofs even if she was only able to capture a part of their attire, or half of their faces.
She helped me with work as I also did with her. She made things more fun and easy to do.
When she knew that I love hotdogs, she would go out of her way to buy one before she’d go to the office even if she was already late. Oh well, that was Lia, she was always late.
And that was the first trait that we have in common. We were not serious about the work at PeopleSupport (sorry!) but we were enjoying because it was easy. There came a point when I had to choose if I’d leave that job for something I’ve always dreamt about. It came during the time when we were only starting to get close. I asked her what should I do. She told me, ‘Ay, wala na kong kasama.’ But she also encouraged me to do what I really want, what will make me happy. She was one of the reasons why I stayed. But I also thought hard about it and I knew I made the right decision to stay.
We were so alike in many ways that was why we clicked. She loved every kid in the world and my niece is the world to me. We were both born in July. We both have an angst about the same part of our personal lives. She was the only person whom I was able to share the problems that were bugging me, the problems that I didn’t want to share with my family and other friends. She was so kind. She was perfect.
She loved my niece so much even though they still haven’t met. She always wanted to hear stories about yeng, my niece. She would always have something to give yeng. She had given yeng and I so much, little things and treats that wherever I look now, I am being reminded of Lia’s thoughtfulness and kindness.
Life at work became stressing during the latter part. Everybody wanted to resign. Lia wanted the two of us to take our exits at the same time. But I wasn’t as carefree as her. I couldn’t just leave when I had nowhere to go. She resigned before me. The last time she was in the office, she had bid adieu to everyone she knew. When it was my turn, I just told her, ‘Wag nang mag-goodbye. Magkikita naman tayo lagi.’ She smiled her usual vibrant smile and said, ‘Oo nga. Magdi-Divi tayo saka Toy Palace.’ Another trait that bonded us was our fondness for cheap things and how we would go out of our way to be able to discover where those were hidden. But she was more adventurous than I am. She even made it her business after she left her work at PeopleSupport.
She was so happy when I told her that I left the job. That was what she always wanted because she felt like we were not getting what was due to us at that job. We would always text each other. She’ll update me with her busy life. I’ll update her about Yeng. And she would always want to know anything about my niece.
Whenever we’ll meet, she’ll ask for her favorite pastillas as pasalubong. And I always abide. The last week of June, she was in Bicol when I asked her to meet me when she’s already in Manila. She came that week but we didn’t find free time to meet. Sunday, June 29, she texted me that we should meet the following week. I told her, ‘Ok. Wag mo ko iinjanin ha.’ Then I said goodbye because I was headed to attend mass. She even jested, ‘Nagsisimba ka pala.’ Si Lia pa, ang lakas mang-asar, just like me.
July 2, when I was at work, I texted her that I would text her the next day if I could already meet her. I had to rush after work because I had to finish some work that was long overdue. She jested, ‘Ano ka ba, text ka ng text nasa work ka.’ I said, ‘Di lang yun, natutulog pa ko.’ Then she told me, ‘Hanap mo rin ako ng raket, di ko matutunan ang Pex, parang alien.’ I said, ‘Ang dami mo ng ginagawa, humahanap ka pa ng raket. Baka masyado kang yumaman.’
Then she was the one who said, ‘Masyado kang busy. Sa Saturday (July 5) na lang tayo mag-meet after ng work mo.’ I agreed and said, ‘Malapit na mga bdays natin.’ We had a pact to celebrate our bdays every year, after I had mine and before hers came. We promised to meet at the Yellowcab outlet at the PeopleSupport Center and binge for pizzas, just the two of us. She reminded me about her pasalubong, the pastillas. I said that I’d give it to her on Saturday.
I became busy with work. I was only able to text her to remind her of our date on Friday night(July 4). She didn’t reply. I thought that she was just busy. I had this urge to call, but I didn’t do it. Siguro sabi nya, ang kuripot talaga nito. I left the pastillas at my boarding house, thinking that she would meet me next week. When I was already at work Saturday morning (July 5), I texted her, “Hmm, nagbabadya na naman deadmahin nya ko waa! Oi next week pwede ka na? Kahit Tue pwede me owki. Kelan us mag binge sa Yellowcab? Wee! Gud am!”
After two hours, her mom called. She said.
“Mau, mommy to ni Lia.”
I was gripped with fear. I thought that Lia had some accident and she was in the hospital. Then her mom continued…
“Mau, patay na si Lia.”
I couldn’t help sobbing. Her mom seemed so calm. She was even asking me kung okay lang ako.
From that moment, wala na ko sa sarili. I tried to contact as many people i knew who knew Lia. I turned my PC off. I told myself that I’d go to Lia even though I wasn’t familiar with the place where her body was. I knew I had to go there. I had to meet her. I had to fulfill my promise to meet her even though I didn’t have the pastillas I intended to give her at the time.
Things turned out perfectly. I was contacted by Rosie and we went to Lia at the same time. It was really like as if a guardian angel was guiding us to make things perfect.
Lia’s family was great. Her mom was as sweet as her. It was like a reunion for ex-PeopleSupport employees at the funeral home. But we all would have wanted to experience the same thing but not because of someone’s death, not someone who was as kind, as humble and as sweet as Lia. We wanted her to be with us, to hear her laughter, to see her sweet smile.
Sunday, July 6, my family offered a mass for Lia’s soul. I thought I was okay. But hearing her name and the purpose of the mass made me shed tears. I really had lost a very good friend. But i know that I earned an angel, a beautiful one. We all had.
I’d always miss her. I’d always think about her. I’d always cry at every instance that I’ll be reminded of her kindness. I just wish that she’ll guide all the people who love her that she had left behind, to be strong and to continue living happily with gratitude that even if we had all lost her, it was already a blessing that we knew Lia and was touched by her charm at one point or another of our ordinary lives.
19 March 2009
I know my loved ones are alive because I am alive and that my nephews will know them too because I will manifest their being through me, in stories, and that part of me that they have managed to infect. That is how I have known my father (who died when I was two)--- through my kin's stories and their lives. And the same goes with my grandmother (who taught me how to cook her signature adobo)--- my nephews will get to know her as I share with them the part in me that is her.
Your sister is alive in you, if that means anything.
Yes, Len is alive in me, alive in the memories I have of her. Just as she is alive in every one of you, whose lives she had touched, even for the briefest moment.
Each one of us has a 'Len story' - funny, sad, annoying, exasperating, happy, crazy, weird, enjoyable, memorable Len stories, which, when we remember them now, would oftentimes make us either smile or cry, or even smile and cry.
My family and I would like to hear those stories. And share those stories to anyone who's willing to listen. Or in this case, read.
We would like to request you all to share with us your Len stories, and we shall publish them in this blog. If you can also ask your other friends, classmates, schoolmates, officemates, etc., whose lives, at some point, intersected with Len's, to also send in their stories, it would be much appreciated.
Language? English, Filipino, Bicol, it doesn't matter. Number of words? As long or as short as you would want it to be. Content? Anything that reminds you of Len, or the times you spent with her.
Len was not a saint - she was a wonderful, friendly girl prone to temper tantrums and horrible PMS moments, but with a heart big enough to embrace us all.
We invented the phrase 'bad spirit' for her, to describe how she was when she was rudely awakened, but she also gave us crazy nicknames which break our hearts every time we utter them now.
She would go out of her way to reach out to anyone who needed her help, from doing her classmates' homework to sending kids to school, but she could also ignore you for days if you dare cross her.
She invented crazy games and annoying pranks, but her laughter was so contagious you'd end up laughing yourself, laughing at yourself. But once she started crying over her Korean telenovelas, she would shoo you out of the room, and would tickle you mercilessly if you so much as mentioned one word about it to anyone else.
I miss her. We all miss her. And I know that it would be hard for most of us to recall the moments we spent with her, and to write about those moments. But in remembering them, we remember her. In writing about them, we're ensuring that Len would always be alive. And in sharing these memories with other people, we're letting them know how once upon a time, a special girl lived and shared her life with us.
You can send your Len stories through any of the following:
- email - email@example.com
- post - Kalinga Lia Wall in Facebook
- comment - this entry
04 January 2009
So what was supposedly a gift-giving for adults became a fun day for the kids as they participated in the games and contests prepared by my siblings. Aside from the goodies handed out to everyone present, prizes were also given to all the winners.
The kids also enjoyed the eat-all-you-can arroz caldo, which replaced the original plan of having eat-all-you-can ice cream, since it was a wet and windy day.
30 December 2008
28 December 2008
Last 26 December, our family invited 35 underprivileged kids for some food and gifts. The kids were served birthday spaghetti, sandwiches, popcorn and grass jelly juice. Afterwards, loot bags were distributed, containing assorted toys and accessories. Before the kids left, they all gave Len a hearty greeting: "Merry Christmas, Ate Len!"
Most of the kids invited were Len's "kids," kids she once played with, kids she gave toys to, kids she sent to school. (At some point, I once referred to her as the Pied Piper of Hamelin, except that she didn't need a pipe to attract kids - kids were invariably attracted to her. And she always had games and treats for them, and she didn't have qualms about getting dirty and sweaty with them.)
The nice thing about this particular event is up until now, Len is still taking care of her kids. The toys and accessories we gave away all came from Len's store and these were stuff she herself bought when she was still alive.
Another gift-giving is scheduled for Friday, 2 January 2009. This time, the recipients will be entire families, grown-ups included, and we will be giving away mostly used clothes, stuffed toys, and bags.
09 November 2008
Len's sudden and unexpected death left so many people bereft. Family, friends, schoolmates, sorority sisters, office mates - the sheer number of people who turned up during her wake, both in Manila and Bicol, was a testament to this. Len's absence is felt by all of us, and that loss will always be a part of our lives.
Kalinga Lia is a project put up by the students of Aquinas University of Legazpi Science High School (AUL-SHS), where Len was an alumna (Class of 2001), under the guidance of Fr. Ramon Mendez. The project kicked off with a fund-raising and a play based on Len's life, which was presented by the school's drama club last September.
Our family is in the process of putting up the foundation, but even as the papers have not been finalised yet, we are already continuing Len's work. As it is, we have adopted Alvin, a grade five student, who now lives with my family in Bicol. And as much as we can, we have given financial assistance to the other two kids, Biboy and Dana, who live with their mother, Kathy, in Taytay.
Part of Kalinga Lia too is the high school scholarship that Fr. Mon, in partnership with AUL-SHS, is working on offering, hopefully by next school year.
I have put up this blog to record all the Kalinga Lia activities, as we are planning to continue the legacy that my sister had left behind. Updates on the foundation and the scholarship, and any other Kalinga Lia- related activities will be posted here.
Should you have questions, comments or suggestions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.