friends — roots

“make new friends but keep the old; one is silver, and the other is gold,”  so goes the words of an old nursery rhyme.

chinese connection_a

if i was a tree, then friends are my roots.  the longer a person has been my friend, the more meaning that person gives to my life as a human being.  my siblings and my cousins who i grew up — played and fought — with are the strongest roots i have.


my siblings: boy (from india,) te (from china,) and kolokoy (my twin from imagi)

i have lost contact with almost all my friends in the neighbourhood i grew up in.  i have very few classmates from grade school i still have contact with (mostly in facebook;)


gr.5 pasong tirad

the same is true with my classmates from high school —  i can count them all together with the fingers of both my hands.

whenever i lose any of my roots — my friends — to distance or to destruction, a part of me withers… dies.  one of my high school classmates — a friend i follow on facebook — just recently passed away.


outside of family relations, viz., my wife, my daughters, my in-laws, nieces and nephews, etc., the people i relate to as friends today are largely from church — my former and present church — and the new neighbourhood of 8 years where my family has taken residence.

my christian friends from my present church are from two groups: filipinos from my former church, and chinese (top sketch and photo below) from this church.


edit: dec.7: filipino-chinese members of Calvary Reformed Evangelical Church

i also account them now as my ‘old’ and ‘new’ friends.


me & some crazy new friends

these are my new roots, the depth of their ingress is not measured by how long they have been my friends, but by their love and loyalty, their trust and truthfulness.  they are the people i often see, talk to, and touch; they give the most meaning to my life as a human being

when this tree is felled; somewhere, a root withers… dies.


dear gabby

gabby shoes_a

edit: nov.21: my gift to gabby

dear gabby,

i was an admirer of your dad: i couldn’t let him know because he hates admirers — so, he did his thing, i did mine — never patronized him, though i learned many valuable things from him — in his later years (2007-2015.)  i became a blogger, largely because of his influence.

one valuable thing i did pick up from your dad, is the outlook that knowledge and information is free and abundant — online.  by and large, you need not ask anybody anything… just IGMG.  and that knowledge and information, is power.  your dad was (in my eyes) peerless, next to none — intelligent, smart, witty, snarky, and quite naturally irreverent — and he had power, over puny, phony minds.  but what was wonderful about your dad was that he was not despotic — he was not arrogant and niggardly — but always shared knowledge and information (power) freely.

i get him when he calls you ‘lexie luthor’ (i see it’s how much he adores you.)


“our lexie luthor,” – jim ayson

he’s also referred to you as ‘hitchcock.’  it’s his unique way of showing how playfully adorable you looked when you were less than a year old.  and i guess that because you are your dad’s daughter, when you’re much older, you will understand how crazy your dad was;


“trying to look angelic while contemplating mischief,” – jim ayson

and you will discover this for yourself — not who ‘lexie luthor’ is, but who ‘lex luthor’ really is.

your dad and i were schoolmates in ateneo prep school SY 1967-68, when we were 5 or 6 yr olds — little boys in short pants.  here’s a very old and faded graduation program from prep: hey, your dad (2nd on the list) was a dancer!


we were classmates in the honors section (i’m sure) in grade 3; then again (i think) in grade 6, (photo below — i’m not sure if he’s the one at the center, the 8th, on the front row;) and also in high school.  high school days, he would have told you, were the best times of his life.


when our high school class, 4B1979, would have a reunion later on in our lives, it was a time i would witness 40 year old successful and respectable men, transform, and act like carefree 17 year old teenagers — there was something real about high school that we love to relive over and over again: your dad created the 4B1979 facebook page to keep this high school spirit alive.


your dad and i weren’t close buddies; but we were pals.  circumstances didn’t lend themselves for us to have been (naturally) friends.  he was from la vista: i was from an obscure place, crisostomo street in sampaloc, manila.  he was an english-speaking boy: i only spoke tagalog, and was not very good in english as a school kid.  but our paths crossed at ateneo, because we were of the same age and — luckily for me — our IQs were not far from each other’s (placing us often in the same section;) and so somehow… we also connected.

you and i may not meet in person — ever — but in that online bubble, facebook — where i first saw you… your eyes… and became a fan.


love you, gabby.  you will always remind me of jim.


“tito” rey

4th impact chicken adobo

nanood ako ng x-factor UK, week 3 finals, kahapon; kalahok kasi ang isang pilipinang girl band, ang 4th impact, ang apat na magkakapatid na tubong norte.

4th impact

sa episode na ito ipinakita ang dalawa sa magkapatid na nagluto ng chicken adobo.  eh, mukhang masarap… bigla akong naglaway para sa chicken adobo!

iba ito sa karaniwang timpla ko ng chicken adobo — may sibuyas.  edi — wow! —  lagyan ng sibuyas, para may sangkap na manamis-tamis, bukod sa betsin!


di ako mapalagay kaya’t nagluto agad ako ng inasam-asam kong chicken adobo.

1 kilo chicken, hiwa-hiwa na (cut up already)

1 ulo ng bawang, pinitpit (garlic head, crushed)

1 malaking pulang sibuyas, hiwa-hiwa (large red onion, sliced)

1/2 c suka (vinegar)

1/2 c toyo (soy sauce)

2-3 dahon ng laurel (bay leaves)

20 pamintang buo (peppercorns)

kaunting asin at betsin (pinch of salt & msg)

(di ko na nilalagyan ng tubig dahil malakas magtubig ang karne ng manok dito sa tin.)

pakuluan ang lahat ng sangkap kasama ang manok, halu-haluin pana-panahon para di manikit sa puwet ng kawali, hanggang sa lumitaw ang mantika ng manok, at may sapat na sarsang matira.


napakasarap ilahok ng mantika at sarsa ng chicken adobo sa mainit na sinaing… at magkamay!

ayun, hindi bigo ang pinangarap ko — ang inasam-asam kong lasa ng chicken adobo, nakamit ko.

bukas na ko magda-diet!





nothing prepares you for it — the sudden news that a friend passed away.  it is heart-wrenching.

when i read the news, on the fb status post of his wife, that jim had “joined his creator,” my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest.  i could not believe what i read.  “seriously!!!!!  NO!!” was all i could hammer out of my keyboard.  i had just opened my fb this morning, and it was the first thing i read.

chette post

jim was peerless, next to none — intelligent, smart, witty, snarky, and naturally irreverent.  he was a prolific blogger, a very articulate writer; and his interests were as varied as there probably are subjects to engage the mind upon. he’d just fairly recently started publishing curated online tidbits at on various subjects, eg, android geek news, social media scanner, azkals news.

paper li

he is on every social media platform, and he was already there when the internet found its way to the philippines.  he discovered an unusual interest in #aldub when it spiked twitter activity, and broke twitter records recently, and since then kept close watch on the social media phenomenon.

jim twitter

he put up a couple of the fb groups i joined, namely, the official philmusic facebook group and #never again: no to dictators, to martial law, and to a marcos return to power.  (these were only the ones i knew of.)

philmusic never again

this is how he describes himself in his twitter profile: “into social media, mobile tech, comics, jazz, film, photography and hot sauce. in jazz improvisation, there are no mistakes, only opportunities.”

we shared similar interests in cooking vegan/vegetarian chili.

jim leaves behind his wife, chette, (i have never met her, except on fb posts;) his adorable one-year old daughter, gabrielle/gabby, (it would be her 1st birthday celebration on nov.28 — this is so heart-breaking!  i was invited to the occasion, but had clicked ‘maybe’ because i had a planned trip to baguio; but, i promised gabby, on jim’s fb status post, that i would mail my gift to her;) and his lhasa apso, booger, (i am a fan of booger.)

gabby shoes

edit: nov.21: my gift to gabby

jim and i were classmates in grade school, since grade 1; and in high school.  he also created our 4b1979 fb page (top photo).

i am still not sure that i am really awake, and did not just imagine all that i read had happened.

typhoon “lando” baguio relief drive

sola gratia foundation (SGF) and calvary reformed evangelical church (CREC) combined their financial resources to send monetary support to those gravely affected by typhoon “lando”.  we launched a quick relief drive for the victims in baguio; more particularly, to the Par couple and their boarders, and a couple of pastors whose children perished at the height of the typhoon.

the Par couple lost their boarding house in itogon, benguet, to a sinkhole which swallowed the entire property where it was situated, leaving only their house standing very precariously and dangerously at the edge of the sinkhole.  they were only able to recover a few things from their house, as it was very unsafe to go back.

IMG_0696            (houses at the edge of the sinkhole as seen from the opposite road.)

elsewhere, pastor jimmy naag of atoc, benguet, suffered the loss of his son and nephew (son of his sister, bia cabading); and pastor melchor dumaniw of balacbac, baguio, suffered a huge damage in the retaining wall of his church.

IMG_0692                 (eroded area was where jimmy naag’s house was situated.)

the call to send relief to them was answered generously by both SGF and the officers and members of CREC, and we were able to collect a total of Php 32,000 for the operation.  we donated Php 10,000 to the Par couple to help them recover some of their losses; Php 7,000 to buy relief goods, eg, rice, food, drinking water, some school supplies for the school kids, &c.; and we gave Php 5,000 each to the pastors.


(from left to right: anabelle Par-cerilla with school kid evacuees; some evacuees with relief goods; a box of used clothes from perdigon family and some sacks of rice from relief operation.)

jay cerilla, the son-in-law of the Par’s led the relief operations for the sinkhole victims; and funk caoili, caretaker of the perdigon residence in la trinidad, benguet, who also assisted jay in the relief operations, handed the cash gifts to the pastors.


        (jay cerilla sharing a message to the sinkhole evacuees.)

i spoke on the phone to anita Par (owner of the boarding house) who was so thankful for the financial assistance that we gave.  the others, namely, jimmy naag and bia cabading, (i wasn’t able to contact melchor dumaniw,) thanked us through text message.  all are thankful to God for the help that SGF and CREC extended to them, in their time of calamity.

soli deo gloria!

4th impact : x-factor UK (updated)

“this (audition) is gonna blow up… all around the world!” — nikolas ‘grimmy’ grimshaw.  it has!


i am not a fan of 4th impact (formerly 4th power).  i watched their x-factor UK audition on youtube, days after hearing on KMJS (kapuso mo, jessica soho) that a filipina group that auditioned wowed the judges by their performance.  i searched for the youtube video, and found it.

from oct.8 – oct.18, when i watched the video again, i noticed that in two to three days, the views increased by about 1,000,000 (1M).  i got curious, so i decided to log the numbers: the 4th power audition — in fact — hit 1,000,000 (1M) views every two to three days.

at arena auditions, singing ‘bang! bang!’ by jessie j, 4th power video was posted on the official x-factor UK channel on aug.29; here are the numbers:

views time date
20.1M 3.45am oct.18
20.5M 1.40am oct.19
21.0M 1.41pm oct.20
21.5M 8.00am oct.22
22.0M 2.00am oct.24
22.6M 11.15pm oct.25
23.0M 4.00am oct.27
23.7M 2.00am oct.30

as i write this blog, the video now has 24.8M views: i observed the same trend in their ‘6-chair challenge,’ where they performed ‘show me how you burlesque’ by cristina aguilera — 1M views every two to three days.  but, i expect the views to taper off slightly, now that videos from ‘judges houses’ and ‘week 1 live’ are available online.


4th impact is “phenomenal,” says cheryl, their (groups’) mentor.  their individual voices alike are great; and their harmonies, seamless.  and their chemistry — genetic! — “we are sisters.”

“and I think the british public is gonna fall in love with you.” – simon cowell.  this statement is not a simple opinion; it subliminally conditions the british public and online viewers to actually fall in love with 4th impact!

if it comes down to the wire; if 4th impact’s ‘perfect’ performances won’t let up; (my prediction in the finals will be between 17-yr old powerhouse, luisa johnson, and this sassy ‘badass’ pinoy girl band;)  and if the trend in x-factor UK youtube channel is a good indicator as to who gets the most viewers’ votes… then 4th impact might just bag the prize money!

and as these ‘minute monsters’ say: “cross fingers!”

EDIT: dec.7: 4th impact was eliminated last week — sad — getting the lowest number of votes.  the british public did love them, as simon cowell had predicted, enough for them to be voted by them up to the top 5.

they were, in my eyes, the best act on the show.  tuning in to their weekly performances turned me into a fan!

the two conditions i set above (in the original post) did not come true — but one did, that is, 4th impact’s ‘perfect’ performances didn’t let up, they only got better and better each time they took the stage.  it was the second condition that did not come true, that is, that the trend in the x-factor UK youtube channel is a ‘good indicator’ as to who gets the most number of votes — it didn’t turn out that way.  it was a longshot, anyway.

do i care who wins this season’s x-factor UK finals?  without 4th impact there… nah!