smoke alarm!

i am profusely and profoundly thankful to God for his timely intervention in my affairs today.

i endangered the well-being of my middle daughter and 3 year old grandson; and could have burned our small house down. it would have been (i am extremely relieved nothing serious happened, my head is still spinning with vague dread for what could have been) a result of careless inadvertence, absence of mind, and hurry.

i was in a hurry to get out of the house to pick up my youngest daughter from school (she’s a teacher). i was lagging behind schedule.

i had messaged her that i will leave as soon as the fried chicken was done. the clock was ticking.

as soon as the chicken looked cooked enough, i drew the pieces out of the frying pan with a pair of steel tongs and put them on a metal strainer. i put the metal strainer back on top of the frying pan, above oil level, supported underneath by the open steel tongs, to let the oil drip back to the pan. i covered the chicken and did not leave it exposed.

my daughter and grandson were in our bedroom, it was my grandson’s naptime. the air condition was on because of the summer heat.

i left the house to fetch my youngest daughter from school. after about a kilometer out, i got a call on my cell phone, but couldn’t answer it because i was driving.

after another five hundred meters, i got a text message. i stopped the car and pulled aside to check: my youngest daughter said she was called to a meeting and would be out an hour later; that i should just pick her up then.

i turn the car around and proceed back home.

when i opened the front door, the entire kitchen was filled with smoke! it was coming from the gas stove — the oil on the frying pan was turning out smoke up to the ceiling, filling the entire kitchen. a smoke alarm!

i immediately turned off the gas stove. all my joints and inward parts were trembling — trembling at the thought of what could have happened, had my daughter not been called to the meeting and had not sent a text message in time for me to read and return back home.

i turned on a couple of electric fans to blow the smoke out the front door. i positioned both fans to face the front door and act as exhaust fans.

as i turned the body of one of the stand fans, i heard a loud grinding sound coming from inside the fan and the fan began to quake and swivel uncontrollablyfrom its base — one of the fan blades broke off at high speed!


it was an evil day — a day of disaster. but God’s kind intervention thwarted what could have been a huge one, and the fault was mine.

i take all this to heart. lesson learned:

to always check if i’ve turned off the fire after cooking (i am the cook, it’s my SOP);

to check if i’ve turned off the fire, especially when i am in a hurry to go out of the house;

thinking of putting a smoke alarm in the kitchen.

God is good. God is my refuge.

good good friday

this year’s good friday was good, ergo — good good friday. it was my middle daughter’s (jikki) 27th birthday. and she’d decided to visit her lola (my mom) at loyola memorial park, marikina for her birthday.

i love her for thinking outside herself to visit her lola on her special day. my family has had many plans to visit, that had often ended up nowhere. this time it was a sure thing.


my mom’s grave has been neglected. mea culpa. i plead guilty on that charge. and this day made me realize how important it is for one’s grave to be visited every so often, even when you’ve been long absent from the body.


the lapida, after the surface was cleaned with a wet cloth

the lapida was dirty and soiled when we arrived, i had to rub off the smudge covering some of the lettering with the soles of my shoe.

a bit later, the caretaker of the grave beside my mom’s (my aunt’s and grandparents’ graves) came over and offered to clean and paint my mom’s lapida for P500. we agreed.


the caretaker’s name is danilo bandojo, a.k.a. danny bungal. there were two other caretakers named danny at loyola. one, danny bungal said, goes by ‘danny kalbo’.

danny bungal is 54 y.o. and has been taking care of my grandparents’ and aunt’s graves over the years now. he lives in antipolo and bikes two hours a day to and from work.

i asked him how much to plant grass, i particularly asked for carabao grass. “500 po,” he said. agreed.

“magkano mag-maintain?” i asked.

“150 a month po,” he said.

agreed. that is cheaper than a triple latte at starbucks! i negotiated an end of the month payment. he agreed.

i haggled for P450 for the cleaning and painting because the P500 he asked for included the purchase of spray paint. but he just borrowed paint, because stores were closed on good friday. he agreed.

for ka danny’s payment, i asked my daughters to pitch in any voluntary amount for the P450, to remind them of the thought of caring to spend a little, to show your love.


the lapida was a lovely sight after the cleaning and painting job. come first of may, we will send P500 to ka danny via cebuana lhuillier to plant carabao grass on my mom’s lot. thereafter, P150 every end of the month to maintain it by cleaning and watering the grass.

since we were already there at loyola memorial, jane also took the opportunity to offer flowers to his beloved uncle, ben f. rodriguez, and his wife. uncle ben took care of jane’s college schooling, and she lived with his family while she was in college.


another person so dear to my heart was also laid to rest at loyola — jojo abagon, my cousin. we found her lot, and also offered flowers.


the visit to loyola memorial park was a time to revisit cherished memories. the visit to loyola memorial park was a time to prepare myself for what was certainly to come in the future — my own eternal resting.

my family had lunch together and began our weekend stay-cation after lunch when we checked in for a 3D2N stay in a condo in the middle of metromanila.

jikki’s birthday was a good good friday!




stay-cation. this is a millenial catchword. baby boomers and gen-x peeps didn’t go on stay-cations; feelenials now do, however.

the stay-cation idea is what the name suggests: going a vacation, but staying within city limits or just near where you live. in our case, we stay-cationed in a condo just about a hundred steps away from my daughter’s condo.

we, ie. gen-x peeps, either went away on vacation via a long road trip or a plane ride OR we didn’t and just stayed home. if we wanted to get away for a day or night, it was simply called a “check-in” — magche-check-in sa hotel.

that’s a staycation.

it’s holy week weekend. i’m here (with my family) holed up in the middle of the city, on the 30th floor. i have no desire whatsoever to go out, like, to the mall, except one that’s nearby.

i can see estancia and uni-mart from our bedroom window. maybe later.


there is a small gym, a billiard and a ping-pong table, a badminton/basketball (half court) hall, all on the penthouse; there is a jogging area, which is the entire perimeter of the roof deck that goes all around the sports facilities. there is a swimming pool with a kid’s pool at the ground floor right behind the lobby.

i woke jane (wife) before 7 am this morning because the swimming pool opens at 7:00 am. i thought to have the pool all to ourselves. true enough, we were alone in our private pool for the first half hour! then a mom with two boys walked in. then a mom with four girls. but by this time, jane and i were already out of the pool drying ourselves and sipping 7-11 brewed coffee.

there’s a 7-11 between our condo and our daughter’s condo. city blends brewed coffee is a good enough alternative to my own cold brew (which i forgot to prepare ahead of time to take along with me for this staycation) to wake me up.

staycation is a good time for me to write. to write new blog. i have a couple of things i need conducive space to write from, and this staycation is a good time to string profound thoughts and vague emotions into meaningful words and phrases.

holed inside my nook and corner, with minimal distractions.