Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day 2007

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I would like to greet my mom and my sister a Happy Mother's Day, as well as all the mothers out there who happen to read this blog.

While everybody is celebrating Mother's Day today, I am just observing from the sidelines with an ache in my heart. I was truly happy when one of my nieces greeted me Happy Mother's Day during lunch today, a fellow blogger Major Tom greeted me in his blog, and another blogger Meily left a Mother's Day greeting in my previous post. Aside from my husband, who understands and also happens to share the pain that I feel, I did not expect anyone to greet me a Happy Mother's Day.

In fact, there are times when I forget that I am a mother also, because of the fact that I have no baby to hug, to feed or to take care of. But no one can erase the fact that I am still a mother to Raphael Roque, even though he's already in heaven right now. He means the world to me and I try to honor his memory as much as possible. While he may not be with me now physically, he will always be with me for I always carry him in my heart. I am still his mother after all.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Blogging Phenomenon

While trying to keep myself occupied last Saturday afternoon, waiting for my husband who was having his racket strung at a sports store inside Virra Mall, I happened to browse through some books at A Different Bookstore nearby. I was not planning on buying this book, The World Is Flat written by Thomas Friedman, but eventually did so upon the prodding of the store salesman. This book is an interesting read and talks about globalization and its impact in the business community.

Don't get me wrong, I haven't finished reading it yet -- all 571 pages. But I want to share with you some stuff that the author wrote about this phenomenon called "blogging."

"A new blog is created every seven seconds, according to, a site that tracks these easily updated Web journals. Technorati says there are more than twenty-four million blogs already, and the number is growing at about seventy thousand a day and doubling every five months -- from Iraqi bloggers, who give their own take on news from the front, to bloggers who follow and critique golf course architecture, to poker bloggers, investment bloggers, to just plain you and me bloggers."

I'm sure that this number has multiplied since the date of the release of the updated version of this book in 2006. But those are still large numbers. The author also mentioned that companies like General Electric even hire someone to plow through the various blogs and respond to them on a daily basis. Big companies are starting to take notice.

"It is impossible to imagine what it is going to be like in ten years when virtually everyone has a blog. But that is where we are heading."

This is awesome technology. I'm glad I live in this age of advanced digital technology. :-D

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Badminton...for a cause

The 1st LifeBridge Badminton Tournament was held last Saturday at the Greenhills Badminton Court. The Tournament Director was no other than my hubby (Jojo Mance). I have to admit that I knew nothing about this organization when I first heard about it. I decided to tag along since I needed to keep myself busy.

When I arrived at the Greenhills Badminton Court, the venue of the tourney, I was able to talk to the organizers of the tournament. I learned that LifeBridge is a non-governmental Christian organization helping people who were in need. For this particular badminton tournament, the proceeds will go to the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Support Group headed by Mr. Don Suarez. When I talked to Mr. Suarez, the first thing I asked was what the Cornelia de Lange syndrome (“CDLS”) is all about.

What is CDLS?

Cornelia de Lange syndrome is a developmental disorder that affects many parts of the body. The features of this disorder vary widely among affected individuals and range from relatively mild to severe.

Cornelia de Lange syndrome is characterized by slow growth before and after birth, mental retardation that is usually severe to profound, abnormalities involving the arms and hands, and distinctive facial features. The facial differences include thin, arched eyebrows; long eyelashes; low-set ears; small, widely spaced teeth; and a small, upturned nose. Many affected individuals also have behavior problems similar to autism, a developmental condition that affects communication and social interaction.

The parents of children afflicted with CDLS created a support group in order to help one another. Moreover, since children with CDLS require constant care all throughout their life, it causes quite a financial strain on the family. The support group is a critical component of caring for the children. My discussion with Mr. Suarez was very uplifting and reminded me all too well of the tragedy that befell my son. It aroused in me the desire to reach out to others.

I also got to meet the consultant of the CDLS support group, Dr. Eva Cutiongco-de la Paz, who, aside from being a doctor, also happened to be a genetic counsellor. I believe that this was no ordinary coincidence. Jojo and I really need to see a genetic counsellor and we had no idea who to go to. Aside from this, I was also toying with the idea of forming a support group here in the Philippines for parents of children who have trisomy 18 or Edward’s syndrome. I mentioned this to Dra. De la Paz and she thought it was a good idea. She said she could help me since she has several patients who were also parents of children with trisomy 18. I really hope that our plans would push through. For the first time in months, I went home that day full of hope.

All in all, the tournament was a success. Here are some pictures from the tournament.

The organizers, tournament director and coordinator of the 1st LifeBridge Badminton Tournament

Jojo having an animated conversation with Mark Anthony Fernandez.

(Oh, did I forget to mention that some celebrities also participated in this event?)

Daisy Reyes with a crazed fan (???!!!)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Remembering Raphael

When I got pregnant last year, I fully expected my birthday this year to be a very happy event -- I would either be holding a baby in my arms or just about to give birth.

Instead, this day proved to be one of my loneliest birthday ever because of the recent happenings in my life. I started it off by attending a mass in honor of my son Raphael. I know that my son is already an angel in heaven but I still like praying for him because it is one of the few things I can still do for him as a mother.

Hubby and I then went to Dangwa to buy flowers for him. After that, together with the rest of my family, we went to the cemetery to visit my Lola's grave where we kept the urn of Raphael. Lunch was a delicious affair by the bay as we bought various seafoods and had "paluto" in one of the restaurants nearby.

I received a lot of text messages greeting me a happy birthday but the ones which I appreciated the most were those which mentioned my son. For to remember my son is one of the greatest joys I will have as a mother.

Take a look at my yummy birthday cake which my husband ordered from Estrel's:

And of course, this is the portion I got:

"The mention of my child’s name may bring tears to my eyes,
But it never fails to bring music to my ears.
If you are really my friend, let me hear the beautiful music of his name.
It soothes my broken heart and sings to my soul.”
- Author unknown.