Matters of the Heart

To my brother, my first bestfriend

Harry Potter only fatter. :)
Harry Potter only fatter. 🙂


At 33, my mind’s still fresh of hundreds of memories with you. I will never forget that day when you invited me in to a spooky “spirit of the candle” only to find out you are making a fool out of me. That excitement and happiness I felt when the candle answered a resounding “yes” to my question on whether my crush also likes me; and that how in just a split of a second it broke my heart because the candle’s answer was a hoax but still glad because you chose to answer “yes” and made me a bit happy nevertheless. I can still feel today the exhaustion and my cries of pain when you let me go with you and our cousin on a 3-hour mountain hike, because you really felt that “that girl” who lives very far from the plains was the one. And after a few months, you were already dating someone else. Lol!

Those high school days when you hate the planting season because we have to cook loads of food for the planters or the harvesters. The days we were asked to gather “kuhol” or wood for fuel. At school when I am always asked how we are related, and how they expect me to be as intelligent as you. I always smile and I feel proud, that you are my brother. When we were always out; when you were with your dance group; and when at one point we failed to prepare dinner; and that Papa got angry and blurted out how irresponsible we were and announced he will get married-and only to find out his wedding is the next day. I would never exchange those bitter-sweet moments.

How I hated that day when I thought we will lose you. I hated the doctors and those incompetent nurses for not being able to pinpoint what was wrong with you. I could never bear to see you suffer that way. I was your companion, your storyteller. It didn’t matter how difficult it was and how worried I was, all I prayed for was for you to survive. Your youth, your brains, your good heart- I told God you deserve to live.

The times when we argue because you could not understand my point of view; but I always felt your respect as you know what was in my heart because we grew up together. Today, I always look back on those moments. They inspire me; you inspire me and make me remember how fun and wonderful it was growing up with you.

Your birthday will always be a reminder that I am given a wonderful package of a best friend in a brother.

Thank you!



Simple Joys, Work-Life

How I Met Mark

I remember this was taken last December in Tagbilaran City
I remember this was taken last December in Bohol

Almost a year ago, Mark was just a stranger to me, another human being in this planet that I just coexist. Like billions of people around the world, Mark faced life day in and day out trying to make it wonderful, happy and fruitful. In short, a well-lived life. Almost a year ago I was oblivious of his life, I was shocked when I finally met this “Gentle Giant”. Here is why:

My interview with Mark when I applied at Thumbtack was exciting, scary but reassuring. Mark’s questions were both familiar and new. Some of which have been asked a couple of times by other people but then they still make you wet your pants. I know from that moment on, I was being assessed. That was not even seeing Mark yet! 🙂

I know little of Mark in the course of my career with Thumbtack. Virtually speaking, all of us were very close. To be honest, I did not even expect a virtual office can function so well much more love that much! And I found Thumbtack to be such! Much because of its people.

Mark is such an intimidating person, why? Because he strives for the best. If he has to give, he must give it his all! Mark knows what he is talking about, he knows Admin and Zendesk like they are triplets! Questions? Send an email and you’d get your technical answer and you’d ask yourself “How did he do that?”

My very personal encounter with Mark brought me love and amazement. I kind of never thought that he would give such consideration. Looking back, I knew Mark was sensitive but also because he needs to be one. He needs to be sensitive for all of us. It’s not easy being the Mother of bunch of rowdy, loving, happy kids! That’s us, the CS Team!

When my daughter was diagnosed with GDD (Global Developmental Delay) and I asked for a time-off, Mark supported me and made special arrangements so I can still continue working. I was very grateful. I met Mark (in person!) when they visited the Visayas and attended the Christmas Party. I felt so small! Why am I so small? 😀

Mark, during the games! :)
Mark, during the games! 🙂
Our Bohol Escapade. I looked rather little, right? :D
Our Bohol Escapade. I looked rather little, right? This is me on tip-toe! Lol!

So there, that is how I met Mark. I know at times I fail to give him my best but I wanted him to know I am giving him my all. I met Mark in a perfect moment of my life.

And, today is his birthday! This is my only way of greeting him on his special day, the only way I know and the only gift I have.

For if one day we have to part ways, here’s my simple thoughts and reminder: Forget me not, forget me never and don’t forget the owner! Haha! Kidding aside, I love you Mark! Have a blast! 🙂


How did you meet Mark? 🙂

Simple Joys, The Story of our BLYF

The best three years of our lives- Blyf turns 3!

Blyf, Dad and Mommy
Blyf, Dad and Mommy

We asked God for Blyf, just like I asked God for a good husband. I conceived her not believing that I was, I thought it was just nausea and upset stomach. I had difficulty realizing that I have a uterus and that my ovaries where functioning, after-all. Lucky for us, it only took us a year to have a child. I know every child is a blessing-for parents or for a mother, their children are special. That’s when I felt when I held Blyf for the first time. A cliché, I know, but it’s true what they say. Childbirth and motherhood is a turning point of a woman’s life!

Today, we are celebrating Blyf’s Birthday for the first time in the province with my special people. She turns 3. Today, she is a year wiser and a lot lovelier. She brought us not just joy, she gave me perspective. She is why my husband is more tolerant of my annoying behavior. She is why I lost pride inch by an inch in every argument.

I’ve said this before and I am going to say it again, Blyf is our love brought to life.

For all who is celebrating their birthdays today, I wish you all a Happy Birthday! 🙂

For children around the world, my prayers and wishes for good health! We are here, and we will celebrate with you in thoughts! Have a blast!

1st Birthday
1st Birthday


Party Rock-She turned 2
Party Rock-She turned 2
Ain't she lovely?! I know! For Moms, daughters are lovely! :)
Ain’t she lovely?! I know! For Moms, daughters are lovely! 🙂

Simple Joys

Why Today is Special

My birthday is just a normal day for the rest of the billion people on earth. It is a regular day for me too, except that I have greetings to attend to. Just last year I decided to like and reply every single person’s greeting on my wall. Midnight stroke of June 6, 2013, I decided that today is my birthday and I am going to relive each moment with every person whom I met, and laughed with, and cried with, and dreamed with, and cursed, and got wasted with. Husband asked me, how many of the greetings do I think are sincere. I replied with, “Who cares? They greeted me, that’s all that matters and that is reason enough for me to celebrate. Skepticism, what’s that for?












I really had fun with my Facebook Party today. Some of you might have felt that little pang of guilt or amusement or fear? (and are forced) when I posted I would make another nose appear on your neck if you don’t greet me a Happy Birthday but it did sure make me laugh that I almost fainted and that is a gift too priceless to ignore.












Today is my birth date. Today I live again. Today is for all my family, relatives, friends, ex-lovers (I told my husband I do not have an ex on my friend’s list-which I think I am no longer sure of. lol!), past crushes (they look horrible now, bitter?! haha!), previous and present employers (thanks for the paychecks! More! :D), colleagues who I considered friends to know that each memory I have with all of you is what makes me who I am today, I am crazy so I bet you are all crazy, too! :p Be aware that every chapter of my life was interesting and fun and crazy! I used crazy way too much. And that when I open the crazy (again?!) and addictive social networking sites I take the time (I don’t have plenty, so it’s a great effort at most) I read your agonies, your triumphs, your broken hearts, your new-found love, new gadgets, your food, new dress, your check-ins, your hopes, your dreams, the prayers, the never-ending whims and complaints on life and it’s unfairness. Life is unfair sometimes, but for most part we are all blessed for being connected despite the distance, differences and new-found acquaintances.









Today is for the Crazy ones that matter, and I hope that somehow I am able to make you laugh or cry or smile or smirk! And that for most part of this letter I made you look back and remember the wonderful times we had sometime, somewhere.










I shall continue to read your woes on bad days and your happiness. I wish to read more of happiness as we all continue with our journey.

This is Monalisa Smile, with my daughter Blyf and husband Chris. Happy Birthday to us all! 🙂