Sunday, February 17, 2008


*I had posted this article in a year ago (that explains the mixed Karay-a, tagalog and english in its texts) to commemorate the 2nd Death Anniversary of my Brother Nonoy. Since i had been very busy lately and never had tha chance to write a new article for his anniversary, i decided to recycle this article and post it in my blog. This is my way of remembering the best brother in the world.

i grew up nga kilala ko lang ikaw by name. 9 kita nga magbururugto and you were 3rd from the eldest and ako naman the youngest. 18 years ang aton age gap.

nagbahul ako nga indi ko ikaw imaw since you are based in manila and kami naman sa Antique. but i always hear your name from our parents and siblings. i only have the chance to meet you everytime we go to manila for vacation, especially during summer vacations.

according sa mga bugto ta, you were the favorite kang mga parents. but they will say nga prehas lang ang treatment kanaton tanan. but i can tell that you are the pet since our parents will always say, amo ja si nonoy, si nonoy, si nonoy, si nonoy....

one time i asked them ano ang ugali ni nonoy nga nagustuhan gid nanda. and they will say, "si nonoy, gamay lang nga bagay ang itugro mo ka na, he will really appreciate it. one time ginbaklan namon kang pantalon, he was so ecstatic and even jumped with joy. suksukon na ang pantalon kag maglibot libot nga daw naga saot kag maghambal... nami nami ba tana ang pantalon ko!.... amo rian si nonoy mo, he knows how to appreciate even small things. and you can really tell when he's happy."

one time, i was in the bank waiting for my wife to log out when a woman come to me and ask me kon ka ano ano ko si Wilmar. and i would smile and say nga brother ko. and she will say, "ti kuon ko gid mong.... pareho kamo mata." i found out that barkada gali to ni Nonoy. and she will tell me things about nonoy.

"man an mo, si nonoy mo grabe ra sa chicks! (i hope may amo man ko karian, hambal ko sa kaugalingon ko) pwerte ang karisma. one time gani kato, may darwa ka daraga nga nagdumuganay sa plaza bangud lang kana! haay! si Ima! ( Ima ang tawag kang barkada na)".
mayuhum lang ako.

i only have the chance to know you better when i was about to enroll in UPLB as college freshman. you are the one who opposes my enrollment in the university with grounds that where will i get my weekly allowance? and instead persuades tatay to put me in a vocational school where you are employed and you will shoulder my allowance. but then, thanks to toto Ver's intervention (my older brother next to you) that i was enrolled in LB. it was toto Ver and kuya Jun who provided my weekly allowance though kulang talaga but pwede man ma stretch till saturday.

that meeting with you, toto Ver, tatay and me ended up in argument between you and Toto Ver. Toto Ver prevailed and i ended up enrolling in university. na isip ko nga saksakan gali kang yabang si Nonoy!


our path crossed again after the 2nd semester of my first year in university. one night you came at Inday fely's house in Sta. Ana where i am staying for vacation.
most of our brothers and sisters were there including Nanay who's on vacation also. you had a short meeting and then they called me and Becbec(older sister).

you informed us that due to financial reasons, you decided that one of us will stop from schooling since kinahanglan na matugruan kang attention ang pang maintenance nga bulong ni nanay. nanay had suffered mild stroke twice already.

we have to choose whether who will give way. i will be second year in the next enrollment and my older sister is 3rd year engineering.

it ended up me, giving way for my sister. and you happily informed that you will have me enrolled in Don Bosco, the vocational school where oyu are employed. and you will shoulder my daily allowance.
that night, i cried a lot! i dont know what will gonna happen to me. leaving the university for a vocational school!? but then it is a noble thing to do.... to give way for my sister.


i enrolled in Don Bosco half heaterdly. maybe napiritan lang ako cause i have no choice. its either i enroll or tambay.

the reason why you are very eager to have me enrolled is because an international shipping company is offering a scholarship grant and is putting up a pilot course in that school. and you believe that i will be able to get the scholarship easily. and he was right....i topped the exam. syempre! what will you expect? mga kasabayan ko mga out of school youth.

that was the start where i knew the real Nonoy.

every lunch break we will talk. about our family, your family, my future. etc. mostly sermon. but i never took it negatively. i know gusto mo lang mangin mayad ang para abuton ko.
one of the main thing nga gintudlo mo kanakon is to have the sense of responsibility sa kaugalingon kag sa pamilya. that i have to be responsible in everything that i do, every decisions that i make.

i can still vividly recall the time you pulled me out in the middle of the class para lang murahin sa corridor. mayad lang hay wara it may nakabati.

you were fuming when you entered the room and asked my instructor to excuse me for a while. pag guwa ko sa room. grabe nga mura inabot ko. you were upset because nanay called you for nth time telling that i still havent delivered the money you asked me to bring since nanay will be leaving for Antique in the next two days. i told you that i was just busy doing my attendance report that the Student Affairs Coordinator is asking me to do since i am the class monitor. and you wont listen to any bullshit alibis i make. that was the first time i saw you fuming with anger.

the truth is, i spent the last night in classmates house doing the report and at the same time drinking gin beside my 14 year- old girlfriend who is a neighbor.


that afternoon i went straight to Sta. Ana and i was so furious. that was the first time i had been scolded by anyone aside by my parents. i was furious with nanay because i think that she dont trust me. she even thought nga gin pahilabutan ko ang kwarta. i am so mad and saddened to know that my own mother doesnt trust me. that was the last thing siguro that i would do, ang pahilabutan ang kwarta kang iba. they raised me to be an honest individual. and i am!

well, not really! hehehe! nagapangupit man ko kang piso piso kon kaisa sa bulsa ni tatay kag wallet ni nanay! barakal kang ice candy.....

pag abot ko sa balay, i went straight to nanay and sitting on the sofa and threw the money on her face while saying. "ja kwarta mo hu! daw indi kaw kahulat! ahaw nga pira lang kalibo!" and i told him what her son had done to me earlier that day while holding back my tears for so much anger.

she was shocked with my actions. that was the first time she saw me mad at her. the only answer she gave was, "nakakaon kaw ron? kaon anay..." and i left without answering. that time i was living with Toto Ver in Taguig.

while riding the bus home, i thought of what i said to nanay earlier and i felt guilty. i shouldnt have done that. thinking of her situation, shes had suffered mild stroke twice and have difficulty speaking and moving. i know my actions earlier will have big impact on her. but who cares! i am mad! mad for letting go my chance of of garaduating in one of the best Universities in the country, mad for being stuck in a vocational school where the faculty treats the students like untamed animals! mad for having someone control my life!

i was 17 then, my hormones are still surging. still in the stage of confusion and rebellion. rebellion from poverty.


as the days passed, we still continue to talk almost every lunch break. the same sermon about life, my future, how i should take responsibility of my self. and of course giving me my daily allowance ( tamang tama lang pamasahe kag pang lunch sa carinderia sa gwa kang campus).

our daily talk was interrupted when i applied for night job in Kenny Rogers. at first i asked you if you would let me work at night cause nahuya na ako mangayo adlaw adlaw kang allowance. knowing that you are also sending your 4 kids to school. i think it will help us both. saving money on your side and having to experience how harsh life as self-supporting student is to help me prepare for the future on my side.

you only asked me if kaya ko? knowing that my school starts at 7 in the morning ( indi pwede ma late hay malibot gid sa track oval 4 times kon late and additional 4 for every succeeding lates, but then i am the class monitor and kaya ko ma duktor ang attendance without the OSA knpwing that i am late. paano, you are the Chief Security Officer kang school. so waslik pudir ko gamay eh!) and ends at 4 pm. my work at KR Jupiter is from 5pm till 11 or 12 mn. and i said kakayanin ko.

you just shook your head and said,"ikaw ang bahala... basta sabihin mo lang kung di mo na kaya. wala namang problema sa akin. basta dont make me lose face for doing poorly in your class and losing the scholarship. remember, you are carrying my name."

then i had my first chance of experiencing what work really is. i can say its not that easy and not that hard. especially kon sa lima mo ron ang imong sweldo. it feels like heaven thinking that you are already earning for your self.

but then theres also sacrifice. most of the time i reach home around 12:30am. (by that time, i already moved to Inday Fely's house in Santa Ana para madali lang ang pag commute ko from home to school) and wake up 5:30 am to be able to reach school in Makati before 7am. indi ma iwasan nga maka doze off ako sa klase sa sobra nga tuyo kag kapoy.

but then, i was ok. we only talked seldom cause i spent the rest of the lunchbreak sleeping. if theres a chance i got and meet you and we have a talk. you told me that you always informed by my instructor that nagakaturog ako sa klase na and will make fun of it telling that nagaturo laway ko.

that made you furious. not at me, but at my instructor. you said that he is just taking this chance to mock you cause buhay ron nga may sabit sa imong pwesto. but then years later, you had the chance to get back on him by making his 2 front teeth fell with your punch one time you crossed path in one of the drinking houses near the school. and i was joyed with your report. hehehehe!

everytime we meet, you will only ask kon kaya ko pa. and i will surely say yes. until several months passed that my load is getting heavier and im starting to fall from ranking that i decided to quit. you just said, ok.
it was years later that i had the chance to talk to your wife and she told me about how proud you are of me, having sense of responsibility and eagerness to stand on my own. you never told me that personally, but instead you always do the sermon. and i took it by heart.


months passed and my 10-months training was over. i was then busy with my trainings and procuring my passport and seamans book. i never imagined that it will be easy for me to land a job afterwards. i never had the chance to march in the graduation cause i was sent immediately to ship by my sponsor company. an american oil shipping company.

life seems so fast afterwards, i was 18 then and earning my own money. i was able to send money to nanay and tatay and start fulfilling my promise to them when i was 4 years old. that i will be the one to take cae of them when i grow up. and i thank God for helping me fulfill this promise. i thank God for having you as my brother.


it was midnight of december 31 on my first contract that i had this news. nanay died on dec. 17 and was buried dec 26. you never informed me for fearing that i will be affected since it was my first time to be away and feared that my record will be affected f i go home with unfinished contract. i was so mad at you then. you are still controlling my life. you are still the one deciding on what is to do with my life.

the night of confrontation with nanay was our last conversation together. we never talked after that. hay the naxt day kato she went home to antique. i was there nag imaw maghatod kana sa pier but i refused to go near her and talk to her. im still mad. i can see that she was crying when she walked up the ships gangway. looking at me with her eyes telling to forgive her. and i wont even look at her direction. i know how hard it is for a mother to know that her son is having bad feelings about her. but i think this would make us even.

that was the last time i saw nanay. i never had the chance to ask forgiveness from her for treating her that way. though i sent letter months before stating that i am doing fine on ship, i never mentioned about saying sorry. but tatay said nanay had forgiven me.that her last words was asking tatay to make sure Becbec and I are always in good state. i cant help my tears from falling whenever this come to my mind. until now, i still feel guilty.

i understand why you made the decision of not informing me about nanay's death. and i thought i could never done anything anyway cause at that time we were crossing the Indian Ocean from Singapore to Iraq. and there will never be a chance for me to sign off.


i know i owe you a lot. whatever i am now, it all because of the talkings/sermon that we had before. napasalamatan ko bala ikaw? yes. and i can still remember that scene.

i had just signed off at that time and i went to your office to ask you if you are free to have a drink. its my treat! and you wered delighted cause of all things in life, you cannot live without alcohol touching your throat.
drinking had been your favorite pastime whenever you are bonding with your friends and closing deals. and i like it when you are drunk. i can see the different side of you. the more relaxed Wilmar. its the chance i can talk to you about anything.

after that drinking session, we went back to your office. its there where i told you how grateful i am for all you help. how much you had been a part of makin me what i am now. and i cant thank you much enough for all of this. i never expected how your reacted on what i have said. you turned sentimental. you cried and thanked me in return. thanked me for aprreciating all you had done. for listening to your sermons and never took it negatively.

you never expected me to thank you. but instead you only asked me one thing. "wag mo lang sanang kalimutan ang mga pamangkin mo pag kailangan nila ng tulong mo". and i promised you i would do everything i could when time arises that they will need my help.


i got married and the time i spent talking with you was lessened.i had been busy with my new life, my new family. at that time you were on your downhill.

the savings i had earned in my two years working and your savings which is intended for the tuition of your two kids who are now in college (which amounted all in all to almost half million pesos), daw nangin upa nga ginhuyup kang hangin when we invested it in an institution nga nadalahig sa infamous pyramiding scam. maskin isa ka kusing wara git it may nagbalik kanaton.

to add load to the heavy problem, you were facing retrenchment on job when the new school administration opted to hire security officers from agency instead of maintaining the former security guards.

i know those were times you needed me most... not really financially cause i too am starting from scratch. i should have been near you to give you support. but i am very sorry i was never there. i sometimes call you. you are not the same person i used to talk to. i can no longer hear those hearty laughs. i missed those laugh. you said you are ok. managing to survive driving your truck.

the separation pay you got from the company you worked for more than 20 years were used to procure a second hand truck you are using to buy vegetables and fruits from provinces in northern luzon kag ibagsak sa Divisoria.

i can feel your pain, its not the pain of being broke. its the pain inside. the pain of downfall. for more than decades you were living life with success, love and respect from other people. a lot of people comes to you for help. but now, seems that theres nobody to hold your hand. i am guilty for not being there in your rough times.

but still you are fighting. the buy and sell of vegetables did not fare well. you then entered your truck in a steel company fabricating made to order roofings as delivery truck. and there medyo nag ok gawa ang sulog kang kwarta kanimo. naluoy gid ko kanimo, i know you are doing everything para sa pamilya mo. but it seems that they do not appreciate what you are doing.

your wife is still fuming with the scam issue and blame everything to you. she will often complain about you going home drunk. she doesnt even talk to you and even brainwashing the kids. the kids started to keep distance from you. it hurts me to learn that on your last birthday, only your youngest daughter greeted you.
i dont know kon ano nagakatabo sa sulod kang panimalay mo... i know you are having difficulties financially but their studies were not affected. 3 of your kids are still enrolled in Assumption and two of them are in college. it pains me that they still do not appreciate what you have done, for all your efforts. kon kaisa ikaw na ang driver, kaw pa ang pahinante just to save extra money. nonoy, my heart bleeds for you!


February 17, 2005, Long Beach Ca. anchorage area (approx 25 nautical miles from shore), 10:30 a.m. local time.
nabatyagan ko nga may nagdapo sa akon talinga. gulpi ko nga gintapi kag ginlantaw kon ano to. a yellow beetle nga may back dot sa pareho nga pakpak.
"siguro ginlupad lang kang hangin" hambal ko sa kaugalingon ko.

after dropping the anchor, nagdiretso ako sa akon kabina to change clothes and get ready for lunch. nakita ko sa ibabaw kang lamesa ang akon nga cellphone blinking, indicating that i have an unread text message. it was a text message from my sister Inday Fely (our eldest). mayad lang hay may roaming ako, any place i go basta may signal lang kang network madali lang ang communication.
ginbasa ko.

and the message says: " to, wag kang mabibigla, si nonoy naaksidente ang sasakyan. on the way kami ngayon sa hospital."

i was stunned.... i dont know kon ano ang himuon ko. i prayed nga ok lang, siguro it was just a minor accident. i went down to the ship's office to call my sister and check what happened.
may naga gamit pa kang sattelite phone so i decided to take my lunch first. then suddenly my phone rings again. another message. maybe from my sister again.
"to, wala na si nonoy."

i was paralyzed for some moment. trying to absorb what the text message says.

his truck hit the delivery truck of San Miguel parked in the darkness of the highway without signal. wala man sya galos but he suffered multiple stroke and internal injury. napipi ang front kang truck due to the impact. he was drunk, halin sa celebration kang anang birthday the day before. if only he wears his seatbelt it should have protected him from hitting the steering wheel that causes his stroke and internal injury.later i learned that the seatbelt is not functioning since the time you bought the truck.

it was only yesterday that i talked to you over the phone and greeted you cause it was your birthday. nami pa ang aton istoryahanay and i happily informed ou nga nabakal ko ron ang buhay mo nga gina request nga mechanical tool set para sa imong truck. you were glad.

it was my birthday present for you. naghirit pa gani ikaw nga kon pwede amanan ko kang Jack lifter. ti nagasabat ako jokingly nga lantawon ko sa dalom sa makina kon may available nga spare hay jekwaton ko! and you laughed a typical Nonoy laugh nga mabatian ko lang, it warms my heart.

my brother, you are very special to me. so special beacuse whatever i am today, i owe it to you (kag sa mga bugto ta). you even stood as my father and willingly did its functions.

i got off the ship that same afternon and took the evening flight of PAL in L.A. International Airport. mayad lang hay bu ot ang amon kapitan and he immediately called the Manila office and the agent to book me a flight that same night.

i was in shocked. i dont know what happend next. the soon i know is that inday Fely and Gary met me at the arrival section of the new cetennial airport. and we stopped for a while in her house then we went to Pampanga where you are living with your family. bitbit ko ang box kang mechanical set nga regalo ko daad sa birthday mo.

sayang noy, you were not able to attend the graduation of your youngest daughter mga darwa na lang daad kabulan. nag promisa pa ikaw nga ikaw ang matugro kang medal ka na. kanugon hay wara mo mabatian ang anang valedictory speech. but i know, that you are there.

i can still hear your request. your request nga indi ko pagpabayaan ang akon mga hinablos when time comes that they need my help.

your 2 kids are on their last year of nursing in the next school year. sayang man kon one of them will stop or both of them will stop. sanda lang ang makabulig sa andang mga bugto.

i made a promise... and i dont know what or how am i able to fulfill it. my salary as seaman is just enough for my family. i have a kid and we are just starting to build our house.

i can hear my answer to his request before..."i would do everything i could when time arises that they will need my help."


its been 3 years since your death. i am here in japan for almost 3 years now. how the hell i am here in japan and what happened to my being a seaman is another story to tell.
noy, you have 2 kids who already registered nurses and the other 2 are in high school and college. i hope that you are happy right now wherever you are. i fulfilled my promise.

had i thanked you well enough? in my recent dream, you were talking to me. you are smiling and telling me to stop living in the past, that you are happy right now together with nanay. that its time for me to move on. face the future, love my family and be responsible for everything i do.

Noy, thank you so much! i will remember all your sermons...... its all here in my heart.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Footprints in the Snow

A snow storm had passed into my life and covered my path that lead me to wander almost without direction.

Then came from nowhere, people passed by me. Some stopped for a while and lend their hand and offered to guide me along the way. Some walked beside me and together we tread the dark and thickly covered path. Some even willingly carried me on their back when i slipped and fell on the ground.

These are the people who left a deep mark in my life.

Now, the sun is beginning to shine in my life again. The snow is starting to melt and footprints may fade together with the snow, here in my heart these prints will remain forever.

To those people, you know who you are. I cant really find the exact words to convey the deepest gratitude I want to extend.

Thank you so much!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Best Buddies

For a person like me that has a lot of ideas to share but is not really gifted with vast knowledge of words, the old cliche "A picture paints a thousand words" is a good booster. It had given me the idea on how to effectively convey my thoughts and be understood.

Thanks to these two buddies that always come in handy whenever there's a perfect moment i need to capture.

1. 910SH Cellular Phone by Sharp

This is my 5th phone in 3 years! thanks to the excellent Mobile Communication Services (or lets say Bloody Battle between Mobile phone companies) that i can have a new unit whenever i want and have it paid in monthly installment for 1 or 2 years! isnt it great? heres some of the features:

* 2.4" VGA Screen (menus and fonts have never been so good before)

*measures 106mm x 50mm x 24mm (4.17" x 1.97" x 0.94")

* 5 Mega-pixel CCD with 3x Optical zoom

* VGA movie recording function with maximum frame rate of 30fps

i only wish that this model is hackable and can be made open line (like its predecessor the 904SH and the 905SH) so that i can be able to use it in the Philippines. Pareng Gong, tasukitte kudasai!

2. DSC-H3 by Sony Cyber-shot

This one is my baby! I had a pretty memorable experience in acquiring this camera (check my previous post, Omarisan and I). Here are some of the features:

* 246 grams in Wieght

*measuring 106mm (w) x 68.5mm (h) x 47.5mm (d)

*2.5 inch LCD Viewing Screen

* 8.1 Mega Pixel with 10x Optical Z00m

*Powerful Versatile Flash (illuminates subject up to 23 ft. away)

*High Sensitivity Mode (ISO3200)

*Face detection (recognizes up to 8 faces in a photo)

*HD Output

and more!

the only CON is that the Menu is in Japanese Language Only! anyway i can just find my way through this mind boggling characters!

Say Cheese!