Meeting a Kind Kindred Spirit

Remember my blog brigade about the sad fate of Rochel Geronda, the sampaguita vendor who was raped and slain last February?  I must say that writing about her is probably one of the best functions of this blog, as I realized that several people relied on my blog to get updates about her.  Several people told me that this entry I made about her moved them to tears, and compelled them to take part.  But the most touching comment I got was from Dr. Bob Kemerait, an American professor at the University of Florida.  One lazy Saturday afternoon as I was Facebook-ing, I was surprised to see a wall post on the Momsterteacher “Fan Page”:

Thank you so much for the continued efforts you make to keep others (like me thousands of miles away) updated about the tragic loss of Rochel Geronda. MY wife’s family lives near the location where Rochel was found and it is possible that my family may have even bought flowers from her in the past. Sadly we cannot bring her life back, but your words and efforts allow us to fight for her justice and to learn of what a special young lady she was. The prayers of my family are with Rochel and with her family. Maraming salamat po.

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My wife is from demarces and her last name is Lopez. I will be visiting UPLB and IRRI in May; I would very much like to be able to present Rochel’s family with a small token of our appreciation of for the impact her life has had on us and in remberance of her to her family. Could you help me do that?

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Your blog has been so helpful to us; we understand that there is much coverage of the tragic death of Ray Bernard that is easy to find on the Internet, but your blog is all we can find with updated information on Rochel. salamat po.

Here’s his most touching comment:

You have been her voice and a voice for her family. Thank you for that and thank you for allowing me and my family to have a way of expressing our sadness over such a senseless act of violence and cowardice. BUt what I appreciate most is that through your blog, Rochel is not simply a statistic, but she is a student, a daughter, and a young lady who had hopes and dreams for herself and for her siblings. THANK YOU!

Fan page wall conversation between Bob and me

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My First Mother’s Day Card

…was given to me by Thea, our helper Alona’s daughter.  Yesterday, she went into my office and gave me this with a huge smile on her face (showcasing her super dimples that would shame Cristine Reyes’ dimples):

Mother's Day card

I smiled and was deeply touched when she gave the card to me, and I hugged her tightly.

By the way, Thea (whom I now call Punching Bag as a term of endearment) and I go a loooong way back.  I remember resenting the thought of her when I learned Randy wanted to have his former helper back with her “baggage” (Alona was left by Thea’s father when Thea was just a five-month old fetus).  I do not know why but during those times I was allergic to kids.  But upon laying my eyes on Thea (who was then two years old), I think I fell in love with her immediately.  Actually, she calls me “Mommy”, and it was all the doing of her 2-year-old mind.  You see, she heard her Mama Alona call me “Ma’am”, and then she decided to call me Mommy.  I heard her Mama teach her to call me Ma’am and not Mommy, but the attempts were futile because she insisted on calling me Mommy.  So I told Alona that Thea may call me Mommy.  She calls Randy, “Sel” because her Mama calls Randy “Sir”.  [Read more...]

The First and the Best Mother’s Day Gift I Got

Mother’s Day 2012

Dear Raviv,

It took me almost two years (after I married your Tatay on June 28, 2008) to finally be convinced to get pregnant.  You see, I got brainwashed against getting pregnant.  I knew it might ruin my figure, will disrupt my (non-existent) social life, and will force me to wake up early.  But most of all, I was afraid of having a baby because I was afraid of loving it too much.  So I kept on delaying and delaying, despite the constant prodding of my relatives and friends to get pregnant.  A neighbor even politely and shyly asked if we wanted to adopt.  I just chuckled because I knew they meant well–that they thought your Tatay and I were unable to conceive.

Finally, in December 2010, your Tatay seriously talked me into getting pregnant.  I was hesitant, but I also knew I was bound to have a baby.  So in January 2011, your Tatay and I scheduled a meeting with the late Dr. Adelina Barrion.  Your Tatay and Lola Emma badly wanted to have a baby girl, and Dr. Barrion was supposed to teach us how to “ensure” that we will have a girl.  Dr. Barrion taught us that if we try to conceive pre-ovulation, we will have a girl; otherwise, we are going to have a boy.

In January, your Tatay was excited to get me pregnant (hehe).  But I told him to delay it further.  He begrudgingly obliged.  Then in February, he insisted we try to conceive.  It was actually tricky, because it was difficult to determine whether or not I was already ovulating.  Copulating waaaaaay before ovulation will not produce a fertilized egg because a woman wouldn’t be fertile at that time (o di ba napaka-scientific).  Since we did not want to take the risk of having a boy, we failed and failed.  I did not conceive in February, and in March.  I started to panic that I was infertile.  Your Tatay was not concerned though, but in April, he said, “Bahala na kung ovulating ka na” and tried to conceive. [Read more...]