July 7, 2018 | Saturday

It was late in the morning under the heat of Dubai’s summer sun.

As we were about to leave the house (my mother-in-law’s), just right before we exited the parking area, a concerned ‘kabayan’ noticed and notified us that I was driving on a flat tire. So we stopped then had to leave the car.

We left for the mall.

It was the first time I had a flat tire, but it didn’t bother me nor did I feel worried — mainly because when I was much younger, I’ve assisted dad a few times when he had to change tires. So I thought I’d figure it out later.

While at the mall, mom messaged me that dad was rushed to the hospital. She mentioned that dad was unconscious. I then talked to mom over the phone, and at that moment Keona was unusually making a lot of sounds – she seemed to be delightedly talking to someone. As per mom’s suggestion, I moved the phone close to Keona then mom put her phone near dad’s ear.

Keona got to talk to dad for what turned out to be the last time dad would hear her voice.

Was dad’s spirit/consciousness visited Keona at that time? Or was it Keona’s way of trying to cheer up his grandpa?

In the movies, whenever something happens to a loved one, something breaks. The often cliché symbolism of glass accidentally dropped and smashed on the floor, or at times a photo frame of a family with the glass frame getting cracked.

Mine was the car’s tire. But who knew that was ‘the sign’? I thought it just happens in the movies.

This was the actual tire.

We went back to the house. My wife kept asking if I was okay. It seemed that I’m okay though I was on alert for any new notifications on the phone.

I changed the tire — took me a long time. Man, the bolts are too hard to loosen!

I knew that the situation was serious yet somehow felt that everything’s gonna be okay. It’s probably the result of too much rewatching of the movie “3 Idiots” (All izz well, all izz well!!).

As I was about to finish dealing with the flat tire, my wife called and checked whether I was done. I listened to her tone, tried to get some signals. If she sounded sad, then something must have happened to dad, but she sounded just fine.

So I thought, “Dad’s probably alright”.

I went into the house. Then my wife broke the news that dad’s gone..


4 days too late

July 10, 2018 | Going home | Keona’s first plane ride


We were 4 days away from flying back home.

Keona was turning 4 months at that month so we thought of having her dedication back home (Philippines). Sadly, dad couldn’t hold on much longer. I wanted to tell dad personally, “Dad, meet your granddaughter, the first girl in the family! Yay!”

But I guess, they already met.

Perhaps spiritually. In a different realm.


Miss you dad!



January 4, 2017 | Singapore | One of the last photos I took of dad. The last day I got to spend time with him.