But It Keeps On Lingering...

Although he had a visible personality and most of the hotel personnel got to see him once in a while, he could wear a stranger's face for a perfect disguise. He had every knowledge of the ins and outs of the hotel that made it easier for his intentions to be perfectly executed. This was no game plan... This was the best time of his life.

Sweat was all-over his face as he took off the porter's jacket and the trouser he had been keeping for the past 48 hours. He was able to sneak that attire out of the staffs' quarter during a whole day routine inspection of the hotel's security facilities. Though his plan A was interrupted by an unexpected blow of a warning device, an alternative plan B was set to fulfill his mission. Now he's holding the key to open up the heart of the woman he strongly desired.

He carefully took the box out of the black garbage bag that he recovered from the trash container together with all the rubbish from the room he's been spying on... placed it on top his bed, lying down like a sleepless beauty ready to be explored. He took a quick shower then sipped a little of Cremant de Limoux. It was past 11pm and the night was just starting to uncover the brightness of the moon illuminating from the overlooking scenery as Robert Johnson Miller finally found himself staring at the mini box resting right at the center of his bed. He took it, gently loosing off its ribbon and at last... laid before his very eyes... a book containing the clue to the three-word mystery that would lead him to the world that he called, "Eden".

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

"No no no no !!! It can't be. I placed it right here." Karla made a growling sound as she desperately searched for that box containing her countless thoughts... the keeper of her innermost being. She almost felt like a part of her had been taken away along with its disappearance. She kept on looking for the mini box but to no avail.

Even Dane knew nothing about her having that box except for an instance when they first got into room 708 and unpacked their things. Karla brought it out of her luggage and put it in the closet. It's just an old box and nothing was so special about it that would make Dane drew attention to. But why was it missing and who would ever had an interest of getting an almost archaic box which had been aged and nearly worn out already?

"I'm afraid you have to vacate this room Ms. Marasigan. We have to double check every area and make proper restorations. We've already arranged for your room transfer so you can start packing up your things and move over to room 705." A woman in a skirt suit hastily notified them.

What an ill-fated day it was for the two ladies. Dane made a call to Perry informing him of their whereabouts and giving him instructions on how the program would continue in her absence.

'Yeah! You take charge and we'll come back as soon as we get over this mess. Bye bye."

As Karla and Dane gathered their things back to their luggages, two of the utility personnel helped them and placed in the cart trolleys. Everything was ready for transfer but no mini box had found that caused Karla an absolute disbelief.

next ....

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

"Any problem Dane? Karla worriedly asked her friend who was then reaching for her purse.

"Something's burning in our room. We have to get there right now!"

The two ladies left their table as calmly as they could to avoid any disturbance. Dr. Marasigan noticed them as they took wary steps out of the ballroom but he had to keep his audience occupied with his emotive speech that would end probably a longer time than expected.

They headed for the elevator up to seventh floor and as they walked through the door of room 708, Dane just burst out like crying babe. " Oh my God! What the hell happen here? It's my... oh! Look Karla, my candles. I forgot to... gosh!"

"We were so abstracted this morning and we're in a hurry, remember?" Karla was more concerned over her mini box and she immediately opened the closet where it was safely rested. But to her surprise, there was nothing in there except for some of her clothes still neatly folded.

"Oh my God! Dane was so alarmed with Karla's reverberating voice.

next ....

Farewell to Bird's Nest

The ceremony that started with a big bang on August 8, 2008 at the Bird's Nest and ended up on that same venue with another gigantic presentation was a huge success in Olympic history. Participants from around the globe gathered and competed for sixteen days, exhibiting their own strength and determination to obtain victory yet, uphold the true Olympic spirit. One world... One dream. People of different colors and origins had come together to attain the ultimate goal of peace and unity.

For sixteen days, all nations watched as the games progressed. From swimming to gymnastics... From basketball to weightlifting... From shooting to triathlon. Athletes strived to bring home the "gold" and make either a world or olympic record.

China topped the medal standing with 51 golds, USA with 36. Russian Federation with 23, Great Britain with 19 and Germany with 16.

Now, the stadium was no longer sparkling like flaming nest at night. People who attended and witnessed the historic event were packing up and heading to where they came from. Many of whom tasted triumph and some others went home empty-handed but with pride in their hearts.

Farewell Great Wall and welcome Buckingham Palace four years from now.

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous
He knew where the CCTV was located and how would he manipulate its surveillance features so that his every move would stay undetected. He's a system designer... a video CAD software expert and he probably knew what he's doing. It might cause him disaster if he would screw up. But, before laying out his detailed mental formulation of the design of his life, a loud electronic horn evoked alerting every corner of that edifice.

He turned his eyes around until suddenly, smoke was filling out the floor's ceiling originating at room 708. He could hardly make a move as security officers came rushing to where the source of the the thickening fume. Three uniformed officers stood in front of the room and one of them tried to open the digital door lock using the master key override. The door swung open and they immediately searched for the smoke's possible point of origin. A scented candle was left ignited inside the room that caught the floor carpet and caused it to blaze. The tallest security officer hurriedly ceased the burning rag using the fire extinguisher while the other one used his two-way radio with earset to inform the head of security that everything's alright.

"Nothing to worry about, Sir. It's just a careless, unforeseen blunder made by one of our clients. Ms. Marasigan maybe coming in a few minutes. She has been properly informed."

next ....

The Man Behind the Eyeglasses

Back in 1983, I remembered it was a Sunday and we usually had our get together in our grandparents house in San Miguel. Sunday used to be a family day for the Acierto clan... just getting in touch with each other... simply having a nice time. Watching TV was then a traditional past time and I clearly recalled, that was the same day when a breaking news suddenly dominated all channels in Philippine television airing the most controversial assassination of a man whom I , for one , had known nothing about... a man by the name, Ninoy.

Benigno S. Aquino was a son of a prominent family, the nation's youngest municipal mayor and vice-governor, a former senator, a husband, a father, an excellent public speaker and "the greatest president Filipinos never had" if only.

As I watched those videos paying tribute to his life and meaningful death, I couldn't help but admire that man behind those white suite blemished by blood and being carried like a lifeless dummy. As Marcial Bonifacio took flight to meet his creator, his last words came to a realization... if it's his fate, so be it.

August 21 , 2008 marked the silver anniversary of a hero's untimely passing. The bullet that ended his life and the gun that fired it belonged to the assassin of a speculated conspiracy. After twenty-five long years of tedious investigations and interminable trial procedures, the "brains" behind the crime remained a mystery or maybe, it's a perfect circumstance of secrecy.

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

Nearly 90 minutes after Karla and Dane vacated their room, a young man in his early twenties had been going back and forth of that hallway seemingly disturbed. He kept on looking at his watch. The elevator door opened and closed at least ten times already and he's not getting tired at all. He just pushed the button on but could hardly decide whether or not he would carry out his detailed plot in entering room 708.

The guy was quite aggressively-looking... wearing a plain white shirt and indigo denim jeans. His perfectly sculpted body was obviously revealed and because of his intensive sweating, the shirt almost embraced his masculinity. His hair was short and jagged enhancing his natural curls that the more he perspired, the more he looked wet and wild.

His eyes were dreamy... literally dreamy.

"I just have to get this over and done with. I know this plan may not be perfect but this is the only way. "

He zipped open his belt bag and brought a tiny rod-like key out and initiated his first step.

next ....

Ala Kobe Bryant

Kd's number one NBA player with jersey number 24, the shooting guard of the LA Lakers and is already in his 12th year in professional basketball... no other than Kobe Bean Bryant. Though the Lakers lost the 2008 championship over Celtics, he just find him the best and he enjoyed every game especially now that Kobe belongs to the roster of USA Olympic team in Beijing.

And here's my little Kobe. He has the inclination of a star player.

The future basketball champ... Kurt Dariel

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

While the presentation progressed, Karla's eyes were roaming around the Bellmont hall. She noticed that the crowd was getting out of control. Dane was standing right at the center stage and doing her best act ever. She's too hilarious not to be appreciated by her audience. Her facial expressions and body language made her stint so amusing that even spectators found her exceptional. Laughters surrounded the ballroom and happiness just filled the air.

"Thank you so much! I am pleased to perform before each and everyone of you." Now this time I would like to call on the person behind this successful gathering. The most important man in my life and of course, the best-looking surgeon in all of Oregon state... my dearest Dad, Dr. Conrado Marasigan."

Dr. Marasigan stood as the spotlight followed his way to the center stage joining his beloved daughter. Everybody moved for a standing ovation and continued applause until Dane gave the floor to her Dad and let him speak his heart out.

Dane sat beside Karla in the round table fronting the stage. As her Dad started his speech, someone approached Dane and whispered something to her. It seemed like an urgent one and Dane's face was in shock.


But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

"That was a heart-warming introduction! I'm truly proud to be a member of this family. Good job little ones!" Dane was swollen with pride.

She was wearing a midnight blue full length gown with a touch of glitter that provided shine. It was an open neckline, cold shoulder and 3/4 sleeves... fully lined with shirring on the side that hides tummy for a slimming figure. She's a stunning buffoon wittier than ever.

"Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat. I know most of you has never forgotten your roots yet though majority of the new generation of Marasigans and Del Prados had grown up here. So nice to see all of you again. It's been years since I last saw you guys. Oh, that's Tita Lorraine there beside her adorable little darling Kathlyn and I also see Uncle Resty. Is that you uncle? You're still as good-looking as my dad." Dane flew a kiss to her Uncle Resty while he returned it with a cheery grin.

"This is the night we've all been waiting for so let's celebrate!" Then, she held out the microphone to the technical staff and a tall, dark and handsome young man on the far right of the stage sitting on a mid-high chair with his guitar hit the spot light. An acoustic version of "Through the Years" echoed along with the presentation of a visual aid depicting the memoirs of the past and present journey of their family.

next ....

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

Perry Castro, the occasion's busiest planner, made a hustling signal to a group of pretty young girls to gather on the center stage. They were dressed in uniformed gowns. A fun, innocent Polca frock accented by a carnation brooch belt with a variety of colors: white/navy, lilac, red and pink. They wore the same white handcrafted closed toe shoes and as they arranged themselves forming a circle with one at the center, they bowed their heads and the lights were slowly fading out until only a beam highlighted the focus of everyone's attention.

Everybody rose from their seat and the hotel's orchestra started to play the music background while the girls sang the prayer for the invocation. Their angelic voices swathed the entire ballroom in silent contemplation.

Little Chelsea was at the center of the circle made her solo piece. Like her dear cousin Dane, she had an astounding talent. She captured the hearts of her listeners as the cluster resonated the last three words of the song then the little girls gracefully found their exit.

The lights were on again and Dane moved towards the stage looking so amazed and feeling sanctified at the same time. Her audience, mostly consisted of familiar faces that expressed a tremendous amount of joy and excitement.

Dane's decision to fly over to Portland and be the guest host of that special celebration made her realize that her life was not merely to entertain people she didn't even know and make a fortune out of it but most importantly, to make her beloved family smile because of her presence.

next ....

Successful Turnout

The first ever fully automated political exercise in the country
held last 11 August 2008 has marked a historic event in the Philippines. COMELEC said that 60% of the 1.5 million voters in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao or ARMM were evidently motivated to elect new leaders by using the electronic voting machines making it a milestone in the country's electoral reform program.

Although there were still irregularities like the usual things such as vote-buying, the ARMM election was generally peaceful and orderly and voters considered it as more convenient and easy to use than manual voting.

Digital Recording Electronic (DRE) machines were used in Maguindanao where voters simply pressed the images of their preferred candidates on a computer screen. While in some provinces, Optical Mark Reader (OMR) counting machines were used to quickly determine the results of the election.

The two mentioned technologies were provided by Smartmatic-Sahi Technology, Inc. and Avante International Technology, Inc. respectively.

Commission on Election proclaimed the winners in less than 36 hours.

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

May of 2006
Portland, Oregon

Karla and Dane stayed at room 708 of the Crowne Plaza Hotel located at North Eastern, Portland. Their duo came in late. The reunion started at exactly 9 o'clock and they arrived 10 minutes behind schedule. Before going there, Dane took a dose of loperamide to stop the discomfort she's feeling just after breakfast. She has gone in and out of their hotel room's toilet for the last 30 minutes and after a while, when the drug has been absorbed by her gastrointestinal tract and metabolized her liver, the pain was gone and the bestfriends hurried up to attend the Marasigan-Del Prado reunion in the Bellmont Ballroom.

Dressed with a stunning red outfit with a plunging V-neckline, a chic halter top and a bead embellished empire waist by CM Valvo... Karla was such an eye-catching gorgeousness. The layered skirt flared out into a light airy A-line to just above the knee. Her long silky black hair just complimented her natural majesty. Her face was a perfect persona of a timeless beauty. She grabbed the attention of everybody as she entered the ballroom flaunting her simplicity and distinctiveness.

Dr. Marasigan was in total panic when he saw her daughter Dane came rushing at the back of the stage. The tension sprawling inside his body eventually faded away when Dane found the microphone and begun her long awaited stint only prepared for that once in a lifetime event.

next ....

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

"Oh Uncle, I feel like the world will fall upon me." Karla sighed and leaned over to her uncle's shoulder.

"I thought it would never end... I thought it would lead us to one direction but all of a sudden, things turned out to be just as I feared they would."

Father Reily held Karla's chin up and said with a hushed tone. "You will get over him soon. I know that you're a person of courage. You will never let this kind of trial ruin your life. It's not worth a single tear in your eyes. Everybody has had a taste of heartaches and you're not an exemption. It's just a matter of getting back your sanity the sooner the better. Life is so beautiful. You're young and pretty with striking personality... and of course intelligent like me." Father Reily smirked on her.

As Mama Gee finished off her salad and the two gentlemen were almost done with their Grilla platter, the waiter handed out their bill and Mama Gee settled it with her gold card.

"Why don't you spend the night with us? Do you have any appointment for tomorrow?"

"Nothing is more important than being with my Dolliedy. Now that I'm here again, you will surely be seeing my face almost everyday. Karla and I have a lot of catching up to do and we'll start the ball rolling this evening. Right Kaye?"

Karla just nodded hoping she could sleep soundly afterwards.


But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

Looking at an empty space... Karla made a sudden remark.

"Can you excuse me for a while?"

She went to the diner's restroom to liven up. She was physically with them but her mind seemed to fly at a distance. She came back and the last ordered food was served.

Father Reily's presence somehow brought buoyancy to the atmosphere. He never run out of jokes. He would always mesmerize his audience with great sense of humor. Karla smiled though a little hesitant but it really made Mama Gee much glad to see those dimples again.

"I thought I would be staying at your house Gee once I arrived from Sydney but I was invited by Edgar Montenegro to spent a week in their hometown in Pampanga. As I've told you in my last email, I met him during the World Youth Day. He'll be going back to Australia next month with his youngest son, Greg."

Father Reily was so pleased to tell that story because he wanted to introduce Greg to Karla. They were of the same age and maybe... just maybe, his dear Dolliedy would have a change of heart.


Triple Eight - The Most Awaited Date, Now a History

August 8, 2008
A date which corresponds to a number:
triple 8 or 888.
The original language of the Bible's New Testament is Greek and this number
match a significant name;

Whereas, Numerologists often view "8"
as the lucky number of money and power.
Numeral 8 represents blessings of
prosperity and good fortune times 3.

The Chinese picked August 8, 2008
as the date of the 29th Summer Olympics
because it was considered the luckiest date in 100 years.

For couples, it means eternity.
Their lives are intertwined like the two rings in number 8
that symbolizes

The date also awaits the cries of the newborn babies
as many Caesarian patients chose to give birth
on this day.

Xander Riniker, surrounded by sister Chloe Shumacher, 11, and father Chad Riniker, was born at 8:08 a.m. on August 8, 2008 and weighs 8 pounds, 8 ounces.

In truth number 8 is better acknowledged as the
"great balancer"
-represents the belief that

"We reap what we sow"

Every cause brings its effect and
every action has a consequence.
In everything that we do...
we have to plant the seeds of goodness
for we will harvest the fruits of a lasting and meaningful life.

Health Check, Lab Results -Normal

Dr. Santos gave me a request for laboratory exams in order to pin-point the cause of my high blood pressure. Being a good patient who follows the doctor's instruction this time, I had those tests done last August 5 at Alfonso Clinic. Of course with the kind support of my hubby who was then on one day leave of absence. Actually, the first time he advised me to have those tests was last April but I was reluctant though for some reasons, it took me 4 months before I came to my senses... I am not getting any younger.

I am so thankful to see the results of my lab tests. Everything falls under normal range. I'll be so glad to let Doc Ronald interpret the results for me when I see him again for a follow up check up. He still has to identify the cause of my hypertension. It may not be triggered by smoking (though I used to) or drinking alcohol. I am not obese either or a metabolic person. It may be more of a family history.

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

Uncle Reily was sympathetic. Every detail of Karla's past was known to him except for some issues that she preferred not to unravel and safely kept only to herself.

"How can I have the heart to hate him if all memories keep lingering day after day, Uncle? Fresh memories guarded by truth not lies... by trust not doubts... by love not hatred? How could I let it slip away?" Karla was blaming herself for what happened. She told Uncle Reily everything that transpired that evening when she and Jon finally said good bye. She was constrained to recollect the moment she never had expected to happen. Her journal avowed that unforgettable episode in her life.

8 July 2008

"It was against my rule to step into his door but the will of my heart directed my feet. My hands were cold... my body was shaking. I felt like I was freezing to death. Only a step away and there I was... meeting face to face the nightmare of my life. I knew all along he was there. What drove him to hide himself from me? Why did he hurt me? Of all people... why must he?"

"A week had passed but the bitterness brought about by that frightful night remained deep within myself. I could not condemn him without trial but I knew he's guilty beyond any doubt."

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

Uncle Reily never lost his undeniably perfect timing for serious but implicit approach in dealing with the most inconceivable fate of any person whom he had been acquainted with and those he would eventually meet everyday of his life being ecclesiastic. More so, the agony that Karla was then experiencing.

As they enter the restaurant, Karla was reminiscent... The atmosphere somehow took her in a place that made her heart throb... a place where her dreams begun. She could hardly make another step but Uncle Reily held her arms and led her way into the midst of her consciousness. She would certainly face her uncle's advocacy. She would surely open up herself and lay bear the chronicles of her past and how would she confront the truth that will set her free.

Mama Gee was being escorted by Manong Caloy as they found that favorite spot of Father Reily. A waiter attended to them and took their orders. Karla was seated beside her uncle. She couldn't hide anything to her most beloved uncle. Not this time... She needed someone who would console her and raise her spirits... and make her realize that there's a way to put her worries behind.


Asymptomatic Hypertension - A Quiet Killer


We usually do our grocery shopping twice a month or once every two weeks. If we run out of laundry soap and shampoo, that's the time when the rest of our supplies will have to be replenished already.

Our target destination was South Supermarket along E. Rodriguez Avenue. We made our grocery shopping first before bringing my sister-in-law to their house at Summer Homes where she will be staying after moving out from a boarding house in Manila.

She too joined us for grocery shopping to reload some stocks in the house. My husband and I preferred South Supermarket because it has every item in our list unlike other superstores with incomplete or out of stock merchandise.

Then it's time to pay. I was quite surprised with the amount registered in the receipt. Nearly 30% had been added to our usual bill. We have some items bought which were not included in our previous list that might caused the amount to be higher but my mind just accepted the reality that nowadays, everything with a price is rising up in a soaring mode.

While in the van, on our way home,,, I suddenly felt like throwing up. My head was terribly aching and my heart seemed to be palpitating with abnormal rates. When we got home, I immediately found our sofa, took a sit and rested for a while. I thought of getting my BP and I was extremely shocked when I saw the figures: 177 over 102. I couldn't believe it myself so, after 5 minutes I tried again and the numbers soared to 180 over 108. "Sira yata tong pang BP ni Mommy." I uttered in panic.

I told Pye about it though I was reluctant to inform him because he will certainly get panic as well. He advised me to eat a clove of garlic as first aid remedy. And for that instance, I called Doc Ronald and told him that I have to see him. It was past 6pm when Pye accompanied me to Mission where Dr. Santos held clinic that Saturday evening. And according to him, I was already hypertensive and most probably, I'll be taking my first dose of a maintenance drug with a generic name of Amlodipine Besylate and I was also given a request for laboratory exams to further the diagnosis for possible related disease.

"OH my God! This is the start of my countdown to reaching my golden year..."

But It Keeps On Lingering...

.... previous

"How's my dear Dolliedy? Have you received my email yesterday? Uncle Reily asked Karla with much apprehension as if he's not well informed of her niece's current tribulation. He could sense the anxiety wrapping her body and the least he could do was embraced her... put his hand over her shoulder.

Karla was soundless... immobile. Uncle Reily made a quick glance to Mama Gee.

"Let's have some beach house party in Grilla. I want their grilled specialties with wine pairing." Uncle Reily cheerfully suggested where to dine. "The restaurant is at the corner of Rockwell Drive. I'm sure you will like the beach-inspired setting like Boracay."

"Wherever you want Reily. I am too hungry to think of a place farther from here. That would be fine." Mama Gee replied.


Giving Them A Taste Of Something New

My daughter, Lizette who will be a teenager this November
and Patricia, my niece who just turned 11 last March
tried to commute for the first time.
They have to do it on their own and learn the lessons of being independent.
Teaching them to be responsible for themselves is part of letting them grow up normally
but with our proper guidance, of course.
They rode a jeepney going to school but with an escort around...
Papa Charlie went with the two young ladies,
just taking an eye on them.
But, seems like it's a trial only
and they are not yet ready
for a taste of something new.
They will still be on the same school service on Monday.
Well. sooner or later... they will learn how to do it.
And when the time comes that
they have the courage to do it...
we may be having some headaches
whether we like it or not.