there is so much to share. unfortunately, not about dreams with you and i can’t decide if that’s a good or bad thing, but life is flashing before my eyes.

i have two nephews – Samuel and Rockwell. both beautiful boys, both with so much personality. although they didn’t come without tough love, they are being raised by my strong sisters. i think they’re doing great as mothers and they also have me as ninang 😉

oh! and i got engaged on Sept 3, 2016. but who didn’t see that coming? obviously me, because i was definitely surprised. i lived in LA for a month for my ortho rotation. i have to admit, i liked being in LA. despite the traffic, it has grown on me and i was actually considering moving there. maybe it’s the friends i’ve made there, maybe it’s all the fun you could have there. either way, LA ain’t so bad after all.

i finally graduated in front of all my family and best friends. i passed the hardest test of my life. and i reconnected with my mentor to find my first job in urgent care. Chad and i decided we will get married in Florence, Italy on May 24, 2018. we moved in together to a cute apartment in El Cerrito, and i can say it’s our little home. i just got the LASIK i always wanted, and i couldn’t be more happier with the results.

i am blessed and i thank God. but in life, there is always balance. sun-moon. ying-yang. good-bad. life-death. this year we lost my Uncle Sergio in Japan. my Uncle Arthur suffered a stroke and is recovering, however it is very difficult for him to swallow and eat by mouth. we had to put Buddha down because he had jaw cancer.

you can never be so high to be brought down to earth, and maybe through hell and back. life is filled with all kinds of surprises and it’s because of these last few years that i’m starting to learn that. perfection is a lost dream. everyone’s wrongs aren’t your rights. and it’s only you that can bring light to your own darkness, with hope it catches fire to the next. only you can forgive yourself and start again. only you determine the moment.

easier written than done, but because i can easily write that, i know i’m learning something. there is always chaos, but there is always inner peace.

i miss you Dad. all that has come to fruition is a reflection of your roots. Mom is retiring this year, so she will see you in God’s creations. i love you, see you soon.



my sisters and i were with you at McDonald’s. while we were sitting, for some reason there were these two ducks irritating you and i at our feet. i asked you, “how are you doing Dad” and you replied with that reassuring grin, “i have my good days and bad days”.

two years this Friday.

that smile

i was trying to find my way through the restaurant to get to our table, but i guess i was lost, because you were right there waiting for me with that happy smile. you looked like your 90s self – bowl hair cut, large square ranger glasses, dark mustache with your oversized letterman jacket and jeans. you were eating candy. i feel like it was the one you love to have after we get pho in el cerrito. it felt like an asian restaurant too. i think i saw bamboo. no words exchanged, just an embrace and kiss.

thank you Dad for visiting me during my birthday month. your timing is impeccable, only 5 days after the 13th. i haven’t been able to really think about you much because of all that has happened, with me being in the hospital and all. but i guess i kinda did because being in the hospital and staying over night reminded me of you. i personally hate hospitals because of you, and i had so much anxiety about the whole visit. i’ve never been so sick to actually WANT to go to the hospital. craziest chills i’ve ever had, convulsing really. fever. and that’s it! no other damn symptoms to point to the source. it was really scary and thankfully i was with Chad in California, where my insurance works best. i think i better understand how hard it was for you to be in different hospitals and clinics. it’s very depressing and it requires a lot of patience, hope, and trust. you were in the hospital for more than two weeks and staring at those walls and just thinking is exhausting and stressful. as much as i wanted you to defeat your illness, i think you were only being strong for us, and that would be selfish of me to want that for you. it’s still hard to accept, especially around this time, but you were tired and i know you did your best. you did your best all the time, and that’s how i know you lived your life to the fullest.

now that i think of it, the days leading up to my birthday i did think about you a lot. i was anxious. i cried into the night. i was just so emotional. i think it’s because my last birthday with you wasn’t a very happy one. our family was all over the place dealing with your illness and while everyone was trying to make it a special day for me, i also forgot it was a hard day for you and mom as parents and i didn’t realize it at the time. there are so many things i wish i knew then and i know that it’s going to be a battle to stop making myself guilty for all the things i could of done. with all this said, i hope on July 8 this year i can celebrate you more and not dwindle on these thoughts that still remain fresh in my head. i will try to keep my head high as i finish out my ER rotation. i will also try to find some motivation and inspiration to get me back into the swing of things. i pray for my 27th year for positivity, happiness, perseverance, strength, and faith.

05 24 16

chad said he had a dream about you. he said we were eating and he thinks it was dinner. simple dream but i’m happy you visited him. i miss your cooking so much. when i was home for the month of May for my community med rotation, mom stepped up her game and made some delicious meals. now if she could only figure out how to cook your fried chicken.

Marine World

i had a dream about you, about a week ago. i was adamant about writing it down, but of course in the morning you realize what you have for the day and you start mentally preparing yourself and forget. these two months in internal med have been crazy but i’m happy you visited.

this dream was bittersweet. the fam was at marine world, now called six flags discovery kingdom. that used to be my middle school spot and it was actually my Dad who would drop us girls off and pick us up late at night. the fam was enjoying the day, and for some reason towards the end of the day, we just knew it was gonna be our “last time together”. we decided to ride the dinosaur ride, which i’m thinking was suppose to be Jurassic Park. funny how that detail slipped in. but it was bittersweet cause it seemed like it was the turning point where we all had to grow up. no more fantasy lands, no more perfect endings, because when you lose someone your world completely changes. life no longer glitters in gold, it just has a silver lining that is hard to see most days. when i was younger my parents enjoyed theme parks and were the best parents ever to bring us to these expensive places. it’s where you start your imagination and if you can find joy in things that are not real and are intangible, you start to realize it was all a set up to have faith in a world called heaven.


when i go on an international trip, i usually go home first, but since Mom is leaving for the Philippines too, it was kinda useless to go home before Guatemala.

but i’m so happy you visited me anyway. in my dream, i was welcomed home in your usual fashion – a big hug and the usual question “did you eat yet?”. you cooked up so many meats, it was very comparable to KBBQ. as i was trying to snapchat the glory of your cooking, you easily gave me the side eye. it was a perfect Flandez moment. even the pizza i’m eating while writing this is adding that longanisa smell.

seeing you in my dreams get a little easier each time. i don’t cry as long and it’s a little easier to understand that my tears aren’t because i’m sad but happy to see you again. i travel the world because of you. you gave me that traveling bug since our family road trips across America. i know you never got to travel outside of the U.S. and the Philippines, but everywhere i go i feel your presence and how excited you would get to see a monument, a sunrise, a beautiful flower. i bet the view from heaven is even more spectacular. miss and love you Dad.

soul food

i woke up around 6am hoping it was real. but no it was just my bladder acting up.

you were eating. it was a party, i forgot what we were celebrating. but i was with someone – maybe Jane or Jessa. with a plate filled w/ delicious Filipino food, you were talking to us and enjoying the one thing that takes you back home. just me trying to remember the dream (i kinda forgot again, fail) i can tell i get a lot of my facial expressions from you. the raising of the eyebrows. the side eye. when our mouth is full, the smirk and the nodding of the head. you were happy. happy to be around your girls.

although the holidays filled me with good home cooked food, there will be nothing like your cooking. i can’t believe it’s been over a year since tasting your fried chicken and afritada. also would like to tell you your beloved Chipotle is getting a bad rep with all these E. Coli outbreaks. i’m barely cooking but you know how it goes, PA school sucks without you.