All posts tagged: family

Working moms, you’re Awesome

I was raised in an unconventional household. My father was the homemaker, and my mother was the breadwinner. When I was younger, I  was a little bit jealous of friends whose moms baked cookies. Not that my household is any less cool, but it was different. And being different is not always ideal when you’re that young. Subconsciously (and I hated to admit it when I was a teenager) my mom served as an inspiration: She is strong and determined. She is intelligent and she broke social barriers. She made sure we did well in school, she knows who our friends are,  and she pushed me beyond what I thought I was capable of. She, together with my father, made a great team in spite of our unusual household set-up in the past three decades.  Sure she missed some PTA meetings and she doesn’t cook every single day, but she has made great sacrifices to ensure that we, her children, grow up to be responsible adults with good values, and that we are equipped to face …

INKED: A Story Of My Grandfather’s Short-Lived Tattoos

My grandparents own a convenience store in a busy part of town, where we have to “help as Sales Personnel” for part of our summer vacation. At two o’clock on a weekday however, we don’t have customers — so my grandfather and I would people-watch although there is barely anyone in sight except the unemployed and maids running errands. It was also a sketchy part of town and I remember seeing guys walk by shirtless, with massive tattoos on their arms, their necks. I was 8 years old and that gets scary. This one guy in particular looked like he just got out of prison, and I would sit there watching him drink with his buddies, marveling at the artwork, speculating what everything on his arm meant. Gang signs? I recognize Jesus. But what about the other symbols? Are they religious too? Or is it evil? I wonder what my religion teacher would say. Tatay (what I called my grandfather in Tagalog, pronounced as “tah-tahy”), who was hanging out at the convenience store with me, …


This picture reminds me of my parents. No, they don’t look like elephants:)  … but I know that the amount of unconditional love they poured out to us as we were growing up is enormous. Immeasurable. Though we’ve had our fair share of typical arguments (I was a teenager once, after all), I’ve grown to appreciate them so much more  when I entered adulthood. Similar to this beautiful photo, you know there is so much unspoken connection between parent and child that your heart feels an embrace. And that’s how I feel the moment I walk through the door of my parents’ home. I know that some children in this world are not as fortunate to have a person care for them but I do hope that they meet someone at some point in their lives who will make them feel this safe, this loved.  It’s a great feeling most tend to take for granted.