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Friday, April 22, 2016


My wife turned sixty on April 20. Just because this is another milestone in her life, the kids decided to give her a surprise party, and surprise she was. On April 16, we told her that as usual, we shall all be staying in a hotel, this time at Hotel Celeste in Makati, a no frills hotel, quaint and simple but clean.  What she didn't know was that we have also invited her close friends from way back in her high school, probably, elementary days. and relatives to grace the occasion.  To even spice it up a notch, I composed this prose and poetry for her, asked our good friend, Redjie to do the voice over and have Mickey do the visuals.  I am reproducing it here for keeps.


Jenna Coleman!    Jenna Coleman is an English actress who was made famous by playing the roles of Clara Oswald in Doctor Who and Jasmine Thomas in the soap opera Emmendale.
Jordan Brewster! Jordan Brewster is a Panamanian –American actress who portrayed Mia Toretto in the Fast and furious, Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6 and 7.
Renee Zessweger! Renee Zellweger is an American actress and producer who was became famous with her roles in various films notable of which are her character in Jerry Macguire, Nurse Betty and her award winning role in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

What does Jenna Coleman, Jordana Brewster and Renee Zellweger have in common? They are all celebrities? They are all beautiful? No, neither their being celebrities nor being beautiful has anything to do with the question.  They are all born under the sign of Taurus, the bull.  The bull, a male bovine especially that of an adult, uncastrated, domestic kind.  As such, it is a symbol of virility, tenacity and unspeakable strength.
On April 20 many moons and stars ago, in an unpretentious town in the heart of Manila known as Bacood,  Trinidad Ancheta rewarded  her loving husband Nicasio Toto with their fourth child, the second girl in a brood of six. Together with her siblings Polly, Abet, Lilia, and the younger Marilyn and Angie, this child’s character would be formed into what it is today. Her family might not have lived in opulence but they were not living in dire straits either.  AS a matter of fact, their family owned several vast ancestral lands up north in Bangui, Ilocos Norte where the first windmills were built.  They were happy and contented amidst their modest living.  Her classmates in both elementary and high school will witness her friendly nature, that effervescent personality, enigmatic at times but always ever pleasant nonetheless.   Their humble beginnings made each one of them aspire for nothing less than perfection.   And perfection she did get on her 29th birthday when she was united with her handsome prince with whom she would bear four children, their four angels, Kraiganne, Mizel, Keshia and Jasper. Together they weathered the storms, faced life’s inequities, wept at each other’s misfortunes and glorified by each and everyone’s accomplishments.
Thirty-one years after that 29th birthday and here we are celebrating another milestone in that little girl’s life. She is now sixty years old, a milestone which marks all her accomplishments as a true friend, a dedicated daughter, a favourite sister, a sweet wife but most of all, a loving mother.  Yes, she is a Taurus but none of the violent streak of a raging bull, only the soft, tender lovable character that she is.
If we are to check on what the astrologers say about a Taurean, we shall find that a person born under the sign of Taurus is one who will not venture into the unknown and lead the way.  They must have misinterpreted the stars for Nitz is a natural leader, the one who leads the entire family to progress and possibly the person who will lead her children to no less than perfection and possibly to greatness. Tonight, as we celebrate her birthday, her husband wrote her a poem and it goes like this:


For tonight She Turns Sixty
Tonight, the angels descend
       to sing melodic songs
together with  the chirping of a  bird,
      released from her cage
the hooting of the owl
     satiated by a hearty meal
and the steady call of the cicadas
     after being burrowed for 17 years.
A seeming cacophony of discordant notes,
faint at first until they get louder
     and the air is filled with heaven’s harmony
     all made lovely
for tonight she  turns sixty

Armed with nothing but her ubiquitous smile
      more radiant as ever,
better than the child who first experiences rain
     after a long dry spell
or when she first held  snow in her tiny hands.
As if granted of a wish by her fairy
     she smiles triumphantly
For tonight she turns sixty

She is my morning coffee
My sunshine after a well slept night
She is the light that illumines my path
     on a bumpy, dark, dangerous road.
She is my queen, my glory,
     my present and my distant future.
Together we shall  forever be happy
     washing away the doldrums of idleness
     laughing our way to a journey of happiness. 
Join me and my family as we all sing 
     Happy birthday with all your might
For she turns sixty tonight



Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.

Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
Posted by Hello
Location: Bambang, Pasig City, Philippines

Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.

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