Eight Things About iMoM

This morning, the family was deciding between Mr. Choi Kitchen and Gloria Maris Dimsum Kitchen for Sunday brunch. Being a democratic family, we opted to take a vote. VGood led us into votation.

VGood: Who wants to eat at Mr. Choi? (We raised both our hands.)

VGood: Okay, who wants to eat at MM..moria Laris?

Mom and Patch: Where???

VGood: Basta, who wants to eat in that place?

Everyone: chuckling, giggling…

Of course, Mr. Choi, as always, won. So the affair continues.


I was tagged by Auee looooong ago to list eight random things about myself. Though it took me a while, I got a bit nostalgic doing this.

1. I am the fourth in an all-girl family of six. Growing up with five other girls, in general, was wonderful. We got to share everything – clothes, shoes, make-up, and chores. Of course the middle ones (myself included) had it really bad in the hand-me-downs department. I remember being handed down those really sturdy Greg school shoes. Arrgh, the pair wouldn’t die no matter how many times I tried to assassinate it. The youngest two (sisters # 5 and 6) had it quite better because by the time the old stuff got to them, they were either outdated or worn out. So naturally, Ma bought them new stuff. *smirks*

Growing up with five other girls meant the chores were spread out, although rarely evenly. The older ones cooked, washed clothes, and fed the pigs. Yeah, we had pigs. We even had 3 favorite ones – Pinky, Dinky, and Binky. The younger ones washed the dishes, helped clean the house, did smaller chores. Of course there were lots of bickering too, but we had no choice so the chores still got done. I think it is because of this that we became better cooks than our Mom, hehe.

I love my sisters. I am happy that we were brought up in a loving environment. It wasn’t a perfect family, but our parents must have done something good with us. We have outgrown the bickering. 😛


2. I had my first perm (yeah, as in kulot hair) at age 7 or 8! Ma always brought me along whenever she had her hair done by the beautician (that’s how they were called back then, isn’t it? LOL). One day, Ma and the beautician must have thought I’d look good with short curly hair. Much like Ma’s very-adult hairdo. Now I’m thinking, maybe it was that episode in my life that determined how my hair behaves today. I remember when I was younger, my hair was straight and soft. Now my hair is wavy and, at times, unruly. Hmmm.

3. I had my ears pierced at age 22, a few days before college graduation. My friend, Kit, and I were shopping for graduation outfits when it occurred to her that my ears were virgin! She smooth-talked me: “My doctor-cousin has an ear-piercing gun. It’s not painful at all, pramis! Before you know it, it will be over.” Reluctant but excited, I obliged. So one afternoon, during a break from graduation practice, Kit and I went to the ladies’ room of the Baguio Convention Center. There she set up the gun and the pair of ear studs. When the first stud was shot into my right earlobe, I felt all of my blood rush to my face. It was so painful, I almost walked away with just one pierce!

4. I am sometimes (mis)judged as snobbish and unapproachable. I’d like to believe this is only because of my sharp facial features, and nothing else. 😛 When I was a child, I was often called by my sisters suplada, because I was. Maybe I did not completely outgrow it.

5. I have fear of earthquakes. In July 16, 1990, an intensity-7.8 earthquake hit Baguio City and a large part of Northern Luzon. (Warning: Long narrative follows. Skip to no. 6 if you wish to avoid being bored.)

It was almost 4:30 pm, dismissal time. We were having Values Education class. Our teacher, who was pregnant then, excused herself from the class to do an errand, saying she will be right back. She left us with an activity – draw an object that would aptly represent each family member. Nice, I smiled to myself.

Shortly after the teacher stepped out of the building, the quake struck. Along with my entire 4th year high school class and many other college students, I was trapped in the 5th floor of an 8-storey building which has collapsed. I remember thinking it was definitely the end of my young life. My classmates and I huddled together in the middle of the room. Praying. Crying. Looking up and waiting for the ceiling to come crashing down on us as the ground roared and the building shook.

The ceiling did not collapse, but all around we could hear glass breaking, concrete grinding, people shouting. The air was thick with dust, which made breathing difficult. When the quake, the longest 45 seconds in my life, stopped, we crept out of our classroom. The corridor was split in the middle, and hands were waving in the crack asking for help. My confused mind did not realize it then, but the whole building literally fell on the 4th floor.

The main stairways have fallen, so there was no clear way out. Our class divided into three groups – one group went to the left side to check the fire exit, another to the rear side to check the bridge that connected our building to the gymnasium. My group went to the right, where the ledge used to be. From the ledge, I saw our favorite hangout, the FRB Building, reduced to ground level. From the window at the far end of the corridor, we saw Hilltop Hotel in the middle of the City Market crumbling. We were speechless, helpless and dazed.

I don’t remember how many minutes or hours passed, but finally rescuers came. They helped us rappel down the wall with a rope. I was thankful to have gotten out of the building with just rope burns. Many had more serious injuries – a classmate’s leg was amputated. Others were not as fortunate – about 23 died in our building (according to this website), mostly in the level directly beneath where I was trapped.

For several days, the aftershocks continued, along with thunderstorms. There was no water, no power, and phone lines were out. Doomsday-sayers were going to be right, I thought. The world was coming to an end. The whole city, rich and poor alike, camped out in parks for fear of getting caught indoors with another quake. My family was fortunate to live across a park, so while we camped out, Dad was able to guard the house against looters. We ate canned sardines, canned beans, and, of course, sayote. One day, the neighborhood store-owner decided to pass around boxes of ice cream goodies as they were going to perish any moment in her thawed freezer.

On another day, my family attended the wake of a neighbor’s daughter. The girl, about my age, was crushed in their store at the FRB Building. I remember hearing news that the pretty volleyball varsitarian my friends and I so adored was also killed in that building, and that her family was holding vigil right outside, waiting for rescuers to find her body. I don’t think her body was ever found. Those were horrific, terrible times that I hope my children will never have to experience. The memories are still vivid in my mind. Up to this day, the slightest quake, whether of geological origin or just someone shaking his leg, always elicits symptoms of a panic attack in me.

*deep, deep sigh*

(View photos of Baguio City after the earthquake here.)

6. I used to play volleyball in college. Well, I never really became one of those good players who dished out mean spikes and blocks at opponents. But I did train with a group of girls every Saturday. During games, I was rarely never in the first-6 lineup. I was a good cheerleader though. haha 😛

7. I’m quite vain about my skin, but I keep my vanities within budget range. As a result, I’d usually DIY my treats. My home facial involves five steps (in this order): steaming to open up the pores; cleansing with a facial scrub or mask; massage; toning to close the pores; finally, slathing on a good moisturizer. Some of my vanity has rubbed off into my husband, who now cares that he has too much laugh/worry lines. Just today we bought a tube of cream for his crow’s feet and my eyebags.

8. I can keep secrets. If you choose to confide in me with a confidentiality clause (“Please keep this to yourself. You’re the only one I will ever tell this to. Please.Please.Please.”), you can count on me to carry your secret to the grave. (So help me God.) 😀

There, eight things about me (and then some).

20 thoughts on “Eight Things About iMoM

  1. I enjoyed readimg this especially about your sisters. I suddenly felt nostalgic since two of my sisters live in the states now. It’s good to be vain of your skin now that you are still young, Okay lang yun. By the time you will reach 50 like me, you will still look as lovely as today.

    Hi noemi! it’s wonderful to have sisters, especially if you all get along well. I think we are both blessed with such circumstances.
    Oo nga, it is my wish to be a fab primetime woman too when my turn comes! haha

  2. This is an interesting post Chats. It’s nice to learn new things about you.

    I never had a sister. It must have been nice growing up with five sisters.

    I could understand your fear of earthquakes. I remember the July 16, 1990 earthquake vividly. I was still in school at that time. I was terrified by the strong tremors. I watched the news and saw the devastation in Baguio. I remember a young girl being interviewed. Her legs were trapped. She said she was willing to amputate her legs by herself if someone would just give her tools. It was so sad to see her so helpless. I couldn’t remember what happened to her after that.

    Same here, I can keep a secret. I will not tell a single soul if the person tells me not to (not even my husband).

    Hi rach! Nice to know we both can keep secrets. Oh yes, not even to my husband.
    Except for radio news, I was oblivious to much of the events that went on elsewhere in the city during the earthquake. I was really surprised with some of the photos I saw at the cityofpines website, because I never saw some of those devastations. My parents understandably barred us from loitering to other places in the days right after the quake eh.

  3. Hey Chat all girls din kami but I was the youngest so it was mixed blessings… I get ALL the hand-me-down! And Nanay never really cared if they were 80’s and it’s now the 90’s… Ayayay. But it is great to be the youngest, my sisters were all working while I was still in Uni & I got lots of freebies hehe

    re: Earthquake
    OMG! I was in 2nd year HS then in Cabanatuan City. I remember your description quite vividly. None of us knew of what was really happening, first it was just some loud grinding noise then suddenly the ground started to shake us sideways then

    upwards. When it stopped several aftershocks followed. I walked with lots of people & I saw the school that collapsed (it was next to mine). There were overturned vehicles everywhere. The hospital was on the other side of our school & it was overflowing with people, tricycles ferrying the injured (from the collapsed building) were bloody. Nakakatakot talaga.

    We’re really lucky we got away with nary a scratch.

    Hi Auee! Finally after 10 years nagawa ko rin haha. Being the youngest has more +s than -s i think. Our bunso was spoiled, haha. Like you, she got loads of freebies (up to now) because many were already working while she was still in school. (Peace, sis # 6, Emac).
    Yes, we’re truly blessed to have escaped the quake whole, in every sense. Cabanatuan had it as bad as Baguio di ba? My other sis naman was schooling in Dagupan. So imagine my parents’ agony!

  4. ay TY nga pala for doing the tag, I enjoyed reading this! And take note, your hubby is not alone, just last month my hubby was asking me how he can remedy his obvious pores

  5. i find it cute that you can share your beauty secrets with your hubby and he ended up being conscious too. it’s just so cute! 🙂

    Hi ann! Glad to see you again 🙂
    You know, hub used to be really confident with his looks, because he looked young. Back then, he was often mistaken to be years younger than me (grrrr). But the years of hard work, stress and marriage have finally caught up with him (harhar), so naghahabol na siya ngayon!

  6. Hi Chats,
    Naku who wouldn’t be traumatized by that earthquake, grabe. The rest of my family are also very scared of earthquakes, they were one of those who camped in Burnham Park, later when they went back to Fireplace they ate big Lapu-Lapus and yummy meats from Mandarin Restaurant, bago masira … remember it was just accross? Grabe agonizing moment rin yon for me not knowing what’s happening with them because I was already in Manila that time.
    Btw, the sunflowers seeds were such a craze in Bulgaria, my in laws were so addicted to it. As in!

    Hi Toni! Back from your Bulgarian vacay? Glad they loved the sunflower seeds. Let’s hope someone is reading this and that she will get a flight to FRA soon. Sigurado ubos na ration mo haha. I could send along some of that Knorr sinigang mix I won from SM Hypermarket haha.
    Rumor has it that our class is the only class Emmett cried for. Hindi ata rumor kasi he admitted it when we talked to him last year, hehe. Good thing it was Sportsfest rehearsal season, so everyone but the seniors were at the gym. Otherwise, it would have been a real disaster for Sci Hi. My sisters too were all away at that time, in fact I was the oldest sibling then. So they were agonizing with thoughts on what might have happened to us, with two of their sibs (me and sherry) studying in UB.

  7. You were in the UB building during the quake, right? But I thought that the UB building was only 5 floors. Was it really 8? Thanks for sharing your story.

    Regarding the supposedly painless ear-piercing, what did your friend say afterwards? “My bad”? 😀

    Hi Wil! The UB Commerce Bldg had 8 floors. The library and typing room (if my memory serves me right) were at the uppermost levels. Originally (i think) it was only 4 or 5 levels, and then they decided to add more to make it 8 levels. So there, the whole building fell on the 4th level.
    My friend was laughing, not apologetic at all! haha, good thing we were good friends.

  8. You all look winsome in the pic. Nice smiles on beautiful faces. Where are you in the line? Is that your husband with you having a mask? You both look cute in there. Hehe.

    Hi Abaniko!
    Thanks for the compliments. Do we all look the same? I’m fourth from the left – yung bungisngis haha.
    Yes, that’s me and hub. Note the sharp contrast in eye size LOL

  9. Hi iMoM!

    Thanks for dropping by my bearsite. =)

    Been browsing in your blog..

    I vividly recall that fateful day in July of 1990. That would have to be one of the scariest experiences of my life too. I know that Baguio and most parts of Luzon got the brunt of the earthquake and sustained unimaginable loss in property and lives. That afternoon, para ngang end of the world na, there was a booming and thunder-like noise from underground and the swaying wouldn’t stop. I ran for my baby niece who was sleeping in a hammock and hid under our dining table. That evening, we learned of the terrible news from Luzon.

    Hi Gina! I saw your comment waiting for moderation after our scrab game.
    Where were you during the quake? We all got some shaking , no?
    I’ll see you around at ISC ha 🙂

  10. Wow, must have been nice having sisters. I have a brother but we have a generation gap: 12 years older than him.

    Had a perm too, the so-called zigzag(?) or triangle(?) 😀

    I vividly remember that earthquake. I was in my dorm near U Belt in Manila when everything started swaying. Yes, it was really frightening since earthquake is one of my worst fears. Had to run down six flights of stairs and it seemed that my feet were not connecting with the steps. We all slept in the reception area that night.

    Thanks for sharing about yourself. Take care! 🙂

    Ooooh, the zigzag perm! It was the craze back in high school. Fortunately, I wasn’t one of the fachion victims hehe.
    yes, I have wonderful sisters, and it’s great!

  11. Six girls! You all could have been a first-6 lineup yourselves!

    And you know you’re a Baguio earthquake survivor if you can feel a tremor before anybody else.

    Nice post this one!

  12. Hi Chats!! I know about the “all-girls” growing up thing. We are 5 girls but fortunately, I am the eldest. Manang, to us GI’s.

    So, you finally blogged about “the earthquake”. Scary!! At least you were able to get it out of your system. Hopefully you can finally exorcize those demons away forever. Sana 🙂

    Re: Skin Regimen…sabi ko na eh. Noticed your “flawless” komfleksyon nga.

  13. Hi Lisa! I agree, earthquake survivors seem to be greatly sensitized to tremors.
    Unfortunately, we are not a very athletic brood, haha. Pang cheerleading lang!

    Hi manang cookiekong! Welcome back. Flawlets ba??? haha. It was great to see you the other day, though the occasion and purpose wasn’t. Mukhang in-sync tayo ah. Anyhoo, hope to see you again soon.

  14. Hi Chats! This is a great read. I am the eldest among five girls (and a boy), and being the ate sure has its advantages, especially in the hand-me-down department…

    I was in Baguio a week before the quake. A friend introduced me to her cousin who was working in Hyatt, and he was among the casualties of the quake. I don’t know but for around five years, every time I went to Baguio, I got sick. As in major flu!

  15. Hi Chats, kami din all girls (apat na maria), no hand-me downs sa clothes or shoes kasi when my Mom buys before, all four of us have the same style of clothes in different colors. Para tuloy kami 2 sets of twins, kasi magka-height yung 2 older ones and the 2 younger ones, he he. Ang hand-me downs yung mga books (and some math notebooks) in school kasi 1 year lang age gap namin. I remembered copying my sister’s answers in her math notebook where her homeworks are the same with mine, he he. Re: the Baguio quake, was in UST that time, we hid under the table, didn’t realized I was the only one left after a few minutes. My hubby (who was a cadet at the PMA that time)helped in the rescue and he saw so many victims/ casualties. It was really a nightmare for many of us.

  16. Ah so this is the famous picture of technohub, the door magnate! Madaya. hahaha Anway, it is obvious he is quite chinito and has fine features. Vgood takes after him, ano?

    And the two of you carry togetherness to new lengths ha. Applying vanity masks as a twosome.

    You told that earthquake story a bit too casually. I hope you have gotten rid of the trauma. I didnt know it lasted only 45 seconds, it was like forever to me. What happened to your pregnant teacher? I like to think she and her baby were safe too.

    Hi there! Madaya ba ang photo? haha Yes, Vgood takes after him.. So you noticed the stark contrast in our eye sizes, eh?
    Our teacher delivered her baby safely a few months later…

  17. Hi to the owner of this blog! 🙂

    May I possibly invite you for an interview regarding your story on the earthquake which happened last 1990.

    Hoping for your kind participation.

    Thank you.

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