Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Endless Gratitude

On the eve of my 33rd birthday, I paused, looked back, and saw what a wonderful journey I had –- with people from all walks of life who had made, and continue to make, my existence one such great experience. In my own little way, let me say to all of you: “Thank You.”

  • To my Events! Events! Family—Joy, Ali, and JC—thank you for giving me a super fun time at work. Actually, working with us guys is not working at all, but having a good time. Cheers for more events!
  • To Wow Alberto-Henares, Cookie Amador-Ang and Peaches Go-Tiu—thank you for teaching me that true love waits and that your marriages to Ron, Alvin and Franklin respectively are great examples of such love.
  • To Tita Agnes, Sir Alain and Ma’am Eliz—my former De La Salle University Press colleagues—thank you for being the best critics of my work and giving me that elusive first break. I am thrilled to have been surrounded by artistic people who have creativity and passion for perfection.
  • To Gina Galang, Cristina Canada-Lazo, Chinkie Agregado, Niko Hernandez, Jong Mesina, Liza Alviedo, Marite Ilagan, Sid Estrella, Penk Ching, Dino Lara, The Make Up Studio Team, Mimi and Karl de Leon, Teddy Manuel, Pooh Ong, Amanda Tirol, Oly Ruiz, Mangored, Threelogy Boys, Bob Nicolas, Noel Jimenez, Jason Magbanua, Tania Ventura, Don Peji, Maya del Rosario, and the rest of the Sun Life Family—thank you for making my work a lot more enjoyable. I value the friendships gained on top of the generous support I get from working with you.
  • To Veluz Reyes—you are truly an inspiration and I owe you a great deal. You have been my mentor and guide in my becoming a successful businessman, and more importantly, a better person. Thank you for the unwavering support in everything I do. I look forward to our heart-to-heart talks which enable me to see things with a clearer, better perspective.
  • To Madge Lejano—I treasure your friendship now more than ever. If there is one wish I have for you , it is that you find your Mr. Right soon. Your strength, passion in what you do, and endless love for your children are things I admire in you. I like as well to see people continue to treat you with more respect and kindness which you truly deserve.
  • To the many couples whose unforgettable nuptials I organized and mounted, thank you for allowing me to be the bride several times over and making me a part of probably the most significant event in your lives to date. It is impossible for me to enumerate all of you, but you know who you are. Thank you again for all the kind words, referrals, and friendship even long after the wedding.
  • To Tito Parrish Carlos and Tita Maribel Mijares—my confidantes and mentors-- thank you for always pushing me to do my best in my personal and profession life.. My countless phone calls to and consultations with you have truly paid off.
  • To Robert Lynch—for always reminding me that I am a good person. Thank you for rediscovering faith, hope and love through “angels, butterflies and clowns” with me. You have never ceased helping me and you’ve become part of my growth as a person. What we have defines and enfleshes a real friendship. You are truly a blessing.
  • To Ross Gonzales—for being the “first person I will be meeting in heaven” and for being my “Morrie.” Yours is a wisdom that never ceases to amaze me and I thank you for sharing your innermost thoughts with me. Certainly, you have helped me move on.
  • To Simeon—your ability to see through me and the immeasurable respect we have for each other is something I value. I look forward to our conversations filled with exciting disagreements. Thank you for showing me how one’s love can overlook human frailty. Although I am yet to see the time when you will forgive me wholeheartedly, let me care for you from a distance. I dare say again how extremely lucky I am to have you around.
  • To RJ—for showing me what fun is all about. I immensely enjoyed every single time we spent together. Wherever you are, remember that you are always in my heart, mind, and prayers.
  • To Joisce, Tetet, and Ria—for making me part of the “SAMAGA” (or the Samahan ng mga Magaganda) group. Joisce, thank you for the PSI experience and for the enlightening New York meet-up. It has truly opened many doors for me. I will be forever grateful to you on this journey.
  • To Eric—for teaching me to put myself first and making me realize that, indeed, loving oneself is the key to true love. We have become better persons over the years and you should know that you made it possible for me.
  • To Rachel and Fofo—we have been through a lot… thanks for keeping me sane and grounded.
  • To Dra. Lilia Pajarillo and Dra. Audrey Camacho—for making me beautiful. Thank you for your wise and effective exhortation that one has to be at peace with himself first for the inner glow to show.
  • To Jason Santos—our 26-year friendship is one for the books. We have been friends for as long as I can remember, and I thank you for encouraging me to go on and achieve more. You are truly an inspiration not only for me but for people around you.
  • To the Pascual Family—Tita Milet, Tita Vimin and Tito Loy, JD and Kuya RJ, Tito Ciel and Tita Pet. Batangas has become part and parcel of my life. My yearly vacation/exile to the province never fails to unleash a flood of childhood memories.
  • To the Sunday Group—Tito Ethel, Tita Lyn, Kuya Maynard, Kristin and Emilio, Kuya Joel, Lia, Tito Ato, Tita Amee, Lex, Ali, Ada, Tito Boy, Tita Nieves, Tides, Kim, Tita Bing, Tita Kar, Tita Gwen and Tita Gemma—our weekly get-together has taught me to value our family more. The undeniably close ties among all of us reflect the genuine love and concern we have for one another. Truly, I am blessed to belong to this family.
  • To Lola Mommy, who surprises me with her ability of living life to the fullest. I would want to live longer if only I would look as glamorous as you are when I reach your age. My love for photography can be traced back to my early childhood with you around. You have an eye for beauty and I’m glad I got it from you.
  • To the cutest pamangkins—IƱigo,Julio and Gela—thanks for giving me joy each time you smile. Rest assured, I will treat you like my own, and I’ll do my best to keep you out of harm’s way.
  • To my sisters, brother, and in-laws—Ate Ara and JP, Mon and Tessa, Ella, Mikko and Ria—growing up would not have been wonderful if not for each and everyone of you. Your acceptance of who I really am is greatly appreciated. It has an immense impact on how I live my life now. I may not be as demonstrative as I would have wanted to, but I love you all.
  • To Mama—thank you for believing in me; for teaching me how to pray; and for picking me up every time I fall. You have taught me patience--a trait I thought I could not develop. Mama, I love you.
  • To Papa—thank you for instilling in me the values of integrity and responsibility. Being at least half of the person that you are is my goal. Thank you for the inspiration. Papa, I love you.
  • To my O—it felt like home with its abundant love, contentment, security, and happiness the first time I met you. Thank you for making me believe that love can come at the most unexpected moment that defies time and space. Thank you, too, for making me experience what true is really all about. Your unwavering support in my chosen career and your love for my family are things I value, and I am truly thankful for.
  • And for those who went before me-- my Inang Milia, Lola Corazon, Lola Ely Nery, Lolo Cile, Lola Ely Pascual and Lolo Aris Garcia. I know that you are looking out for me from up above, and making sure that no harm will come my way. Thank you, my angels, for your divine protection.
Summing up, I have, indeed, a blessed life, a life I never thought I would ever have. And as I turn a year older, I feel that the best for me is yet to come. And it will happen through God’s divine grace and because I am surrounded by all of you. Therefore, to all of you, again I say, Thank you.

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