My Girl Oona

I remember snow on the bare branches of the trees that lined the building back in 2002.  I walked down the hospital corridors with Jack by my side for support.  Mike’s working the video cam, stopping with me every few minutes as each contraction gripped my big bowling ball belly.

She came in the late afternoon of the 28th, my girl.  All nine point six pounds of pure baby love with flared pink nostrils, pretty long fingers and chest heaving up and down as she breathed fast.  Even at birth, I knew and felt she was spirited and all-sprite.  My feisty one.

Oona Gabriella Zaynab was my first natural, drug-free birth. Sol, our eldest, was unnecessarily C-sectioned out of me in Manila (Makati Med) two years earlier.  🙁

She had the sweetest, biggest and earliest smile, this one.  As it turns out, my sweetheart would have baby eczema, a very itchy and uncomfortable and sleep-depriving affliction, both for her and for me.

This was one of my best happy fake smiles during that time.  This was the beginning of post-partum nightmare for me.  The was the beginning of the process of getting broken.  Open.

Family, here in Toronto and back home in Manila, came to the rescue.  Shown here with my sister, Joey, when we visited and the beginning of a slow healing process for me.
My dearest Oona, your love for swings, for fun…for life itself showed me the way out.  You taught me this in your very special way, the Oonabella way. 

You embrace all of it – be it the songs you sing, the drawings, yes – even your brothers’ Spiderman tatoos on your arm! – you are pure light, my darling girl.

“Mommy, Sol seid I smel like poo.  He even seid I am a baby.  Sol smells.  I love you Mommy.  I hate Sol.” ~ Oona

And even in your hate – which we older folks know is really fierce love between siblings masked as rivalry – you make me love you more.  Because you are real.  Everything about you is real and raw and you.

You know what you want and you let everyone know it.

You saw this hairstyle in a flyer on a Thursday and got this haircut from Veronica the very next day.

You love to sing – “When I grow up, I want to be a singer just like Mommy…” and you do it with such courage and passion every.single.time.

You loved your Lucky Charms in the mornings and hated having your thick, unruly, buhaghag hair brushed before school by anyone.  Yes, even if I asked your hero and Babalove to do it.

You loved Aunt Badaw and still do with an Oonabella kind of mad biglove.  Big LAUGHS, too.

Oona Soaring, 2006
Oona Soaring, 2008
Oona Soaring, 2010

On this ninth year of your lush life, your sparkling existence, my sparkling child, I wish you nothing but more of YOU.  If there’s just one thing I want you to remember, it is this:

You are perfect just the way you are. 
 And so are the two boys, your brothers, who you love to “hate” so much especially these days.
 I love you so much, my brave and beautiful birthday  girl, Oona.
May the Angels of Light guide and protect you always and all ways.


020/100: the sweetest days

  020/100: the sweetest days i’ve found with you by chiquipineda 

Through the Years” 
Written by Steve Dorff and Marty Panzer
Original Recording by Kenny Rogers.
Minus One Produced by Star Records for Charice “My Inspiration” Album

No infringement intended.
Please support the original artists.

Dedication : For Cora and Bert Pineda, just because.

Welcome to Song #20 of the 100i.m.perfect songs project!!!  My 20th recording!  YAY, ME.  And on to the good stuff ~

This song happens to be my mom and dad’s theme song!  Sweet noh?  Married forty five (forty six?) years now.  Feel na feel nila yan – every word, every sentiment.  Kwento daw ng love story nila.

Makes me smile to think about my parents’ love story.  You know how when you get to a certain age and you realize that everything…well, almost everything your mom and dad told you (especially the stuff you rolled your eyes over) was true?  I get it now.  Well, most of it.  Now the smile is a big laugh when I think about how the kids are towards me and J.  And they’re not even teenagers yet!  The other day, I was helping my girl O with her guest list for her birthday celebration.  After calling everyone on her list, I said to her “Honey, make sure to follow-up on those who we only left voice messages to, okay?”  “Okay, Mommy.” my 8-going-on-9 sweetheart says.  Then I added “On those ‘follow-ups’, put an F and a U next to their names.  So you remember…F/U for follow-up.”  She starts giggling.  I smiled and asked her “What’s funny, bella?”  She looks at me and says “Mommy, you said the F.U. words!”   At first I didn’t get it.  Then it slowly becomes clear to me how my innocent little girl is now in school and exposed to all this.  Sigh.

I’m so grateful for my folks, my “Mamay and Daday”, for being the best teachers I could ever have.  Admittedly, I didn’t always feel this way.  I was very head-strong as a young adult and that made for a whole lot of interesting exchanges between my very strict and conservative mother and me.  Dad was more easy-going with rules but a strict organizer/time-manager.  But that’s a story for another time!

Let’s go back to the Love Story of Mom and Dad Here’s proof-in-photos.  May they continue to be each other’s best ally and wisest teacher and may their love continue to grow stronger every day!

I love you, Mamay and Daday.  Missing you.


 Mom and Dad, Baguio, 1966
Boracay, 2004
Edsa Shang, 2006


019/100: when in doubt, choose red.

For J…because it’s his favorite song.  With love.

019 100 i’ll never love this way again by chiquipineda

10 Trivia Atbp.

1.  I had a nice walk in the rain today.  I brought Joshim’s dessert to school – sliced bananas with whipped cream and chocolate chips…yum! – which I forgot to pack during the crazy morning rush.  This, of course, is the excuse I made up just so I could wear my brand new, super cute, funky pink rain boots which J got me on our last fun Fridate last week.

My Pink Galoshes

2.  I’m writing this on a Tuesday, just after recording song number 19 on my 100im.perfect.songs project.  *Big breath*.  Day 19.  Almost three weeks.  Wow.

3.  Well, I’ve not been doing it daily for a few reasons which I’d like to dissect here.

4.  I love what my friend Joy shared with me during one of our Mastermind Sessions.  She said “How you do one thing is how you do everything.”  Now don’t be pilosopo and take this literally.

5.  The truth to this line lies in that how my attitude is towards one thing tends to be the same for everything.  How I react to a negative situation on a Monday is most like the same way I’ll react to a similar negative situation on a Friday – with seething anger and a whole lot of grumbling – except that Friday’s got Happy Hour.  So it may be slightly different…but I digress.  😀

How I am with projects is the same with how I am with all my other projects.  In a nutshell:  With a big bang, hi energy go, go, go! beginning  and a slow cool down to a not-feeling-too-good scenario, a brief stop and a general feeling of frustration over what I call the Why of the Woe (read: analysis paralysis) and the best part of being in the forties, picking up where I left off.  My coach Julie advises:  “Fail faster.”  Translation:  Do the whole routine, start over, but get to the “pick up” sooner.

6.  Speaking of the forties, if there’s one lesson that repeats itself over and over again, it is:  Attitude determines your altitude.  In other words, it matters more how you react to a situation rather than the actual situation itself.

7.  It took me thiiiis long to come up with #19 because I was forcing, yes – FORCING a song I didn’t care much for except for the impress.them factor.  (And who the heck is this ‘them’ again?  Sigh.)

8.   It was a full orchestra birit (full chest high notes) version of Wind Beneath My Wings, Charice’s version ba naman.  Of course I was making all kinds of grand mistakes everywhere.  I already know I don’t do birit all too well especially since I haven’t been singing much lately.  (Note to self:  Sing more.)

9.  Lesson #1437: In the spirit of singing, I choose songs that are more or less within my range, songs that make me feel comfortable, fit right – it may not come out auto-tune-perfect and, in remembering the purpose of this project is to get comfortable with imperfect.*

10.  I find it interesting how this applies to a whole lot of other life-stuff too like in choosing a career (choose what you like to do!) in choosing a partner (choose someone who makes you feel like you!) in choosing what to wear (choose what makes you look like…ok, maybe some of us need a bit of help in this area.  That would be…me.  LOL)

Found Star
(even on the ground
stars abound!)

It’s a process.  The whole of life is.

Thanks for dropping by, dear one.  Always and ALL WAYS…

Courage in creativity,

018/100: make a wish…bilis, bilis! :)

Grown-Up Xmas List for the 100im.perfect.songs project
by Chiqui Pineda-Azimi
David Foster (music) and Linda Thompson-Jenner (lyrics)
No infringement intended.
Please support the original artists.

  018/100: Grown Up Xmas List by chiquipineda

Trying to bring the holiday spirit in early.  The cold, cloudy, sun-less days are bringing me down…down…down.   Lowbatt.  Mojoless.  Tamaditis. 

Imagining sunny beaches and white sands, all the fresh seafood you can eat – make mine grilled prawns please! – and my whole family happy, healthy and hollering “Cheers!  Cheers!” every five minutes.

Sigh.  My grown-up Christmas list is all of the above, that Energy makes a come back in my house soon and all of what David and Linda said.


Quotables for Today ~
I’ve got three for you. 😉

“Everyone has his burden. What counts is how you carry it.”
–Merle Miller

“In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail.”Anonymous

“Keep these concepts in mind: You’ve failed many times, although you don’t remember. You fell down the first time you tried to walk. You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim. . . . Don’t worry about failure. My suggestion to each of you: Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.”Sherman Finesilver 

Thanks for the website, Coach Julie!  <3


Courage in creativity,