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Saturday, May 31, 2008


May 3, 2008, before one in the morning when Althea was born via cesarean section. our family were all excited. we patiently waited till that wee hour annd when we hear her cry, we all go to the nearest door to the OR where we luckily saw her wriggly and screaming while the nurse was bathing her.

During her first hours, she appeared well and healthy. But when Sunday came, she started to get violet especially when she cried. Her blood was tested and was first thought was she was having a hypoglycemia. Oxygen was also put on her to ease her breathing.

Monday when she was rushed to Jose Reyes Hospital in Manila because her condition was worsen. She was very critical and we couldn't do anything but to pray for her. The following day, after she underwent 2d echo, the pedia cardiologist said she has Pulmonary Valve Artresia, and that she was also critical that very moment. they even told us to pray harder.

It was heartbreaking. Imagine a four-day old baby with lots of IV's, heartbeat monitor, oxygen, respirator and other apparatus which I do not know the term for them.

Being an INC member, we asked for our minister to pray over her. And thank God, right after the prayer, Althea became stable and the color, from blue to pink!

Let me borrow the term to somebody who first said the rollercoster emotion but for the next two weeks, we had a ride in that.

May 18 when she was discharged, exactly 14 days in the ICU. We were told to bring her to the Philippine Heart Center after 3 days, which we obediently did.

It was another pressure for all of us. Whole day at the ICU made us weak emotionally and financially. Doctors there confirmed her condition and that she had to undergo stenting, a salvaging procedure and that when she get older, she would have an open-heart surgery. and what more, they even said, she has a fifty-fifty chance.

and when Althea's parents, my brother and my sis-in-law decided to take that chance, another doctor, the consultant, I guess, said it would be difficult for Althea to survive the stenting and that it would also do no good for her. The doctor said it would even make her condition worse.

and so, after another river of tears, we decided to leave the hospital.

we were left with nothing but faith and hope in God. before going home, we went to the nearest INC chapel and asked for a prayer.

it was the only strength we had after what the doctors said.

At home, when I finally had the chance to go online, i sent mail to my e-group asking for prayers for Althea's recovery. I am graciously happy that there are lots of people who said they are praying for Althea. Thank you to all of you!

Two days from now, Althea will be a-month old. We believed God healed her already.
Praise God.

***picture of Althea will be posted later...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ilocos Trip 2008: Hidden Treasure Resort, Pagudpud

The very first time I had been to Pagudpud was in 1999. With me are fellow authors MC and RT, male friend Jose Paolo who is now an author, too, and two lovely gals Cherry Lou and Sandra.

We stayed at the resort which at this time, I couldn't recall the name, yaiks! but that is the resort beside Villa Del Mar.

I was very excited then. It was the first time I came too close with the fine, white sand. Very much convinced that Saud Beach is indeed the Boracay of the North.

The second time was in September 2004 when our family had a trip before I got married. Pabalate family, our host during that time brought us to Blue Lagoon, another part of the Pagudpud beach which is also breathtakingly beautiful. there was no resort in that area, just a little hut where we could put our things while we were enjoying the water all by ourselves! It felt like we had a piece of our very own paradise.

This year, Yzel and Tyrone brought us to the Hidden Treasure Resort. Hidden, indeed, for I never thought there would be a resort after thrity minutes of driving on the rough road similar to the road in Kapurpurawan, nyehehehe!

But when we got to the resort, we forgot the rough road automatically. It was another surprise for me. Pagudpud really has its pride in having beautiful beaches.

Hidden Treasure Resort cottage... really nice

Father and daughter... their first time together in beach

Mica... in her element!

Mica and Ashtie Mela

Lola Pining

Yzel: "Let's go to our next stop!"

Ilocos Trip 2008: Patapat Bridge

This is the Patapat Bridge. The road that joins the Ilocos Norte and Cagayan Valley Province.

Ilocos Trip 2008: Where is Kapurpurawan?

On our way to Pagudpud, we saw this sign: KAPURPURAWAN, white rock formation.

We all got curious, so Tyrone immediately took a turn following the signage.

For the next minutes, we were amazed with the trees and grass that we saw.

We even joked, this is the road less traveled...

The road seemed endless...

We didn't see any human being. Just a group of goats that we had mistaken as a man riding in a bike from afar. but when we got near, we found out they were goats. Or ghost? that night, we discussed our trip there. We got goosebumps while arguing whether they were goats or man riding on a bike, nyay!

So, where is Kapurpurawan? We were looking for it for more than ten minutes and we hardly have an idea where we were heading to?

Is this the Kapurpurawan?

We really couldn't tell. Tyrone made a U-turn and we all decided to leave the place. It was getting scary.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Ilocos Trip 2008: Aqua Paradiso

We took a brief stop at Aqua Paradiso Resort, the place I more know as Paraiso ni Anton. I have been here some years back with my fellow writers Mc and RT, Jose Paolo, Cherrylou and Sandra. There was no resort then. Just the breathtaking view of rocks and sea water that remind me of little rapids.

Paraiso ni Anton

Jordan & me and Y & Ty

Mica was not yet in the mood for picture-taking, but, Mommy and Mela were!

Ilocos Trip 2008: Cape Bojeador

Our first stop was at the Cape Bojeador Lighthouse.

Mica and Lola Pining

This was my second time to be in this place. And I was very excited because the first time I was there, we just pose for some souvenir pictures at the view deck and that wa sit. This time we got the chance to come inside and even took the stairs to reach the top of the lighthouse.

Yzel and Ty, my sis Mela (in blue), Mica and Lola
if you could see that gorgeous man in red, he's Jordan :)

Yzel was very afraid. She stopped in the middle of the stairs and caught her breath. Jordan took Mica in his arms and continued to go up. Tyrone was the very first in line, excited like a little boy to find out what's on top.

I was giggling. My tummy was shaking becuase my cellulite has to work out involuntarily. He-he. I could not allow myself to miss the chance of seeing everything below while I was on top. And sorry, pardon my precious cellulites, I took flight and never stopped until I reached the peak.

the breathtaking view from the lighthouse. too bad, my lens got some dirt. :(