Remembering Our Dearly Departed This All Soul’s Day

Was it a few weeks back or some days ago when I read this post on Angelina Jolie’s Facebook Page. It caught my attention as she cleverly sums up the feeling of losing someone you love dearly. Whether or not she was referring to his ex-husband, Brad Pitt, whom she divorced recently or to someone she lost over death, I am not entirely sure. One thing I am certain, though, she eloquently describes exactly how most of us who lost someone dear feels and continue to feel long after the loss.

Someday you will be faced with the reality of loss. And as life goes on, days rolling into nights, it will become clear that you never really stop missing someone special who’s gone, you just learn to live around the gaping hole of their absence. When you lose someone you can’t imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open, and the bad news is you never completely get over the loss. You will never forget them. However, in a backwards way, this is also the good news. They will live on in the warmth of your broken heart that doesn’t fully heal back up, and you will continue to grow and experience life, even with your wound. It’s like badly breaking an ankle that never heals perfectly, and that still hurts when you dance, but you dance anyway with a slight limp, and this limp just adds to the depth of your performance and the authenticity of your character. The people you lose remain a part of you. Remember them and always cherish the good moments spent with them.

I thought it was rather timely as we are nearing All Saint’s Day when I read this.

Anyways, we had quite an interesting All Saint’s Day and that is what I’ll share with you today.

Since our beloved parents passed on 8 years ago, it has been our tradition to spend the whole day of November 1st at the memorial park, joining other families who gather there to pay respects and remember our departed loved ones. This year, though, in my efforts to avoid the excruciating afternoon heat, I decided to join my other siblings in spending the night of October 31st at my parents’ graves. I thought it would be ideal for the little man so he won’t be exposed to the harmful afternoon rays. I originally planned to stay for a few hours and go home at around 10pm, but apparently my little man had another thing in mind.

I never thought Jared would sleep soundly in a mat under the night sky, but he did! It drizzled a bit around midnight, but good thing my brother set-up our tent that evening. It was also good that I bought a citronella-scented candle to ward of the unwanted evening guests. I thought we won’t be able to make it, but I managed to spend the entire night at my parents’ graves. It sure beats joining the throngs of people during daytime. The memorial park is obviously more tranquil at night plus the weather is even better.

The little one woke up around 4am and we went home at about 5am. It was a day well-spent remembering my parents who left us all too soon. After getting some much-needed sleep, we returned the next night to join my other siblings and my niece and nephew in visiting my parents at the memorial park.

How did you spend the All Saint’s Day long weekend?

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10 Reasons Why Having A Sister Is The Best!

family, mum's thoughts. Love and Relationship
with my sister, Isabel {1983}

Ever since I was a little girl and until now that I am a mum, I always consider having sisters as one of my biggest blessings in life. Not only do I automatically have someone to run to or rely on when I need help with something, I also consider it a privilege to have someone you can totally trust and tell your deepest, darkest secrets {not that I have too many! Haha}. Having someone who understands your craziness and your quirks is also a big plus!

Here are 10 Reasons Why I Thought Having A Sister Is Pure Awesomeness! 

  1. They are your Best-est Friend ~ Not just by default, but also by choice, having a sister is like automatically having a best friend. And because you live in the same house, you can have endless hours of fun and endless hours of chit-chats!
  2. They are your human journal ~ Since they cannot quit {even if they are tempted to sometimes}, sisters are your human journals whenever you need to vent or think out loud, especially when you are experiencing something absolutely amazing or something downright heartbreaking. It is a plus if you sleep in the same room, as it means you can do your human journalling even in the wee hours of the morning, as long as they are awake, that is!
  3. They keep you abreast with what is happening in the world ~ Having a sister is the best, especially if you are too busy with your life to keep up with what is going on in the world. Our sisters can be a reliable source of what’s the latest in social media, may that be the juiciest showbiz news, the latest fashion, trends, or the newest book released by your favorite author. You are also privy to their latest online discoveries, like a cool book lover’s cafe or this cool online career hub, for example.
  4. Trust them to be your child’s alternate mother ~ Titas love their nieces and nephews to a fault, that sometimes you’d think they love your child more than you do. They are their fiercest and staunchest supporters that having a sister also meant having a default groupie for your budding athlete or your budding rockstar. Not to mention, they’d also jump at any chance to baby sit their beloved nephew giving mum quality time alone or with dad.
  5. Free Psychiatrist ~ Since psychiatric consultation do not come cheap, it is such a big advantage to have a sister and have a free psychiatrist around. They can readily dish out advices, unsolicited or otherwise, when they are up to it, and depending on your needs, they also do psychology, fortune telling, and face reading on the side.

    A photo posted by Vix Parungao (@mumwrites) on

  6. A Coffee or Movie Buddy on the ready ~ No matter how busy life can be for sisters, it will only take a phone call or a text away to invite them to go out with you for a cup of coffee or to catch your favorite film on the cinema, and for women, especially for the single ones, this is really quite an advantage.
  7. They remind you so much of your parents ~ And for someone who’ve lost her parents many years ago, having someone alive to remind her of how her parents were when they were around is such a great source of joy and comfort. I catch a glimpse of my Papa and Mama from my sisters time and again, and it is a beautiful way to keep their memories alive in us.
  8. A Shopping Buddy ~ If you love shopping {now who doesn’t, right?}, it is great to know that when you have a sister, you get a shopping buddy by default. It does not matter whether you dig going to the physical store and browsing through the items on display manually, or shopping online, trust your sister to accompany you whenever you are in the mood for serious retail therapy. Whether you are in the mood to shop for new clothes, new household items, books or washi tapes, perhaps, know that dear sissy will be there to help you with your purchases.
  9. A fashion consultant ~ One of the perks of having a sister is having your personal fashion consultant and if you have a fashion savvy sister, then always being stylish and abreast with the current fad will never be a problem for you. You can rely on them to give you their very honest opinion about which article of clothing in your wardrobe actually works for you.
  10. A confidante ~ A sister knows you inside out and they know where you’ve been and what you’ve gone through in life, and since time immemorial, you know that they have always been there. They are the best confidante and you can trust them to keep your secrets for you and not spill it out on someone else when you are not around. It is also a comfort to know that you can tell them about anything under the sun without the perils of being judged or prejudiced.

Shouts out to all the sisters out there and cheers to all the mums who have them. Life indeed is so much better with them around.

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5 Family Camping Traditions That Will Last for Generations

tips and tricks, activities with the family, family, best things to do this summer, summer

The look on your kids’ faces when they catch their first fish or bite into the first gooey S’more of the season is priceless. Taking your little pioneers on an annual camping adventure not only fosters the love of nature, but it creates memories that last a lifetime.

Camping as a family instills valuable life lessons of awareness, independence, safety and cooperation. It’s also a lot of fun and something everyone can look forward to every year. You don’t need much to get out and experience the outdoors. And the campsite is the perfect place to start family traditions. Here are some fun ideas to incorporate into your annual family camping trip.

Set Up

Allow the kids to help design the layout of the campsite upon arrival. Consult with them where they think the tents should go as well as the makeshift kitchen. There will most likely already be a fire pit, so involve everyone in gathering firewood and kindling. Designate an area for recreational supplies and separate areas for enclosed trash cans.

To keep up with traditions, you might reserve a specific week/weekend for the annual event. Kids will better understand how the tradition works if the dates are the same.


Camp cooking can be as simple as hot dogs or it can be a truly gourmet experience. You and your family should have planned out your meals ahead of time so you have the right supplies. Now, it’s simply a matter of execution. Give everyone their duties and be sure to involve every member of the family. Cooking together will instill guidance and cooperation in the kids, and will help them appreciate mealtime at the campsite.

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