Family

Tito Panser, the beloved!

Tito Panser. I dont know anyone else named Panser, or Fruspambliser for that matter. So when people say his name, I automatically know who they mean. He was someone everyone knew and someone everybody was fond of. Maybe it was his charisma, maybe his consistent smile. Maybe it was his gusto, or his singing, or his ahoo! He was always the life of the party. Danae said this as well when she learned that Wowo Panser was heading to heaven soon. She said our family parties won’t be the same. How painfully true. He brought that joy and light to all our gatherings, and it isn’t a surprise that he was the same in church and everywhere else.

To me though, he was Tito Panser who loved me. You see, I grew up with his daughters. I’m the only girl in my family and I’m so blessed to have my cousins, Ate Sol, Mai, and Dee, as my sisters. I would sleep over in their home often, and he, and Tita Monette of course, always welcomed me. It was like I wasn’t a visitor, as I was privy to some things, like his hair hehehe. And in the times that I could not sleep and had to go home in the middle of the night, I did not hear any complaint or reprimand, only laughter. Like it wasn’t new. Because it happened a few times hahaha. A tad inconvenient, but no biggie since we live only a couple of blocks away.

As a kid, I didn’t really like going to church, much less wake up early for it, but I knew that if I slept over on a Saturday in their home, Sunday morning would mean church. That was a non-negotiable. They were consistent. They were the family I respected and looked up to when it came to Christianity. Not perfect, but consistent and committed in serving the Lord. And when I reached a phase in my life that wasn’t ideal or pleasant (to put it mildly), they remained loving and accepting towards me. They let me stay an entire summer, the ultimate sleepover, in their home, to help my parents deal with me. They never made me feel like I was a bad seed. Now I understand how Jesus enabled them to do that, despite my being….me. I am certain they prayed for me and my family, and that they believed in the power of the Lord to change what needed to be changed….which was of course, me. 😂

Fast forward to my twenties when I started following Christ, I got engaged, and it was a no brainer to ask him and tita to be one of our prinicipal sponsors. I’d seen plenty of them as a married couple — they loved God, they served in church together. I love what Kuya Nando said in his eulogy, that wisdom was in Tito Panser’s counsel. In his and tita Monette’s. They helped many people in their marriages, in their family life, and in their walk with God. I also saw how they took care of each other, and how tito Panser pampered tita Monette and the girls. I knew him as a man who was strict with the budget, but always included pampering in the budget! He loooooved his family. He was a sweet husband, and also a super sweet dad to the girls — as in the kissing, hugging and the hand-holding kind of dad even to his adult daughters. ❤️

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When the grandchildren came, he was the loving grandpa to Ate Sol’s boys and wowo Panser to my girls. He showered us with hugs and kisses when we saw each other. My childhood friends, the Tumangans included of course, and I hold a Happy Birthday Jesus Party for our kids every December. There was this one year that we could not have it at home because I’d just given birth and my mom was recovering from a stroke, so the next best venue was the Tumangans’! And tito Panser was never one to just sit back. He got involved. He and tita welcomed us all in their home, ate with us, laughed with us, watched us play games. He even shared about Jesus and our value as God’s children that evening.

❤️

And of course, he did his usual — he made all the kids line up so he could give them Christmas money. Another thing that was consistent about him. He did this every Christmas since I was young. It only stopped I think when I started having kids hahaha. The Christmas money started going to them.

❤️

Noelle said that Wowo Panser lived a good life, and that he was generous. Isn’t that the truth. I remember last Christmas, when the church staff held a party for our EGSI team (our helpers in church), Tito Panser showed up. Of course he did! And he made all of them line up with their kids, to give them their Christmas love gifts. I was a bit surprised but also not that surprised. That’s just how he was. He blessed people and was always ready to help. His generosity extended to others, not just to family.

These are my personal photos, still in my phone actually. Dec 2019.
I didn’t know I would need it for this post.
I guess that just really shows how I admired and appreciated Tito Panser for what he did. ❤️

But like I said, he was a man who always worked with a budget. Which means he was always intentional about his generosity. He did not do it on a whim, but he joyfully and lovingly planned and set aside finances for it. I love what Ptr A said about him being a kingdom-minded guy. I believe the way he gave truly showed that. The way he lived showed it too — always to the glory of the Lord.

❤️

The Word shared in the memorial service was very comforting and just plain beautiful. Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (or faithful servants, in another version). Indeed, tito Panser was one of God’s faithful servants. He lived fully here on earth, worshipping God and telling everyone he could about Jesus, and God gladly, giddily, happily welcomed him home. This gives me much joy, especially when Mai told me that the vision she received was of her dad dancing before the Lord. What an awesome picture! ❤️

You will always be remembered, our beloved Tito Panser! Even Gianna asked me for your photos so she won’t forget. I have many, old and new. From our yearly vacations together in Batangas and in Baguio, to family parties, and church events. She still prays that you will be safe in heaven, which of course you are. 😂 It just goes to show the impact you made even in a young child. Since my dad, their wowo, passed away before Danae turned two, you were the wowo (here in the South) who was a consistent figure in the girls’ lives. Thank you for your love and generosity, and your example of faith. We love you! We love your whole family! ❤️

🙏❤️

Family, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Memories of My Dad

Many things are a blur to me, some things I remember when I see pictures, but few things, like certain memories of my dad, give me no trouble remembering.

My dad was a patient man. He didn’t get mad very often, except when I couldn’t hide my rebelliousness anymore (but that’s a different story haha). He loved eating banana with his rice, dill pickles, whole chilli peppers, and I know he would eat kalderetang kambing (goat stew — eew). He was active. He played tennis when he was younger, and golf later in his life. Just as he would play with us when we were younger, he played with us when we were older. I enjoyed my first and last time on the green a few years before he passed away. He, my mom and I played 9 holes. I always liked hitting balls at the driving range with him and my brother too.

My dad also had his quirks. If my mom is low-maintenance, my dad was so much more so. He didn’t care for expensive shoes or clothes. My mom would have to convince him to buy the more expensive ones for their quality and durability. He rarely carried cash in his wallet as well. Hmmm. That sounds a lot like me haha.

During Christmas, I would give my family gifts that I could afford (cheap, that is). One Christmas, I gave my dad a striped collared shirt I’d bought from a bazaar. It wasn’t really of good quality, but my dad wore it all the time, even when it was already faded! I thought that was really sweet. It’s either he loved and appreciated me that much, or he just liked the shirt haha.

When I was little, I would wake up at dawn because of bad dreams. I’d run out of my room and see my dad awake, sitting on our old sofa that was with us for more than 20 years and is now serving another family. It was as if he was waiting for me, and he would comfort me and put me back to bed.

Oh my dad’s massages would often put me to sleep! Those were my favorite! He was so accommodating to each of us when we would request for them. If he were here now, he would have new clients — his grand daughters.

He traveled frequently, and I would plant many many kisses on his face when he would be home because I thought it was unfair to him that I’d kissed my mom many times while he was gone. Go figure! That was how I thought, even with my money. I was a good saver back then, and I remember deciding to give my savings, ten and twenty peso bills that were more than an inch thick total, back to my folks. When I saw that my mom took the thicker portion, but not necessarily the greater, I complained and demanded that she give my dad more haha. I wanted it to be fair for my dad.

Yeah, I guess I really was a daddy’s girl.

And I tell you, if he were alive today,

my daughters would be Wowo’s girls too.

Happy (74th) birthday daddy!

We love and miss you! 🙂

Family, My Kids, Parenting, TRAVEL

LET’S TRAVEL WITH OUR KIDS!

TRAVELING is very much a part of our family. Aside from it being a time for family bonding, for creating memories, for rest and recreation, it’s a GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR TEACHING. Exposing our kids to different places and cultures teaches them so many things. From simple things as how sand feels like, how sea water tastes like, to more complicated matters as how to behave in certain places.

When we arrived Singapore and went through immigrations, Danae was so hyperactive! She couldn’t stay still because she was so excited. She just could not contain herself. The immigrations officer had to tell King to “tell your child to stay put” as she would move past the counter. How embarrassing! But at least we got to teach her that rules need to be strictly followed and that things may be different when you are in another country. They have different rules and different ways, which she must adjust to and comply with.

Danae also had a running commentary on everything! Like I said, super excited. She would point to an Indian woman and tell me that she’s Indian because she saw “that round thing on her forehead.” She would tell me that certain people were “ching chang chia,” trying to say that they’re Chinese or that they’re from another country. I had to remind her that it’s rude to point and blurt out anything that she notices. I had to remind her that people there (or anywhere) may respond differently than what she’s used to here in the Philippines.

I could go on and on about what we had to remind our girls about, but my point is this. LET’S TRAVEL WITH OUR KIDS! Whether it’s to another country, another city, another town or simply to a friend’s house or the supermarket! They can LEARN so much from the EXPERIENCE. Sometimes just thinking about taking our kids with us and all that it entails already stresses us out, but LET’S NOT ALLOW OUR FEAR OF BEING INCONVENIENCED TO DICTATE our decisions. It can be stressful and tiring, yes. That’s the reality that we need to learn to deal with. I’ve been doing this ever since Danae was 2 weeks old, but trust me, I’m still learning to this day. But I’ve also learned that we can actually ENJOY it and it’s almost always WORTH IT.

Tomorrow, another adventure awaits our family. All four of us are going on Danae’s field trip to Subic! It’s not our first time to go there as a family, but it’s our first time to ride a bus going there. It’s Noelle’s first time to ride to go on a field trip, and therefore Danae’s first time to bring her sister along. It’s our first time to travel on a bus, on a field trip as a complete family! Yes, it’s costly because there’s 4 of us, but the school gave us (and everybody else) terms to pay and time to save up. If you think about it, it’s a good deal because we’ll be going to Ocean Adventure, Zoobic Safari among other places, plus King doesn’t have to drive or pay toll. We couldn’t resist! More memories, more bonding, more recreation, and more teaching moments! 🙂

Family, FEATURED, TRAVEL

The Luge

On our last night in Singapore, after King and the girls swam, we decided to catch The Skyline Luge Sentosa before it closed at 9:30PM and just have dinner afterwards. We got there at the perfect time. No lines, no crowds, in the coolness of the night. We knew we wouldn’t be able to ride the cable car anymore, so I thought riding the Skyride (like a ski-lift) would be the next best thing. We needed to ride that to get to the top of the hill, and ride the go-cart going back down. King availed of the family package for us and the kids, meaning 2 rides up the Skyride and 2 rides down on the go-cart. Sounded like great fun!

We were all excited till we realized what we got ourselves into. It was nice and cool, but it was dark. There were no crowds, therefore it was quiet. Too quiet. It was like riding a cable car, except in a cable car, you’re inside. On the Skyride, you feel the wind and your legs are hanging. Well, at least ours were. Noelle’s legs reached right onto the not-so-protective “protective” bar!

Instead of appreciating the Singapore skyline for its beauty, we appreciated it for the distraction it gave us and the kids from our own fears. We were pretty high up and we had no idea how long the ride was! We haven’t even gone halfway when King and I were already backing out of the 2nd ride. King even forgot to take pictures haha! WE WERE SCARED. Danae was expressive of her fear but she wasn’t frozen much by it. We kept telling her not to move abruptly and not to look down. Noelle was quietly groaning and saying that it was scary. She stayed absolutely put, but actually said at one point “yay, this is fun!” I was so scared that she would freak out and get up to hang on to me! There was nothing keeping her legs or her whole body for that matter, from doing that. I was barely able to keep from freaking out myself! I’m so proud of her for handling it like a champ!

We were so glad that shortly after, the ride was done. I was so happy to be touching ground! We got our helmets and hopped onto our go-carts. Noelle was with me, Danae was with King. It was soooooo much fun! It was just us on the trail down, and the lights were really nice. That was enough to get us to abandon our initial plan and get us excited for the next trip on the Skyride. As King was saying that we would leave the kids with my mom, who was waiting for us by the ticketing booth, Danae protested. She still wanted to come! Noelle, of course, had enough and opted to stay with Wowa. She’s only 2, after all.

Our 2nd trip on the Skyride wasn’t as scary anymore. Only Danae was with us, whom I was pretty confident about. We also knew what to expect and we knew we already survived it once. I had a revelation right then. The unknown makes us afraid, but faith makes us hold on and break through. (We were literally praying on the Skyride. Even Danae was!) As we see that we are actually able to endure the challenge, we can face the next one with more boldness. And in the end, stepping out in faith, or in our case grabbing on to faith because we didn’t even think twice when we got on the Skyride (no faith required or so we thought haha), is all worth it. We would definitely do it again!

The Luge experience was unbelievable. We couldn’t get over it haha. It was really scary, but really fun too! And I’m so proud of my girls! They displayed great courage! Fear was present, but they remained strong in the midst of it. My kids are amazing. 🙂