Life is a series of hits and misses.  Sometimes, despite the planning and the preparation, things don’t always work out the way you thought they would, or the way you wanted them to. 

In your life’s “to do list,” you write down the things you have to do… the things you want to do… the things you dream of doing, things you aspire for.

Then there are the “almosts.”  These are things that we don’t plan for… either they almost happened or almost never happened…  And you know that had they happened the other way around, your life as you know it will be totally different.

Allow me to share some of my “Almosts…” 

La petite mort

at 5 years old... not nice

**I almost died when I was very young – When I was 5 years old, I contracted Dengue fever brought about by a mosquito bite.  During that time, the disease was not as common. I remember them calling it “H Fever,” maybe shortcut for Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF).   I was hospitalized for a week, had high grade fever for days, was on IV, had daily blood tests to monitor my platelet count.  My blood was probably one of the first samples in the area that the doctors used to study said disease.

Up to now there’s no tested or approved vaccine for the virus.  Unfortunately, many young children die every year because of a simple mosquito bite.

I spent the Christmas season in a hospital room and was released on Christmas Eve. 

I always knew I was special.  Though an office mate of mine before said I was more of a “freak of nature” having survived that.  I had him fired.  (Nah, kidding on that.) 

** I almost played a big role in a TV ad – In my past life, I used to want to be a model — whether print or TV (I felt I was too short to do the ramp).  I was asked by my agent (yes, I even had an agent) to do a go-see for a detergent powder.  Being the arrogant person that I was, I snubbed said go-see and told myself I didn’t want to be a laundry woman. 

my version

 The ad (and the product) became a hit… and the girl who landed the job appeared again and again and again on the succeeding ads of same product. 

Sometimes I still think it could have been me.


** I almost moved to another country for love – When Mr. 1994 (related post, Flashbacks) left for his home country to continue his studies, I considered following.  Since we didn’t know then how the relationship will go, we planned on meeting up after several months, this time with me being the one to go to where he was. 

I almost did.

** I almost ended up with a total j@#$ – After Mr. 1994, I went out with one of his friends.  Totally different story compared to the one I had with Mr. 1994.  It was such a sordid experience that taught me a lot of lessons – lessons that I learned the hard way!

To this day I am so thankful I got out of that one.

life in Provence

** I almost stayed in France.  I went to France for my sister’s wedding. This was also a really bad time for me, personal relationship-wise.  As I enjoyed every minute in Provence, I also dreaded the thought of going back home.  South of France seemed like a good refuge.  Every night I prayed I didn’t have to go home. 

I almost didn’t.


oh, my heart...

** I almost named my son after George Clooney.   I was such a huge fan of George Clooney when I was pregnant. Okay, I still love him up to now, really, but that’s another topic (wait for George Clooney’s Girlfriend # 635 entry).  I thought of naming my son after him… but I didn’t really like the name George.  For a moment I contemplated on giving the baby the Clooney family name.  Seriously.

** I almost bought that Total Core fitness equipment.  When I turned thirty five, I realized that mere dieting (my translation: starving self) doesn’t work anymore if I wanted to keep myself thin. 

I have been obsessing about my weight and curves for the past months.  One obviously-not-busy morning, I found myself watching home TV shopping where they were featuring the Total Core fitness thingy. I was so enthralled and impressed that I picked up the phone and dialled the number on the screen to order…

… luckily I faltered when I heard that there were additional charges (i.e., delivery fee). 

Several days later I found out that said equipment is also being sold in a sports shop at the mall – at about half the price!  Good thing I didn’t place the order when I called. 

I still might get one, though.

** I almost didn’t start a blog because I was afraid it would be over indulgent and I didn’t think people would actually care about what I say (or write).

Am glad I did, though.  Blogging has been quite an experience so far. 

 Do you have an “almost” that stands out?

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photos via

The #2 is MY #1

After the end of every school year, for the past six years, I have been going up the stage in school to accept and hang on my son’s neck a silver medal for academic achievement.  Out of more or less 400 students in his grade level, my son has consistently been Top 2.  The students getting the first and the third spots have changed several times, but The Son stood his ground. As one parent puts it, he has kept his throne.

As a hands on parent, maybe I should share in taking credit for his achievements.  I can always claim that without my help and guidance — and the tons of reviewers that i used to make (okay, honestly, I still make some up to  now) — without me giving encouragement and support, maybe he wouldn’t have been consistent.  Maybe my persistent nagging (how redundant is that!) does the work.  Maybe i can claim that he is doing well in school because i won’t let him do otherwise (translation: confiscate every single toy, book or whatever that normal boys make time for… or ground him for the rest of his student life!).

Honestly? I won’t take credit for my son’s achievements.  He has reached this far because he worked hard for it.  Yeah, maybe I give a little nudge every once in a while… maybe i do nag him, specially when time is of the essence… and yes, i still help review him come exam day.  But once he is in school he’s on his own.  He uses his own brains to understand things. He works hard to  perfect his activities and he relates to the teachers and peers in his own personal way.  It is all him.  I dare not take away his glory.

As a parent, the most i can do is to give the best guidance, support and encouragement as much as I can while he is young.  I just sow the seeds and he does the rest of the work.  He makes his mistakes and learns from them.  He makes decisions and face the consequences.  But sometimes, too, I can only watch and guide from afar.  Sometimes i can only pray that i guided him well enough to make good choices when he’s on his own.

So far, he is doing pretty well. 

This morning, I was the picture of a very proud (and beaming) mom.