some moments

an open letter for uncle jo

Hi, uncle! It’s been more than 5 years since you left Earth. I have to be honest that my healing process was kind of fast-paced since I needed to carry myself strong because I was just starting to go to college at that time, and one of my close friends in senior high school, Leyvan, died too a little less than a year since you left. It was like a double pain for me. Like I haven’t moved on from yours, then another one came. Talking about unfortunate events, but thank GOD we are raised in a Christian home, it is easier for me to cope due to my faith in GOD. I mean, honestly.

A snippet of my college life

So yeah, college happened and I took psychology as my course. I remember when we were just planning where I would go to college back then, you recommended Ateneo de Davao just like how one would recommend a safe home for their family. Remember when I was about to take BS PSYCHOLOGY? But then Addu isn’t offering such, only AB. You made the choice narrowly and said, then as long as the school offers psychology, choose the best school. And we all knew Addu was the best school for it.

What I am doing now?

Fast forward, I am now a degree holder, Uncle Jo! Guess what?? I entered graduate school right away. Yes, after graduation. That was just a span of 2-3 months! I am taking clinical psychology, and I am almost done. Graduate school was fun. I actually miss having classes again. hahaha. I bet you will be proud of how I have survived my masters so far, of course by GOD’s divine intervention. I don’t know what will happen next, but rest assured, no matter the long process, I will finish grad school because I am so itchy to be a psychologist!! Also, did you know? I juggled work and my grad studies. It was draining tho, but anyways, I am good, really sane even. I have a work-from-home job. I honestly love this, uncle. It is way better than I can imagine. I can do acads, clean the house, and just like that, work on my laptop— everywhere at the house.

How are we dealing about the past?

I am also helping my parents with some bills, and Sean’s necessities, and by necessities I mean, his motorcycle. hahaha. Speaking of Sean, he grew tall! taller than me and Nanay. He isn’t talking a lot about you anymore, but I know, he looks up to you and use you as an inspiration. Well, nobody talks about the horror he and Myle & Sam felt during the time the police attacked you and even more the day when a stranger entered your house. I know it was a case they tried to suppress within them since it was a traumatic event. Really. Sean shared once that whenever he is using the restroom and the faucet is running, he can randomly hear some shouts relating to the event that night, and honestly, same.

Our collective progress

Myle, on the other hand, is having her share of battles too, but I am happy she gets to be very vocal whenever we have the chance to talk about what happened to you. She literally relayed everything, and unlike before, the pain whenever we talk about isn’t as daunting as before. She grew independent and determined. Someone who will really defend her family members. I just hope they will be healed from the triggers of the past and that it won’t lead to any harm to their mental health. Also, our house is now fully furnished due to Nanay and Tatay’s hard work— from their own hands. Nanay is doing well at her job, you will be proud!!

She is the one being called most of the time to speak even on behalf of the mayor. Sometimes she still asks for my opinion about her speech, which I am sure if you’re around, she will call you; but what I say to her every time is to speak with her heart. I just hope she gets the promotion she seeks because she is so hardworking. If you’re here and can see her pile of work, you would be really proud and yet encourage her to apply for some promotion. by the way, she already finished her master’s 2 years ago I think.

Some job offers and meeting someone

My Tatay wants me to work at the same institution from where they are both working. One of your closest colleagues and mentors even encouraged my Nanay to train me already. She keeps bugging Nanay to let me start, but I am sorry if I said ‘no’. it’s just that I worked there for 3 months before, and its toxic environment and some leaders’ values, are something I cannot compromise. However, don’t worry; my current job now isn’t giving me too much, but it is truly enough —more than enough for now.

Tatay is also doing good. He is eating healthy and busied himself on the farm. Also, with his permission, and Nanay’s, I met someone and we are officially in a relationship now. His name’s Paul. He studied theology. Honestly, he is a fusion of you and ma’am laki (grandpa). He is smart & controlled (like you!) He preaches the Bible unapologetically & powerfully and studies A LOT before preaching (like ma-am laki) I bet if you’re around here, you will like him & probably approve of him as well.

There is so much happening in my life now, but one thing is for sure, my values are intact, my faith is stronger, and my hope is boundless, and I know these are things you want us to have.

I just miss you. I randomly saw your notes in a sticky note inserted in your favorite book by author Robert Green today, and it made me write this. Also, your reminder on the last part of the note is good.

The presence of conflict and misunderstanding in an organization is but normal. Absence of the same doesn’t make an organization ideal. What makes it ideal, is the presence of FORGIVENESS & RECONCILATION.”
-Robert Herbilla Jr.

…and I know this isn’t only applicable in an organization but in all aspects. I forgave everyone who mistreated you & who doubted you, even some authorities. We got the justice we so long!! Too bad you didn’t know. A month after your death, you were vindicated at the court. I am sad tho that it wasn’t reported to the public the same way they humiliated you, but that’s fine. That’s just how the world goes. We heard some intelligence reports as well that some people behind it didn’t just go behind bars, but worse than that, as a part of the consequence of their actions.

Indeed, we cannot take you back here, but forgiveness is something I can give even if it is said by a gentle prayer and or a good smile to everyone around.

We will see each other again, for now, I can only imagine.

Our living GOD is good.



hebrews 11:16

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