The Joses in my life

First of, Happy Feastday St. Joseph. Your namesakes have been a compendium of happy and sad experiences in my life.

In high school there was JY who made my life miserable for weeks.

In college there was JP who thought I liked him when I actually didn’t, or so Papa said when I said JP snubbed me in school despite our having hosted him for two weeks. According to Papa, the rest might have been teasing him to me, without my knowledge.

After college, a classmate, JC said, “Sana makahanap din ako ng mabait katulad ni moi” in front of a few friends and that stunned one of those present, who visibly reacted (medyo gay kasi) plus of course moi, who didn’t react.

When I was paralyzed, the intern and the resident who attended to me had the same birthday, today. One of them was your namesake, who has since passed away after a diving accident. The resident also passed away after fulfilling a 24-hour duty and following it up with bowling and basketball the next day. He wasn’t superman, so he suffered a heart attack. Both of them cheered me up post surgery and I was distraught when I learned of their deaths a few years after getting to know them.

When my son was in high school, he had many friends but one stood out. Joey – who encouraged him to go on a diet, Joey who told his mother to give us fruit-based desserts at Christmas so my son would eat fruits, Joey who once sent me a message (through Friendster or the cell phone) asking me if my son had a particular album of Jobim. Joey, joey, joey. Then when they were in first year college, Joey was in a vehicular accident and it was but the second time I saw my son crying really wildly, thrashing when he found out that Joey’s end was near. I still recall how, while on the day of the accident, we were in Katipunan Avenue, just past Blue Ridge, when son got a text message from him after son said during the Our Father song sung in Gesu he was holding the hand of Baclao (blue team’s basketball player) and Joey had reacted – I forgot, maybe “Wow?” Then when we got to Shangrila, while we were on the 5th floor at the Adidas store, another classmate of son’s called to say they had been in an accident and Joey was in a bad way. He passed away days later.

My son would have been with them weren’t it for a long test the day the group left for Baguio. And yes, the name of son’s teacher whose test had prevented son from joining the group, was JOSE.


A few days ago, I baked brownies. I even blogged about it. As he was munching on one, son remembered the brownies I used to make when he was in high school. Joey liked it so much that when I baked some for serving when we’d fetch them from their retreat in Novaliches, I set aside a tupperware-full for him. I still remember how he looked, swinging the plastic bag with the brownies in it, not letting go of his “treasure”.

I hadn’t baked it except to give some to his family the year he died in 2007.

I thought I had lost that recipe, emailed Ovaltine which had posted the recipe years back and got a quick reply that they no longer had it.

Then I found the recipe. Son said, “Joey’s mom also liked it. Let’s give them when you make, I’ll bring to Tito Pepe (Jose).”

I said okay.

Son left for Ilocos Monday. As I try to bake him something to welcome him back from a trip sometimes, I baked a batch of Joey’s brownies Wednesday morning, yesterday. When I texted him, he said, “Will I give some to Tito Pepe?” I said okay and he said he’d bring it to Joey’s dad first thing in the morning or during his lunch break today. Our exchange took place yesterday.

Then it dawned on me: today is Pepe’s birthday and feastday.

A confluence of inspiration and grace?

Again, St. Joseph, happy feastday.

was looking for a photo to use and one of those I saw was this:

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 07.52.08

I don’t get it. paki-explain.

Here’s one photo I liked:

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 07.53.56


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