Life in the Fast Lane

A TRIATHLETE'S MULTISPORT ADVENTURES, TRAVELS, RANDOM MUSINGS, AND CHRONICLES OF HER OTHERWISE ORDINARY LIFE

The Strength of Susan

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Growing up, July was always a special month since it was the birthday month of my mom (July 8) and her two sisters, Grace (July 15) and Susan (July 27). In the compound where all our families lived, almost every week, I remember having lunches and dinners together to celebrate each of their birthdays.

But the time came when our families had to say goodbye to that beloved compound of ours and live on our own. Tita Susan (or Tita Chuchi/Chuch to us) and our cousin Angelo left for Canada and have been living there for almost two decades now.

Fortunately, in the last few years, she was able to visit the Philippines thrice and we've had a blast during each of her visits.

Her first visit after 10 years in 2004.

Her second visit in 2007.

The July sisters (Sonia, Susan, Grace) on her last night of her 2007 visit.


Late last year, she was able to fly in once more. Which was timely, because we were off to Aklan for my grandfather's centennial birth celebration

At McKinley Hill last November 2011.

In one of her favorite places (a nail spa) last November 2011.


At one of my favorite places on earth, Boracay, last November 2011.

With some of their other siblings in Aklan last November 2011.

Tita Chuch is one of my favorite people on the planet because she's one of the jolliest people I've ever had the privilege of knowing. She's always smiling, she laughs so easily (and you can't help but laugh with her), and she's very easy to get along with. She remains positive, despite all of life's ups and downs, and is a prayerful woman of God as well.

She's also one of the vainest (in a funny, amusing way) people ever. She can spend hours making sure her hair falls a certain way. And, which I've witnessed firsthand, she can also spend hours looking through different brands in a make-up store. In fact, a good percentage of my make-up and hair items came from her. She has been a generous supplier of the eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, lipstick, curling irons, and flat irons on our dresser.

But these little indulgences make her smile and help her go through life. Just like everybody else, sometimes things aren't always easy for her — especially when homesickness sometimes hits her. But what I've always admired about her are her strength, her character, her unwavering faith, and her fierce devotion to her son, Angelo. She's always wanted the best for him and to see him grow up to be a man after God's own heart.

And now that he's weeks away from getting married to a beautiful and grace-filled young woman, Tita Chuch can sit back knowing that she's done a great job.

Brittany (Angelo's fiancée, top row, extreme left) and Angelo (beside Brittany), with some of the Ramoses, Esguerras, and Bloomfields.
(Photo taken from my cousin Lourdes Ramos' Facebook page.)

Tita Chuch is also weeks away from graduating from that stage called motherhood (though everyone knows you never really stop doting on your kids, no matter how old they are). But now, she can welcome her new roles as mother-in-law and, hopefully, future grandmother.

Happy birthday, Tita Chuch! Have a blessed year ahead!

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