Dear Jared

I remember it was exactly a year ago when I first met you.  Oh you were perfect right off the bat.  You were then named Boy Jorge Susi, and in my head, that’s not a bad name for a baby.  Hahaha.

You turn one today, and all I can remember is my emotional state exactly a year ago.  It was in complete disarray.  I remember the misery I was in, how neglected and ignored I felt.  I was so alone when I went to visit you right after work.

I swear, you stilled my heart.  I was panicked and you calmed me down.  I remember carrying you and you did not even budge.  My hurt and my pains went away almost instantaneously.

And I am only your Tita!  Can you imagine the joy and the peace you’ve brought into your parents’ lives?  You’re only the second person I know to have done that, the first one being your Ate Max.

Be kind, always and all the time.  I am extra emotional with your birthday because you remind me of the long way I have come.

And oh, my Jared, it is such a long way.

I wish your Lolo Boy was here.  I bet he would give anything to be here.

Happy birthday.


The 2012 Yearend Get Together

We usually have two get togethers:  one with the Arriolas on Christmas Day and with the Susis just before the end of the year.  Because I am still sorta indisposed, I only got to tweak the Susi side.  So I hope you don’t mind.  Hyuck.  Feeling close.  Hahahaha.

This year was extra fun because of Chuchi and her amusing age.  Turning two last November 30, she’s now exceptionally witty and kind of like Glee —  she naturally breaks into song.  And she’s starting to have favorites!!!  Grrrrr.  And I am only reacting negatively because I didn’t get the same smile as Dylan did.

Dylan and Machiko

It’s also Jared’s first get together with the family.  The poor kid was pretty much knocked out the entire night.  Nonetheless, he received the most gifts I think.

Jared Franco

Since the Antipolo house got renovated, the lanai took a really long time to be put together.  I think Tito Rod had too much thinking done that he didn’t know which element to put in first.  Hahahaha.  Finally, it was almost complete and we were greeted by a tree with two cutie pie elves.

Bianca and Machiko 1


Bianca is slowly turning Machiko into one of those kids that ought to be child stars.  But then again this comes from the point of view of a highly biased aunt.

For 2012, Bianca and Maylene were the gift givers.  Rather, gift distributors????  I’m just happy to pass the hat to the younger generation.  Marga and I did that till we’re 24…?  So it’s good that these girls are getting out of their S-H-Y phase and becoming more entertaining.  Family is after all the best audience to be around.

Bianca and Maylene

Let us also welcome the new nanny, Sherelyn!  She’s in everyone’s gift list too. :)


Year after year since they have graduated, my brothers have constantly gift-wrapped gifts from them to them!  I think it’s their subtle reminder for everyone to not forget to reward themselves after a long hard worked year.  I swear, they are not in any manner suffering from mental disorders.  They’re naturally… goofy.  And crazy.  And silly.  They were, for a time, Britney Spears and the Friendly Neighborhood Gay.  But you have to be there to get the joke.  Hahaha.

Brother Self Gift

Brothers Again!

Another big surprise was Bianca!  She gave out gifts that she bought with her own money!!!  I love this little girl.  Tita Pinky and Marga said she’s been cleaning rooms around the house and doing chores to save up for the holiday gift giving.  She even had envelopes for each person she will give a gift to, so that the money is distributed evenly.  Dylan and I got our own!  Yay!  Note the overexposure.  If I didn’t take the photo, no one will.  HAHAHA.

Santa Bianca

I think she’s planning on giving gifts to EVERYONE next year.  She’s so cute!!!!  And sweet.  Excerpt from our later conversation:

Me:  Wow, Bianca you must have saved so much money!  You’re so mayaman (rich)!
Bianca:  Eh, ngayon wala na lahat!  (Now the money is all gone!)

Witty girl. :)

Anyway, Rex (aka Brother 6) was not present in the evening because of work commitments.  So the Brotherhood had only one thing to say…


Jared was in a gift giving mood too!  Well… drooling gift giving mood.  Did I mention he farts like a grown man?  I am yet to hear him burp but according to Mommy Jaja, it’s worse than the fart.

Santa Jared

Machiko now gets excited for gifts!  This year’s over-enthusiasm was the complete opposite of last year’s non-reaction!  Look at that grin.  :)

Machiko is Happy

Unaware of tradition, she started to pick on the gift wrapper.  Marga told her to stop and wait for all the gifts to be distributed to everyone, so we can all open the presents at the same time.  Poor kid had to wait!  Dylan’s heart was almost broken and he kept bugging me to give a small gift that she can open.  But our Machiko proved to be in complete control of her EQ.  Hahahaha.  Look at that poker face!!!!

Machiko Pokerface

I bet she went out of her mind controlling the urge to open that present!

Of course if there’s the Brotherhood, there’s the Sisterhood also.  As the sole person who was not able to eat well during the holidays because of nausea, I am still the widest!  Good Lord, I hope to be skinny soon enough.  Dylan claims to like me just as I am but we can’t all be Bridget Jones right?  ;p


As early as September, my brothers and I have planned to give our parents a trip to Boracay.  This is how my brothers chose to assist me in handing over that gift.

Brothers Nude


But the highlight of the evening was not the Boracay trip, but Daniel’s gift.  You see, after a two-year wait, he finally got a job.  It’s not really the most stellar job, but it was a job.  Each time someone in the family gets a job, he/she immediately becomes another gift giver.  My brother saved up IMMENSELY from his minimum wage 9 to 5 to give everyone gifts.  THOUGHTFUL GIFTS.  And I am a proud sister!!!!

After years and years of trying to trump the previous one’s statement shirts, my brother got it right the first time:

The Reveal

Presenting…. the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood 1

They even got Dylan one!  Brother From Another Mother!  Look at that face, so touched!!!!  Hahahahaha.  My brother is so witty.  I never even thought of that.  Jared got his own too:  Brocessor.  :)

The Brotherhood 2

So… Brother 1 and Brother 6, your shirts are waiting.  Claim them already. :)

I don’t know if anyone else took photos; Marga shot videos with the iPad.  I kind of like that I’m the official photographer, but I need another one to team up with me!  I keep missing moments coz I’m too busy laughing and having fun with the cousins.

Then again, that’s a fantastic reason to not take a photo. :)

I am looking for more years like this to come, with the next one hopefully the NJ people can join in.  MAKE IT HAPPEN, PEOPLE.

Happy new year, everyone.  Don’t forget to start it right… whatever it is. :)

Chuchi the Jumping Machine

My adorable niece has discovered the joy of jumping.  :)

This was taken during our Holy Week vacation in Baguio, which was also in time for Kai’s first birthday celebration.  While waiting for the rain to subside, Chuchi saw this trampoline in the middle of the mall.  Bianca was so sweet to accompany her inside.  It was her piece of heaven for 10 good minutes.

Baguio photos coming soon!

Annika Lorraine

On March 17, 2012, after 24 hours of grueling labor, our dear friend Aizza gave birth to her daughter with husband Carlo, Annika Lorraine.

Ten fingers.  Ten toes.  And she is one pink bundle.

Welcome to the world, little lady.

Wave goodbye, Kai.

When Kimi mentioned that Kai  needs a far cooler weather than Manila weather, I thought she’s investing in air-conditioning.  Hahahaha.  I totally completely blacked out the fact that she can raise Kai in the summer capital of the country.

It’s sad that I was not able to visit as often as I should have.  This kid is going to be Chuchi’s best friend, in spite of the distance.  So in order to strengthen that bond, we squeezed them both in Kai’s crib.

I have to say it is the funnest photo op I’ve had.  Hahahaha.

Chuchi: "Let's hold hands for the photo." Kai: "WHYYYYYY?"

Chuchi: "Smile for the photo." Kai: "I am smiling."


Kai: "You did NOT smile." Chuchi: "I'm smiling NOW."

Chuchi: "There's something on your nail." Kai: "I'm doing VOGUE."

Chuchi: "Let's share a secret." Kai: "I loooooooove secrets."

Chuchi: "I loooove hair." Kai: "I know. I can feel it."


I am sooooo going to miss this pairing. :)

Wave goodbye, Kai!  We are now looking for an excuse to file an emergency LOA to get to Baguio and ride horses with you and pick strawberries and go ukay. :)