Sunday, August 21, 2011

Coffee, Tea and Midlife-Me

As I ride a giant wave and turn a BIG 4-0, I've spent quite some time pondering what this "milestone" signifies... 40, according to many is the new 30, or so they say... Though aging is a state of mind, it is also a psychological and physiological fact that I am getting old -- aches here and there, white hair popping everywhere, and somehow late-night gimmicks and "unhealthy" food does not appeal to me as much anymore.

A few weeks back, during one of our almost-daily coffee chats, my fave sis-in-law popped a rhetoric that got my noggins abuzz: "Would you say you're complete?" Quick witted with words and humor as I am, sissy caught me off guard, as I didn't know whether to reply with something philosophical and/or funny.

So as "midlife" sets in, allow me to dip into the pondering mood on what life has blessed me with so far... and find an answer to this intriguing question...

At 40, I am still a son to my father Felimon and mother Luisa. Both are still alive, and still major influences in my daily existence. Viewing life as half-full instead of half-empty, I am fortunate that my father is "stable" after suffering a massive stroke that left him half-paralyzed and speechless almost 4 years ago. He is my biggest fan and problem solver as far back as I can remember, never giving up on me and always believing that I have a purpose in this universe. Since his stroke, whenever a crisis arises, his being unable to communicate  never posed as a hindrance since he instilled in me his values/morals in life early on. Just visiting him, sitting by his side, holding his hand and watching him smile at me is assurance enough that what's troubling me will soon pass.

I am still a pesky little brother to my siblings: Fred, Fifi, Fidette and Florence; who's presence and company I've appreciated more and more as we age. Reason being since we're all on the same boat now; equals as we're all blessed with families of our own. I look back with fondness the escapades and toilet humor we all shared growing up. All five of us slept with our parents and those were fun times! Knock-knock jokes, board games, silly antics, corny TV shows, and many more...

I am a true friend to quite a handful - quality and not quantity as they say. They add color and drama to life's daily challenges... A special shout-out to the "good samaritans" who shared their time, talent and resources in helping me get thru the first 40: Rico & Ice, WBL, Jong & Bien, Harry & Jackie, Aisha, Anthony, JP, and Robert & Christine.

I have an extended family - my in-laws Stewart & Rita and Syd, who's unconditional support and love is second-to-none for their "favorite" son-in-law and bro-in-law... Nuff said!

Best of all, I am a husband to Peaches and a daddy to my only-one Farrel. Though cheesy yet true, they are the best gifts God has ever rewarded me with AND they define the very purpose of my being... We own a humble house, we don't need to take public transportation, and we eat decent meals daily.

Given all these points and more,  I guess the answer is clearly obvious! A happy birthday to me... Cheers to the next 40 years and more...


  1. happy birthday, franklin!

  2. thank you Rosanne :) cheers to us!

  3. anuba. naiyak ako. sige na, happy 40. hindi bagay ang "pondering" sa yo. you're right, 40 ka na. hahahhahaha! hahahhahahahhahahhaa!

  4. jencc cheers to us, 40 ka na rin -- even more! hahaha!

  5. WOW! And i thought I was the one who worked in publishing! But, really, it's nice to feel Gratitude in your post. Overwhelmed and convulsed with emotion while reading it. A Happy Birthday to you FAVE bro-in-law. Wishing you good health and life's little joys in your day to day existence.

  6. And I thought this would be a blog about coffee haha!!! I agree though, and thanks for the reminder!

  7. Happy birthday Franklin! Welcome to the wonderful world of the big 4.0. take it from me, my best time ever  by the way, love your writing. Comes from the heart.

  8. Klen - Happy Birthday! Teka... kuha muna ako ng tissue at baka mabasa ang keyboard ko ; )

    Malupit ka brother. Di ko akalain na meron kang "sentimental side." Akala ko lumalabas lang yun pag nakiking ka ng favorite Barry Manilow songs mo (ala Mandy).

    Anyway, yes these milestones do get you to ponder about what's important in life. And sadly it's not the 8-6 grind that we think it is. I agree - a strong, loving family is the best gift that we can have. So I'm glad that you got the chance to think things through and still have 40 or more years to go to cherish what's realy important.

    Pag di ka dumaan ng Chicago next time you visit the US, bola lang itong blog post na ito ; )



  9. Kleng..I'm going to quote our friend KC on this one... "Gggg-leng naman!"

    Naunahan mo ko ah...I'm still waiting pa kasi for my big 5-0 before I make my deep ponderous musings on the purpose (whether supposed or imagined) of my daily existence hehehe. But I'm so proud and happy for you for receiving the gifts of wisdom & understanding at such an early young age --- *yes, i agree 40 is the new 30..or maybe even 25*. And thus, you're able to perceive & appreciate how extra blessed you are, dear buddy!

    Dad (Rico) & I sends our special "hinugot-sa-kailaliman-ng-aming-sakong..este..puso" thank you for the special mention. But I think, your Dad will agree -- it's all YOU, Kleng.. so big KUDOS my friend! Keep it up and wishing you advance Happy birthday -- May you receive your heart's innermost desire on your special day!

  10. this is the side of Kleng na konti lang ang may alam and I am thankful that I am one of those na kilala ang side na ito... during my rough times, no one knew, pero nandyan ka lang for me... always sending me a letter on my birthday...(through a pigeon? hehe), reminding me of my blessings and my parents' sacrifices... you constantly remind me how great life is. and you are right... I was so blinded with hate during those times. and I thank you for being there...

    happy happy birthday. i know how happy you are now.... love you, insan... (kaya tayo pinagseselosan dati e...oopppssss) :D - dee

  11. Thank you beloved family and "quality" friends for the greetings. Just had a simple celebration with wifey and kiddo -- a perfect day it was... cheers to the next 4-0 and beyond!

  12. i love this post! here's to our next 4-0, friend!


  13. happy birthday complete franklin!!!!! if you are mid-lifing...what do you call me....yikes!!!!! hahahaha...just dont stay too near harry bec by the law of osmosis... you might jump a decade!!!!

    annie k.

  14. Nicely written and couldnt agree with you more... Tess