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Location: Chicago, United States

I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Dear Auntie Patti Koh,

It is now officially summer in the United States. There are now lots of activities that is happening all over the place and the cities. There are also fireworks now on sale at the highway stores. We have to travel to another state like Indiana to buy the fireworks because it is illegal in the state of Illinois.

It is hot and humid for the past two days and today alone the weather is really hot and humid. I left the air conditioner in the house working while I am on my way to pick up my wife at the train station. It is so humid inside the house by the time we return. The sun is directly shinning at the west side of the house and the entire three bedrooms on the west side of the house is being baked by the sun, so we have to cool it off with the air con. I did not installed central air because I have plants in my living room and the front room that I don't want to die. So the bedrooms and the living room including the kitchen has its own independent airconditoner.

Watermelon and all the fruits are in season. Yesterday, I went to a farmer's flea market and bought some blueberries and cherries. Very good and very sweet. The sweet corns are also in abundance. I love the mangoes that comes from Mexico. The Tilapia fish are also on sale and yes, summer grilling is here.

The start of the Taste Of Chicago starts today and will end on the eve of July Fourth with all the fireworks. Downtown Chicago is busy with all their summer programs and the beach are all crowded with people of all walks of life and women who wanted to show off their figures and men who wanted to show off also how their body is well curved and maintained.

And so Auntie Patti Koh, summer has come and of course with this are lots of activities. I love summer and the many bountiful harvest of summer fruits it brings.

I wish you were here.

Sincerely yours,


Sunday, June 10, 2007



Dear Auntie Pattie Koh,

Today, June 10,2007.... we are celebrating our 28Th wedding anniversary. I still remember the time when we got married, it was a hazy June afternoon. There was a slight drizzle on the ground, and my sister in laws back yard was a little bit wet. This is where we will have our simple and mostly family and friends cocktail reception.

We got married at St. Jerome Catholic church, which is just across from out house that we have lived for 28 years now. It was a very nice church, predominantly Italian parishioners. I did the floral arrangements inside the church and prepare also some of the finger food that we will serve. We did not use the the traditional wedding cake that has layers of it with the statue of a newly wed on top of the last layer. What we ordered is just a flat cake, but big (I cannot remember the size) from a Swedish pastry shop. We asked the pastry shop to cover the entire cake with all the fruits in season and cover it with crystal jello. It was a beautiful cake.

It was a wedding with a celebrated mass, and only attended by family and friends. We have only total of 65 people that was invited and it was a very nice and simple wedding. We wanted it to be simple. I was wearing the typical Barong Tagalog and my wife was wearing a simple white dress that her sister made for her. When the priest gave his final blessing, he asked me to kiss the bride. I forgot that I was still wearing the microphone in my lapel and I whispered to my wife: "Honey, I forgot to brush my teeth". When we turned our back to the crowd, they were all laughing. They heard what I have whispered to my wife because of the microphone in my lapel.

We had hot finger foods and cold as well. There was champagne and wine and desserts. We had the reception till 7pm and then we head for out honeymoon at the Playboy Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The Playboy is still a big enterprise during that time, and my sister in law has a time sharing condominium at their resort. It was a beautiful resort, but after 2 days, I we both got bored and called our relatives to join us at the bungalow.

Today, we had a simple dinner with only relatives. We just finished the dinner of grilled pork loin, beef medallions with red and yellow peppers with Spanish onions sauteed in olive oil with a dash of red wine, mash potatoes, goats cheese in red tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, crab in mung beans stir fried in garlic and young ginger with aromatic soya sauce, vegetable egg roll, rye and wheat bread with garlic butter spread on it and dessert of fresh melon and cake. We ate a lot and the relatives was able to bring home lots of left over. We parted ways at 8pm because everybody has to wake up early for the work.

And so Auntie Patti Koh, I look back at those moments in time when we were not yet married. Some of my wife's relatives even tried to reminisce the wedding 28 years back and our first baby. It was a time to replay back in our minds those happy times and challenges that we have encountered for the past 28 years of our life. We wish you have been here also to share the happy times with us.

Sincerely yours,


Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Dear Auntie Pattie Koh,

I was at the library this afternoon after work. I only work from 6am to 12 noon, so I have all the time in the afternoon to check out books and movies at the library.

I find my library very appealing to the type of work that I do and the researches that I am doing. They have so far all the books that I needed and if they don't have it, there is what you call the inter-library loan. They will email some of the library in the North Shore area where I live, then if any library in the district or area has the book that I am looking for, it will sent to my library and I can have it. The rules is the same as my library.

I was looking for some books about retardation and there is one that I am very much interested but it belongs to another library in the district. It has been borrowed by my library and I have it now. There are lots of DVD movies also that one can borrow from my library and CD's also. I was surprised that there were lots of Mexicans using the computer. I just don't know what they are looking for. I have borrowed two movies. Members are allowed to borrow two new movies and two educational movies and two more movies that is not listed as new titles.

One has to be careful for the delay in the movies. The late fees is $2.00 oer movies/daily. I think I have two titles that I have overlooked and I am sure when I check out something tomorrow, I will be charge.

And so Auntie Patti Koh, we pay additional taxes for these services that we get from our town, and I will not complain about it. It benefits the community and there are lots of students who also benefits from the services of the library. I have no complain.

Sincerely yours,


Sunday, June 03, 2007


Resting after eating too much!

The start of the marathon eating.
Grilling at theback yard, near the apple trees.

Dear Auntie Pattie koh,

Today... Sunday morning, out of the blue - - early in the morning, my eldest son called me up and said he will come to the house with his girlfriend and his brother also with his friend. So hurriedly, my wife and I have to go to the grocery and buy some steak for grilling. My two boys are very carnivorous.

I immediately prepared the grill and moved the grill under the apple tree and see to it that there is still gas in the LPG tank. It was like I am going to have a big party with celebrities. But it is not that kind of a thing.

My two boys is coming and that is enough for me to get excited and become so nervous in the preparations for the backyard cookout and the lunch at the house. So the two arrived, in tow with their cousins and their respective friends and the backyard became alive with all the laughter and jokes and pushing and shoving.

I was so happy and so does my wife. The house is filled with laughter again and the noise. Even our dog Bombo is so excited and kept on running and greeting everybody including my two sons. They had fun and all of us where so exited in hearing some news and adventures of each boys including their cousins. It was as if I have not seen them for years including my nieces and nephews. But I was just excited because I don't see my boys very often much more so with the gatherings of their cousins.

Past noon time, the rain started to fall so I asked my eldest son to do the eating inside the house after he is done grilling. So we went inside, in tow the big platter of sweet corn, with green salad and my eldest son likes the tomatoes and cucumber salad, so we have to prepare it also. They have flank steak and skirt steak and Italian sausage with grilled onions and grilled red and green pepper in seasoned salt. Lots of bread, no rice because during summer time these boys prefer to eat bread instead of rice.

The table was bursting with laughter and joke. They tried to pick on each other and make jokes that I really cannot understand what they are talking about. But the most important thing ---- my two boys are home and their cour sins. All of them are having fun.

And so Auntie Pattie Koh, I was so happy that my boys paid me a visit, but at 3:30Pm, everybody has to leave. My youngest son has to go back to his apartment near his school in Champaign, Illinois which is three hours drive from our home. He is taking some summer classes. My niece has to go back to the city because she has to check a new apartment that she will moved into. My other nephew left because he will be working tonite and then my eldest son and his girlfriend has to leave also. My eldest is managing three restaurant and he said it is Monday, he will not let any of the staff takes care of the restaurants on their own.

Then the house became so quiet and so tranquil again. I started clearing up the mess, my wife threw all the dishes in the dishwasher and the house is empty again. Back playing with my dog Bombo again.

It is so hard to live in the states, especially when you're kids are born and raised in the American way.

Am I becoming to sentimental??

Sincerely yours,


Saturday, June 02, 2007





Dear Auntie Patti Koh,
Have returned back to Vancouver, BC in Canada, to check on my uncle, the youngest brother of my mom. It was hectic schedule because I only spent one night with them, because I have to return back to Chicago for the trainings that I am taking. I cannot disrupt the training or else I won't be able to get my certifications. I need these certificates for my further schooling and studies this winter semester for Nursing.
I always come to Vancouver and never noticed some of the great artworks that was created and done by the Native Canadians. This time, I stopped by and check on it individually and was not in a hurry to get into the line for the immigration check point. I was attracted to these artworks.
The great cedar circular art work with carvings telling the stories in the lives of the natives was hanging at the top of the stairs leading down to the immigration checkpoint. It was placed behind a fiberglass and there is cascading water behind it for effect. It was so beautiful. As you head down further to the arrival area, you will be greeted by this hanging eagle, in the traditional interpretation of the native and was done in their artwork form. It is so spectacular looking at it hanging at the ceiling of the airport. Then as you clear customs and have picked up your bags, when you go upstairs on the first (second floor) level of the airport, which is the departure and the food court, you will be greeted nby this huge wooden artwork, depicting the passage of the native Canadian in their canoe. It is so huge and so beautifully handcrafted from the local trees that abound the in province of British Columbia.
And then when I was about to fly out, I decided to explore the stores at the airport that sells native Canadian artworks. My wife took the picture while I stand in front a stuff bear that roam the forest of British Columbia.
And so Auntie Patti Koh, I am back again in Chicago, in this grueling training and schooling. My job demands that I get these trainings and be certificated, which I did. I had the last of the trainings yesterday and I am ready now to handle my new job!!
Sincerely yours,

Friday, June 01, 2007



Dear Auntie Patti Koh,
Yes, it is now officially summer and the docks has been kept busy continuously the influx of so many boats that is being tied to their moors at the Belmont Harbor. I was at the place this afternoon, and it was already crowded. The place was already packed with people along Lake Michigan and lots of people are now doing their soccer and baseball in the park and lots of grilling going on.
There are so many activities along the lake and lots of roller bladder on the sidewalk having fun and the bicycle route are also having much traffic, not mention women and men doing their routine jogging exercise with their iPod on.
I will be sailing this weekend with some friends along the shore lines of Lake Michigan. I told my friends that I will join their drinking because I don't drink. Instead they are asking me to prepare lots of finger foods that will not easily spoil and the simpler ones that need to be warmed or cooked I will do it in the boat. Everybody is thrilled that I am coming because my friends has asked me already for a long time to join them in their boat, but I always have an excuse to tell them. This time they are all telling me that they won't accept anymore excuses. So I will be joining them with the promise from my friends that they will follow the rules of the harbor and the Chicago lake police.Since they all agreed that the designated driver for the boat will not drink but I need to feed him continuously, I am agreeing to go and join them along Lake Michigan.
We will be going all the way to the tip of Wilmette harbor and from there will be met by some of our friends who have their own boat also and we will all head out to Zion Illinois where my other friend has a house near the lake and they have a marina where to dock the boats. The we will have the barbecue picnic from them. My friends said the weather has been checked for tomorrow and it will be clear and strong winds.
And so Auntie Patti Koh, I will be going to these friends of mine, but knowing them, I know they will not completely follow the rules and will keep on eating and drinking and I am sure will throw out overboard. I am so happy they cannot force me to smoke and drink. They will not force me, because they know what will happen if they force me.
Thank you,