About Me

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Mabuhay! I'm an Asian American writer (Back Kicks And Broken Promises, Abbott Press, 2012), martial artist and teacher who was born in The Philippines, raised in Hong Kong and ended up in New Jersey.

22 July, 2011

Christmas in July

What is it about the summer months that makes me think of and long for the cooler days of autumn and winter (I said cooler and not cold)? Sure, it's hot and humid in June, July and August but I think my feelings for the cooler months has to do with more than wanting relief from the scorching temperatures like our current heat wave.

Every year, around this time, I get a yearning for putting on sweatshirts, smelling freshly fallen leaves (although I don't look forward to raking them into lawn bags and blowing out from under the back stairs of my home and from between bushes that line the driveway) and hearing the sounds of jingle bells and holiday songs. Is it because there's a certain monotony to the summer? Is it because I just love the holiday season? I really can't tell you. I've been like this since I was a kid.

I suspect that, while I'm not unhappy in the summer, I've had some of my happiest times during the cooler months - "Legendary Weekends" with Ian, being fit and training for The Disney World Marathon, taking writing classes in NYC and watching the days get shorter and the night get cooler, making fires from kindling picked from fallen branches in my yard, watching The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and getting revved up for Christmas - and perhaps my yearning for the holiday time of year has to do with holding on to the past and trying to relive some former joy or some long forgotten glory. I don't know.

I bring this up in my blog because I wonder if anyone else gets a feeling for the fall, winter and the holidays during the summer like this. If you do,write a comment or go to website (filamkickingscribe.com) and shoot me a message.

I hope everyone's getting through our heat wave. Getting into my car after watching "Friends With Benefits" with my wife, my car's thermostat read 103 degrees Fahrenheit/37 degrees Celsius. My wife called the heat "oppressive," which is the best way to describe it. Anyway, while it may be 103 outside, I hope the talk of fall and winter has provided some kind of psychological relief.

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you.

16 July, 2011


My son started going without diapers this week.

And I'll admit that that the first time he peed and pooed in our toilet made my eyes well up with tears. He did both sitting down, which I'm told is normal for peeing and something he will eventually outgrow, but it was so cool and touching to see my little boy growing up.  For those of you who are parents and have gone through this or are going through this, you'll get it when I say that hearing his poo plop into the bowl elicited warm feelings of pride and even triumph. And, when he got off the toilet, to see a solid poo at the bottom of the bowl made me feel "WOW!"

This may be too much information for some of you but, like I said, those of who you've gone through this or are going through this with your own kids you'll relate. Funnier still, everyone we ran into on the first day of underwear use, my son would tell everyone, "I have underwear" and proceed to stick his rear end out. With one of my wife's clients, who ran across us at the local - and our favourite - Italian restaurant and pizzeria -  he went so far as to pull his shorts down to reveal the cutest "The Incredibles" briefs.

I can't recall when I went through all of this potty training. I don't know if I should be able to. Was I too young? Will Jude remember all of this? Actually, I hope he does and he takes those fun memories of learning and accomplishing, the sense of pride and the laughs we shared as I tries to clean himself with him as he remembers his parents, after we're long gone, and when he is in this stage with his own children.

Parenting sure has its challenges but it also has its great rewards. When I became a parent and held my son in one hand, yes, I made promises to him and I envisioned his achievements and his successes and the pride I'd feel for him. I just imagined those things to be in academia and/or in entertainment and/or in the arts and/or in sports and the list could go on. I never considered I'd feel those things with the everyday and mundane things of his life.

Maybe that's what being a parent is. Maybe that's what unconditional love is. I don't know. I just know I'm proud. God! What am I going to do when ties his own shoes or combs his own hair?

08 July, 2011

US Taekwondo National Championships

Hi everyone. It's been a week or so since I last posted anything. I'm working on my reflections on my Taekwondo year so far about how I've gotten back into it heavily and how so many things have happened and how they happened. When it's done, I may try to sell it to, say, Taekwondo Times Magazine or I may just post it here. While I'm working on it, though, I thought I'd share this link for you. It's a brief report, in the online edition of The News-Record of South Orange and Maplewood on how I did at the national championships.


Enjoy and 'see' you soon.