My Kids Others

Palanca for my Ate..

Ate went to a retreat last week at Caleruega in Tagaytay for her senior year. Three whole days. My heart wanted to break, but this was going to be her last bonding sesh with the people whom she had gotten close to for the last 3 years she was in college. So I stopped myself from crying & put on a brave front so she won’t feel bad leaving her clingy mommy.

As always, she shared her moments with me. She knows how much I worry. Thank you Ate, I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. It’s as if I were there with you & made me miss you a little bit less. Just a teeny tiny bit less..

Caleruega Retreat Center

Barangay Kaylaway, Batulao Nasugbu, Batangas 0921 270 9890


Our dear Lelly sniffs Ate’s bag for inspection haha. Baka daw may hidden stash like.. nail polish, make-up & hair dryer. Bawal sa retreat! :P



Bye Ate we will miss you! </3



Para silang sardinas. I have matured a little in those 3 years that Ate was growing up in college.. hindi na ako bumuntot sa bus niya this time! ;))



Caleruega is a retreat center established by Dominican priests in 1995. It is named after a town in Spain, the birthplace of St. Dominic.



A statue of St. Dominic de Guzman guards the grounds.



The sleeping situation. When my Babyson went on his senior year of high school, he shared an air-conditioned room with a friend with their own tiny cubicle with toilet & shower. But this time around, Ate had her whole class to share a room with. No aircon. No running water past 10pm. I can tell she didn’t have a good night’s rest those 2 days hehe.



And that her sanitation was questionable! :P



The food situation. I worried about her meals because she is very careful with what she eats, bordering picky -in a good way. The retreat center provided 5 meals a day.



However because of the size of her class, and a big, healthy appetite of growing kids, laging ubos! :P



This she found out the hard way. Good thing she brought wheat bread as baon & peanut butter and jam. She would have starved to death otherwise. :P



Finally smarting up, and after several meals of just her stale bread, she learned how to move quickly & secure a good spot in the cafeteria line, lels.



A beautiful sight to behold. And I’m talking about the foreground. ;) #ProudMommy



My girl is not one to let a good photo op pass.. ;P





Buddies since first year. What made me push her to choose USTe is the block sectioning. Her classmates when she started will also be her classmates ’til the end. #FriendsForLife



They have gotten quite clingy through the years. <3



The gang.



The class.



One more time before they bade each other adieu & boarded the bus home.


Palanca is a spanish word that means “lever.” Just as a lever enables a person to move something which is beyond normal strength, A Palanca empowers the accomplishment of things which would not be possible without the Grace of God. A Palanca is most frequently demonstrated in personal notes that are not meant for anyone but the recipient. Palanca is generally distributed six or seven times during the weekend. If the candidate only gets 3 pieces at each delivery (which is a bare minimum), that means that they need AT LEAST 18-21 pieces of palanca throughout the weekend. You cannot (and should not) write all of the palanca yourself. You are encouraged to contact others in your church or reunion group. Or perhaps those you have served on team with, or experienced a weekend with to write to your candidate (and you can write to theirs).

August, 2015

Dearest Ate,

You’re on your 4th year na. Wow. Time flew by so fast! Maybe because my journey with you guys is always so enjoyable that I just lose track of time. Pretty soon, you’ll be graduating and hopefully, on to Med school. Yay! (or nay??)

I know I always say this to you, and you THINK it’s not true, but you always HAVE A CHOICE. Remember even in high school I told you we will always find a way, you & me, together. You & me, against the world? And ultimately, it’s your decision. Promise. So whatever you decide, wherever you want to go, you will always have my vote. I got your back sweetheart.

This year proves to be a monumental year for you my darling. You’re on your senior year, you’re turning 21, and GREAT THINGS are about to happen to us!!! (fingers crossed) THIS IS IT!! Are you excited? I am. I am so excited to give you things that you & I have only dreamed about. See places we’ve only thought of! And I promise you Ate, it’s just a matter of time, you wait & see.

Even when you were young, all I wanted was to be able to give you the world, anak. Maybe that’s why God didn’t make us so rich haha coz you’d probably be spoiled rotten with the amount of love (a.k.a. material possession) I’d give you. You know me naman, love = spoiling, they go hand in hand.

Loving you is so easy. I know you’re sick & tired of hearing it because I always tell you how blessed I am to have you as my daughter. I look at other kids & I really really am amazed at how much God loves me because He gave me you. You are really the kind of daughter that every mother prays to have.

You are sweet, loving, caring, & thoughtful. You have a good head on your shoulder & you know how to value yourself. I don’t even have to worry about the things other moms worry about because you’ve made parenting so easy for me. And I thank you Ate. Thank you for buying me trinkets all the time. For holding my hand & caring for me so much. For always updating me your whereabouts even though you’re already an adult. (3 straight years going on 4, you have always texted me when you reach your destination just so I don’t worry – suuuper appreciate!) For always studying hard & doing your best, being your best in everything.

Thank you for being my little mommy, the KC to my Sharon (uy, bati na sila!!). For being such a loving Ate to your sibs, especially to our little Nena who absolutely ADORES you & worships the ground you walk on. I am so happy how your relationship has transformed. For being an inspiration to them that they just wanna BE YOU! ;) While you are super close to your sister, please don’t forget that you also have a brother. He may have changed, but he still needs & loves you. So be patient a little more with him please. Growing pains. :P

But most of all, thank you for choosing ME to be your mommy. Remember when you were small, I always told you a story how when you were still an angel God asked you to choose your mommy & you chose me? Imperfections & all. I’m such a silly mommy aren’t I? And yet you love me so much anyway. Thank you for making me the most important person in your life.

Know that you have made me very very happy, and felt very very loved. I am so proud of you darling. And I know that you will go far because you have the will, and you have the drive. But also remember that ultimately, only your happiness counts. So only do things that will make you happy. And never allow anyone to treat you less than what you deserve. You are my princess. You have to be treated as such. Never settle for second best, and don’t take crap from anyone.

The time will come that you will find your prince charming. I pray anak that though we can’t teach the heart who to love, you will find someone with Daddy’s GOOD qualities. (Joke, Dad is DABEST!) We are always praying for you, for your right & ideal partner. Someone who will inspire you & love you but also someone who won’t bore you because you are so strong-willed. You need a man, not a boy. If possible, someone with ALL my requirements hehe. (Ang haba ng listahan ko diba)

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 9.41.31 AM

Heto. Para lagi mong maalaala! :P

Thank you for not rushing in spite of the pressure from well-meaning friends, for not going with the flow & changing boyfriends left & right, for preserving yourself (ay, parang The Mummy naman! Lels). Honestly anak, thank you for keeping yourself pure. Even when the time comes that someone comes along, it will be hard, but give yourself only to the man you will marry. It will matter, believe me.

I love you always & forever. You are my bestest friend. Never forget. And wherever I will go, wherever I may be, you will always have mommy. When you’re sad, all you need to do is close your eyes & listen to your heart. That’s where I will always be.

Love, Mommy


Ate got a bunch of Palanca letters from her friends through the years. Including ones from her siblings AND miracle of all miracles.. sa tatay nya (which she refuses to let me read, hmp!)


Thank you Ate for our yummy pasalubong.


Pinakyaw ni Ate. Buko pie, apple pie, mango pie atbp!

My poor Ate. Masyado yata syang ginutom. Kaya pati Persian Food na hindi naman sya marunong kumain talaga, pinatulan! ;))


Meet Mrs. Hagardo, Miss Hagardo (pero freshness pa rin ang peg), and Little Miss Freshness. :’) Ate was STARVING when we picked her up in school. And miracle of miracles, asked for Persian Food! So we went to Hossein’s for a late dinner.



Eat pa more, Ate. <3

Anyway, what she learned, and is helping me apply..


Retreat is a time for renewal and regeneration of spirit, mind and body. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must sustain and the bad traits you have to discard. And I guess it has served its purpose!

Siguro dapat mag-retreat din ako para bumait. HAHAHAHAHA! #HealthyWealthyWise

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  • Reply photo cache

    Jana is very mature. What a great job you did in raising these kids.

    August 31, 2015 at 11:35 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Maria! <3 I am blessed more than I deserve. :)

      August 31, 2015 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply Noel Q.

    Naiyak ako sa sulat mo! Pramis!

    Di ba pre-approved na si you-know-who for Jana? Basta patikim muna sa kanya bago sila mag-seryosohan! hahaha…

    Na-excite naman ako sa sinabi mong “great things” are about to happen… praying for the success of whatever that endeavor might be.

    Pero ang reaction ko sa sinabi mong “you’re not so rich” – BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! #asif #heredera #taobsitrump

    August 31, 2015 at 7:57 pm
    • Reply sugargospice

      Hahaha oist ikaw lang sinabihan ko. Quiet ka lang! :P And omg lumabas na naman yang sungay moooooo!

      August 31, 2015 at 8:47 pm
  • Reply Thel from Florida

    You are such a loving mother! I can very much relate because I was once a spoiler to my 2 nieces and a nephew. In 1984 my sister suddenly became a widow with 3 children. So I took the responsibility of taking care of her and 3 children ages 8, 3, & 1. At that time, I was in Germany working for the U S Air Force. I took in the 8 year old and enrolled her in an American school inside the base. After 3 years my assignment is done and I was assigned to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas. I took my niece back to Pinas and enrolled her at Maryknoll (now Merriam). I bought my sister a townhouse and a new car so she could take and pick her kids to school . (Later the boy went to Ateneo) I brought my sister and her two other kids to Germany during summer to be with the older one and we went touring half a dozen European countries.
    The older one graduated from UST med school in 2003. The other girl graduated as Industrial Engineer, and the boy has a degree in Computer. My sister and her children were able to immigrate here in USA in 2003.
    Good Luck to the whole family– your kids are lucky to have such caring parents.

    September 1, 2015 at 12:45 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Oh Thel you are such a blessing to your sister & her children. God will bless you tenfold for what you have done in your lives. Not all siblings take to heart their responsibility for another, and yours is borne out of love & not duty, which is even more amazing. Thank you for sharing your story. May it inspire others who also have siblings needing help. That’s one of my prayers, that my kids will love one another so much that even after their dad & I are long gone, they will still be there for each other. Helping & loving one another. <3

      September 1, 2015 at 7:01 am
      • Reply Thel from Florida

        Yes, you are so right, when we give, we will receive. Years 2012 and 2013 I helped 5 University of the Philippines’ poor students for only 3 thousand dollars and 2 thousand dollars for Yolanda victims. Last year we received a great big blessings of $35K from the estate of my dear brother-in-law who passed. We are so ever grateful because I could continue helping the less fortunate.

        September 1, 2015 at 10:38 am
        • Reply sugargospice

          Amen. :-*

          September 1, 2015 at 10:45 am
  • Reply michymichymoo

    Mama Bear, dyan raw kami magpapakasal sabi ni bebelabs. Keri lang? hehehehe.

    Hindi naman yata nahahaggard si Jana … :\

    September 1, 2015 at 3:29 pm
    • Reply sugargospice

      Gora tara book na tayo! :)

      September 1, 2015 at 7:18 pm
  • Reply Kei Aclaro

    Your letter to Ate is very heart warming, Ms. Jane… You did a great job as a mother. All your kids are very mature and wise for their age. How I wish I can experience the joys of having a daughter my self but at least I have a little boy who means the world to me…

    Kudos to you, Ms. Jane for being the epitome of how a mom should be -,super loving, caring and supportive yet hindi nakaka suffocate. God bless you always!

    September 8, 2015 at 10:19 am
    • Reply sugargospice

      Thank you Kei! <3 Malay mo one day may daughter ka na padating. In God's perfect time. :-*

      September 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm

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