Pilgrimage to Love


“We always have a tendency to see those things that do not exist and to be blind to the great lessons that are right there before our eyes.” Paul Coelho, The Pilgrimage

Dearest Mommy,

It’s been eleven years today when you had to leave us for the Lord’s garden. It has been a long, lonely eventful journey. Oftentimes I wasn’t very sure I’d make it. But your love and abiding legacy, our daughter Sam, had pulled me through. She gives me your strength as I hold her hand every time I say good night.

I actually think of these past years as a pilgrimage, my pilgrimage to your love.

The way of a pilgrim has afforded me a lot of time for reflection. To experience every bit of those sharp, tiny rocks along the road. And hounded by the sun, the moon, the stars, and howling winds of desolation and despair, there is not much choice but quiet acceptance and stoicism. We learn to take the bad with the good.

In a way it’s been one half penance and equal part seeking closure, because some things are just truly hard to explain or understand. But while travelling had taken me to very, very far corners, it’s literally been just eventually coming home to myself. Back to where I started, although bruised, and a little wiser.

I’ve learned many things with my journey. Mostly about my lack of mindfulness. I’ve often wondered why you chose to live your life with me when you had everything going for you when we first met. You had the world as your oyster. You could have selected a worthier person. But instead you chose me.

There are no poetic answers. I had realized that you had simply loved me.

Now I truly understand what it means to love because you have shown me how. I’ve been a selfish pr**k all these times. You showed that love was never meant to please the giver. It’s always sent through a one- way street without any expectation of getting anything back. It’s loving someone despite their imperfection. And, you had loved because you simply are. It may not make sense to all, but I believe I had finally got it.

My life these days are filled with making memories for our daughter. In between the aches of ageing, I do my best to keep up with her new passions. If it’s not K- Pop or writing papers for UP NCPAG class, Sam and I just blaze across the food trails of Maginhawa Street. I was even surprised to learn that she does not have very many recollections of spending time with me growing up. I was maybe there but not really there. I was too engrossed with my many hobbies. I had left all the parenting to you. Now I try to make up for all the lost time. But I know she will do well with wherever her heart takes her, because she has your strong will and persistence. I still do however stare at her forehead at night and can see you beside, haha. We still miss you both very, very much. Every single day at least. One day we’ll have our reunion at our heavenly home. And I can then be the less imperfect husband that you had so much deserved.

I love you with all my heart and soul. Pray for us even as we pray for you too. Time moves on, but one thing remains the same, you have always been the perfect one. 

Au revoir,


4 thoughts on “Pilgrimage to Love

  1. Andrea M Vicente

    Bong, you and Sam will always be in our thoughts and prayers. I miss her but I know in my heart that Mariel is our angel from above who is always looking down on us. Take care always.

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