GLAD to resume my column on my birthday 2019!

September 27 is triply significant in my life as it also happens to be the death anniversary of our mother, the late Martina Verceles Alambra.

(It is also World Tourism Day – and I somehow served in the tourism sector in the early year 2000s as the officer-in-charge of the Baguio Tourism Council’s Tourist Information Center at Burnham Park!)


Parting is such deep sorrow...

My musings two years ago on our mother’s unfortunate demise the previous year (2016):

September 25, 2016: Killer accident: Parting is such deep sorrow...

News on national TV: “Karambola sa SLEX!”

Multiple-car accident at the South Luzon Expressway!

After our family bonding weekend at the Valentino Resort (in Lipa City, Batangas) and visit to the nearby Philippine Air Force Officer Candidate School (PAF OCS), where our brother-in-law was the commandant.

We were driving home to Metro Manila via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) when we encountered an unexpected change of weather that caused momentary “zero visibility” – forcing the two cars in front of us to stop suddenly!

Result: Six-car collision that caused traffic along the north-bound lane of the busy SLEX – thus landing the collision on national TV!

Unfortunately, our two vehicles in the middle of the highway were smashed-up – thus we suffered the strongest impact – with two cars suddenly stopping in front of us (due to unexpected instant zero visibility), while another two cars bumped our rear!


As I upload these set of photos, the accident photos just indicated a place called “Malitlit” in Laguna as the site of the highway accident...

Malitlit in Sta. Rosa, Laguna?

I just googled the Batangas-Laguna map, and I am now wondering why the ambulance (that came to our rescue?) brought us to a hospital in Calamba, Laguna – going back south, instead of proceeding north to Metro Manila!

It had gotten dark by then, and so I did not notice the ambulance exiting the SLEX to go back south to a hospital that did not even have CT scan – but I was too shocked (and neck whip-lashed, and brain-fogged) to notice!

Had the ambulance gone northward, I would have brought my shaken mother to the modern hospitals in the metropolis which – based on maps – are about the same distance from the accident site!

More musings on this in future – as I come to grips with grief...


Back to heaven...

To alleviate my pain, I tell myself that the date Sept. 27 marks the date of our mother’s re-birth in heaven – with the return of her soul to the life source...

Just like Jesus’ soul (co-existent with the Father God) had long been in heaven before his incarnation on earth some 2,000 years ago via the Virgin Mary...


Happy birth month to Mama Mary!

Gratified that I share with Mama Mary the same birth month as assigned/celebrated by the Catholic Church – my “religion” at birth...

(The church marks September 8 as Mama Mary’s birthday – and it was the date that I was invested as a Co-Missionary (SSpS Associate) of the Holy Spirit Sisters (Servae Spiritu Sanctus or SSpS) in 2018.)

Fated to become the earth mother of Jesus the Christ, the Virgin Mary’s immaculate birth is celebrated by the Catholic Church on Dec. 8 – which happens to be our mother’s birthday...

It is no surprise then that our mother was a devotee of the Mother Mary – and so I would always request my mother to pray for me to Mama Mary who, in turn, prays for us in heaven...

Mama Mary, pray for us!


It’s World Tourism Day!

The third significance of September 27 for me is that it is World Tourism Day!

I recall my years of volunteer service as the officer-in-charge (OIC) of the Tourist Information Center at Burnham Park in the early 2000s under then Baguio Tourism Council (BTC) chairman Nicolas “Bong” Tabora who had requested/appointed me to man the Tourist InfoCen.

Many thanks to our former Baguio City OIC vice mayor Bong Tabora for the instant office where I got to serve/inform national and international tourists coming up to Baguio – especially those who joined the exodus to the city on Panagbenga season – the time for blossoming – the three to four months that the city celebrates the Baguio Flower Festival.


“Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all” – United Nations World Tourism Organization

“Tourism’s role in job creation is often undervalued. This is despite the fact that tourism generates 10% of world jobs and is included in Sustainable Development Goal 8 for its potential to create decent work.

New policies are needed to maximize tourism’s potential to create more and better jobs, especially for women and youth. New policies are also needed to reflect and incorporate ongoing advances in technology.

Policies and actions should be geared towards addressing the current mismatch between tourism skills that are taught and those that tourism employers need.

This requires a holistic approach to the future of work in tourism, with heightened cooperation between all actors, including the public and private sectors.

World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on Sept. 27, with celebrations led by UNWTO. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, in line with UNWTO’s overarching focus on skills, education and jobs throughout the year, World Tourism Day will be a celebration on the topic “Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all.”