Friday, June 13, 2008

aerosmith and 2 movies

playlist contains 2 songs.

this is a long overdue post on aerosmith *click link*.

always loved these guys. first time i saw them was on this very bad movie called sgt. peppers lonely hearts *click link*. a beatles tribute film released 1978. it was a massively bad movie by today's standards, but the songs were beatles songs. so who cares?

that means i was about 7 when i first saw steven tyler with (my sister's observation) his uncanny ability to form a perfect square via the quintessential rock and roll sneer. i thought the song was the coolest thing i ever heard. it was my first taste of the bad boy mystique. and it was curiously delicious.

they played the FVB or future villains band, covering the song come together. beatles *click link* and aerosmith fans still argue (to this day, swear to god) about which version is better.

one of the movie's best moments i remember was sandy farina's cover version of strawberry fields (see player above). it's one of the sweetest songs-- delivered with such wistful innocence, you can't help but embed hope in your heart like there's no tomorrow.

below is a vid of steven tyler in his emo-rock genre best, i don't wanna miss a thing. ff to the 90's--he's now on the mv of a box-office hit, armageddon. et voila! now a grandaddy but still pulling all sorts of heartstrings.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

my father's days

taken by terry uy on my wedding day.
putting on deodorant here. (wa-poise!):P

as a kid, i always tried to run off after kissing my father's cheek. but he'd always catch my chubby arm and say it's his turn. i'd scrunch up my face to collect his kiss.

his stubbles were rather itchy against a soft kiddie cheek. then he'd imitate my expression comically to make me laugh.

2 weeks ago, he gave me that exact expression one last time and looked sadly up at me from his hospital bed.

2 years ago, he was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. he still went about his busy routine, meeting friends, various civic oriented organizations' meetings, etc. he stopped only when his aches took over his days and nights.

he was feisty to the end. some of his last lucid words to me were: "don't put that cream stuff on my face again." (i'd been putting cetaphil cream on his face to prevent his sundamaged skin from flaking and itching.)

to many of my cousins, he is papa eng. to many of them he was also a father figure; giving love and guidance liberally. unwittingly leaving a legacy of his best qualities to my cousins.

he taught me and my siblings about fairplay, responsibility, optimism, generosity of one's spirit, and integrity.

people's voices broke when they tell us he was a good man. they told us about a man whose unshakeable integrity and goodwill had touched their lives.

every hand we shook, every kind word or story, every hug (awkward or otherwise) during his wake, is testimony to the kind of goodness he inspired.

i carry with me his values, his love, and his blood. i also carry with me the responsibility to live my life in a way that would do his memory justice.

tall order. but i am his kid, no? ;)

eulogy given by my brother, dr. leonard khu:

Good morning ladies and gentlemen. In behalf of our family, please allow me to express our gratitude to all of you for the overwhelming support and sympathy you have extended to us. Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things we can go through. No words can express what I am feeling right now and I can only hope that time will ease the family’s pain.

Allow me to tell you some experiences I had with my father. I hope this will remind you of other things about this person who was father and friend not just to me, but many others.

A year before my father was diagnosed with prostatic cancer, we were in China for an Oro Chamber Cultural and Economic Mission. It involved meeting with Chinese government and trade officials and visiting the tourist attractions. Climbing to the top of the Great Wall is not easy, especially for someone with a heart condition like my father, but he persevered until the finish line.

It was also during this trip when I had the rare chance to see him cry. We went to his hometown in Xiamen. He showed me the house where he was born and introduced me to his remaining relatives there. We brought flowers to the cemetery where his mother was buried 60 years ago. It was raining and the cemetery was overgrown with weeds. My father and I searched and looked for my grandmother’s grave in the rain and ankle-deep mud. After searching for an hour in the blinding rain, we had to give up. We left flowers in an unmarked grave, and went home. During the trip back, I saw tears falling down his cheeks as he could not find his mother’s grave and keep his promise to himself of finally relocating it. This was how important his family was for him.

My father was a naughty 11-year old immigrant who came to the Philippines after his own mother died. He was sent by my grandfather to the town of Ampinican with his fellow immigrant Inciong where he stayed for a year before he was finally integrated into his new family in Balingasag. And integrate he did. Over the years, my titos and titas have considered my father as one of their own.

Perhaps fostering better ties between Filipinos and Chinese was his mission in life. He had devoted much of his retirement years working for the improved relationships between the Chinese and local Filipino community as evidenced by his membership and leadership in most of the city’s Tsinoy civic organizations. He strove hard to leave his beloved city a better place for everyone.

One lesson in life that he imparted to me was that one has to be fair and just to all. Maybe that’s one reason he had become the unofficial patriarch of the Khu family. He was always there to mediate on sibling squabbles, and also to act as a substitute parent during pamanhikan. He always tried to have a solution to every problem and always had his ways of making complex things simple.

He showed strength until the very end. I hope that I can continue what my father has started. Let’s just remember everything that my father shared with us and be happy that he has finally gone home to our creator.

Lastly, I would like to thank some people who took care of my father during his illness. He had a topnotch medical team. Dr. Gigi Tiro was his oncologist who took a holistic approach to his illness. Dr. Laureano Ledres, his pain specialist, helped lessen the pain coming from the cancer invading his bones. I would also like to thank Dr. Andutan and Dr. Cordovez, his urologists and Dr. Twinkle Serina his anesthesiologist; Dr. Derick Monsalud his radiation oncologist; Dr. Rene Alagadan, his cardiologist; Dr. Pagdilao his rehab doctor; Dr. Adonis Agcopra, his neurologist; Dr. Miguel de Leon for operating on his eyes and donating his own blood twice, the 2 instances he had heart surgery, in 1993 and 1996; the physical therapists of Ortho Rehab Institute and the nursing staff of CUMC.

Special mention goes to my Tita Thelma Khu-Sarmiento, the dentist, who visited my father every single night at the hospital during his month-long admission. The last but not the least is his driver Jose. He not only drove for him but was his most trusted caregiver.

As Leonardo da Vinci said, “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well-used brings happy death”

Thank you and good day.

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