Sadj’s testimonial on our sister’s last day on earth

My sister asked me to record her last memory of our baby sister, Shalimah Naga Garangan, who was diagnosed with Myaloid Acute Leukemia. She survived her chemotherapy but had a relapsed three months thereafter. She passed away during the month of Ramadan and the first day of Lailatul Kadur. May she go to paradise and may she not suffer in her grave. Baby sister we love you and we will never stop praying for you. May Allah (swt) give you light in your grave and good angels entertain you whilst waiting for the day that we all have to face our creator.

We will never fathom your departure on this earth but who are we to question the will of God. We shall continue with our lives painstakingly or endure the excruciating reality that you no longer walk among us. You have thought us to widen our understanding, open our hearts and embrace the cycle of life. People come and people go as living in this world is really temporary.

We should search for our purpose on earth and reevaluate the things we should prioritized. May we all find our true calling!

“July 14 blood results showed
Vitals are down….  Wbc 1.2 platelets 70
Doc asked to return on wed… JUly 17 Wed, admitted, platelets 11 wbc 3.4
July 25 (given first chemo)
July 26 (around 11am started having difficulty breathing). 1pm had a heart scan that caused her right arm to swollen. Evening 9 pm onwards Blisters started showing up. She refused to take meds of Neopogen (to increase WBC), cannot take any oral meds, not eaten any food.
3 am July 27 Sona (doctors from diff hospital) came to do an ultra sound for her right arm. They said if it was inside her arteries they might operate her. But results showed it didnt. So no need for surgery.. 4am surgeon of ortho (bones) came and elevated her arm and popped all her blisters. Requested for cold compress and then later warm compress.
8am investigators came. Many doctors.
10 am she was awake and asked for water intake onwards…
1pm (we changed her diapers. )
2-5 she urinated about 3 times. Changed sheets, changed her clothes.. I noticed her hands are getting colds.  Heartbeat BPM 127 (increasing)
BPM reached 147-151
And her last few hrs.. 5pm onwards we changed her diaper her sweats was profusely , and she told me she feels like pooping. She doesnt want to bec shes wearing diaper. I told her it was ok. Nurse shreeja changed her heart monitor. Getting her BP, Then few mins before maghrib (6:00)) She stared at mom and then she lookd up and then her eyes closed… 6:00-7:45 Doc anesthologist, hermatologist, nurses tried to revive her…. Last few mins before 7:45 i whisphered in her ear: Si ate jacqui mo to. Ok na saken opaw. Kung gusto mong magpahinga. Papayag na ako…. 7:45 her heartbeat stopped. And stopped breathing….
Nurse left us in our room me and mommy and shamz body in her room for 2 hrs..
About 9:50 to 10:00 pm 2 nurse, me and mom tried to wash her body. Mommy whispered something to her and said something. Ad then shamz face were smiling. I noticed it too. And 2 nurse were shocked. I took pic but i couldnt capture it.
Around 10:00 to 10:30 relatives came. 11:45 pm they brought her body to morgue hospital.
July 28, around 2:30 pm, mom and i and 5 arab ladies washed her body in Sulaibikhat mosque inside cemetery.
Body was not that stiff. Arms are soft. Movable. But face looked very pretty and at peace.
Past 3:30 pm about 500 people to 1,500 men were present in mosque and  prayed for her body. 4:00 pm they buried her in sulaibikhat cemetery with number:
In arabic: ٤١/٧٨/٣٤
In english: 41/78/34”


My Birthday Wish is for Her


Today is my birthday as I had no intention to socialize my sorority sis wanted to meet up nonetheless. . .she surprised me with this thoughful treat. Thank you Che for your time I know it’s precious, lol!

Seriously my wish, rather, my everyday wish is for my sister’s fast recovery. She is diagnosed with Leukemia and now on her 3rd phase of chemotheraphy. I pray so hard that ALLAH (swta) will give her the chance to live longer so she can celebrate her birthdays, future: children’s birthdays, grandchildren’s and even her great grandchildren’s birthdays.

Shamz, we can never fathom the depth of pain you are into, but we are so proud on how you painstakingly brushing off the process and would want to get things over with so you can continue with your life. So brave.

We will never understand God’s purpose but we can always pray for his mercy and give you sufficient strength to get through it. Your prayer warriors are behind you so fight ha, please.

The White Flower in our Garden


I found this beautiful thing from our little garden. I honestly dont know how it is called because for many years, this is the first time the plant produces a flower. Superstitious persona is something you cannot define my being, but I have a feeling that it symbolizes hope  ( what you think?).

Only God can tell someone’s fate and the flower has nothing to do with it but it wont hurt if I will just consider it as such. I speak this way as my family and I are in a vulnerable stage. A person dear to our hearts is going through rough times. I am not comfortable to devulge what it is but we are painstakingly trying to get through it.

Everyday is a miracle for us particularly for her. Everyday we hope and pray so hard for her fast recovery and longer life. She does not deserve to suffer (who does?)  but it is not our call to say otherwise. Seeing her alive everyday is a blessing and a subject in our prayers.

My heart is breaking into little pieces as I am writing this blog. My tears fall as if it has a life of its own. I still want to see more of her life. May she be given a chance to internalize what she will become in the future and the joy of growing old altogether as a family.

Finally, a Vegan Resolution in the Philippines.


I have come across this link ( Doctors, nutritionists launch Vegan Resolution 2013) from Facebook and I am so thrilled to know that soon they will launch it here in the Philippines. I am positive that it will be a success; because of the abundance in agriculture and the rich in natural resources of “the land of the rising sun!”.

On my journey of becoming a Vegan, I have discovered that prior to the western food influence and coming of the Spaniards our foods were vegan (mostly). We have delicacies cooked with “muscovado” (unrefined brown sugar) as a sweetener and coconuts as a creamer etc., our rice were unrefined and unbleached, not to mention that our viands mostly have ingredients that were made up of vegetables. Note, it was all organic because there were no pesticides during that time. My father used to tell me that my granny had a garden at their backyard and all the veggies and fruits will just be uprooted from the garden. WOW. Imagine, and the lifespan of people were up to 90 years old ( as oppose to the lifespan today is 60). My grandfather died at 88 and he was a pure vegan because he was obsessed with fruits and vegetables; he also had utmost respect for food; he believed that you should present your food beautifully on the table regardless of what kind. Of course he was not aware of veganism, but I am sure you get my point. The elders had a healthy VEGAN lifestyle (without them knowing it) and a longer life back then. Fascinating, isn’t it. Despite of the influence we can still turn 360 degrees and go back to that lifestyle. Philippines is a tropical country and our natural resources–we have gargantuan supply and they just pop out on their own, yes because we are rich with fertiled soil. Such potential.

Four years ago, my insatiable quest for a healthy living landed me on the world of veganism. I bought my first vegan book entitled “Skinny Bitch”, then came next the “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch” and a year after that the book of Alicia Silverstone, “The Kind Diet”. I got so fascinated with such world that I even tried to persuade my family to read my books and live the lifestyle. Of course, there were debates and so on, but few got the hang of it ( that was good enough for me). However, I struggled, since the awareness was limited at the time. Hence, my practise of being vegan was not consistent. Nevertheless, my heart have always hoped that someday, the society I am living in, will embrace my world. I am certain that there were other people have already been into the zone but, share the same longing as mine.

Fast forward, it is amazing to note that the curiousity and education has increased rapidly. Time went by. Now, this launch will soon be taken place; it is a revolution in the Filipino’s eating habit and way of life. I can now picture the opulence of vegan grocery stores and restaurants- what a relief would that be.

I wish to be part of this campaign and adapt the lifestyle consistently. I wish I can be included in the group that will form their campaign. Anyone from the organizers happened to read this- count me in. 🙂

Hope leads to Faith that Strengthens the Prayer


New year brings new hope for everyone as they start laying down their new year’s resolution. In realization they were never achieved, well, others may have but not in toto. It does not matter though. Regardless whether it has been followed, it is an idea for a new beginning for all of us.

I personally do not believe in such, but I will make this year an exception. Mine, is to pray hard religiously for the sake of one person very close to my heart. She is undergoing a battle between life and death. I will do all my might to pray the hardest as I know it is only God who can help her at this most crucial stage of her life.

Not Everything is What it Seems


            When you are young you think of the things you wanted in life. You are so adamant as if they will happen with great certainty.

            Reckon your days in school, teachers used to ask the famous question, “what is your ambition in life?”, or what you want to become when you grow older?”, and of course being naïve, you will reply with such  conviction, that you want to become a doctor, a lawyer, a diplomat or you want to have a business of your own. Next thing you know you began making plans, outlining the steps in achieving them to the extent that nobody can bend them, you would talk to your parents about your goals and as always, they will listen with joy that you have already envisioned your future. Funny, there are times you tend to get so excited that you wish you can foresee what future has for you.

            Years went by, what have you become? Are you now in the shoes of the person you dreamed of? Reality bites but not everyone got lucky. There could be a thousand reasons why the course of your life has changed. It might have caused by the layers of prejudice:  like, the society you were in, or circumstances didn’t give you the chance to prove your worth, or sometimes you don’t want to hurt the feelings of the people you love and so with your eyes closed you just followed, or maybe with all those goals, you got confused which one should have given a priority.

            There are cases also that you strive so hard to get things done so that someday you could be that person you have pictured yourself to be… but life is not what it seems. No matter how you try for your “dream jewel” is just not meant for you. It would hurt at times when people tend to be inquisitive asking questions such as:  have you done things right, or did you really try your might, are you sure you did things according to your plan. How do they know? These are the downfalls that can pull you down that absence of strong pillars of strength you might lose it in a snap.

            Yes, it’s frustrating, it’s heartbreaking and most of the time it could tear you apart when you have come to a realization that you failed to achieve the goals that you knew were destined for you. But are we ought to question the will of God? What matter the most is that you never quit in trying, and you’re steadfast that never have you failed in fighting. So when at the end of the tunnel you didn’t get what you expected- it’s not for you, acknowledge it! Embrace it!

            Cliché dictates “life must go on”, you should not lose hope for God doesn’t want you to be miserable for the rest of your life. You just need to search further until you find what is really intended for you. Sometimes we insist on something that we thought is meant for us, but little did we know something grandeur awaits. Go and painstakingly try to continue your journey until you make your own mark . . . we just have to look for it and never give up as life may not always be what it seems but you see, life will be better if you just believe.

So painful it bites!

I dont know why a person has to be in so much grief. Yes, “everything happens for a reason”, I am on that, but why does it have to be so deep that it tends you to ask,”why god?” its depth makes you want to scream until you lost your breath; punch somebody or pick a fight, or throw the things whatever your hands can reach. . . Then cry!! Cry and cry your heart out and blame him or ask him “Why?” for a countless times.

Why does a person have to suffer more than one pain, more than you can bear? Can it be one at a time? So there is a room for a breather.

Seeing all the unfortunate events happening all at the same time are not fair; unfair for the person who suffers and for the other who gets to see the suffering. It is so painful that if you could only just erase everything; like when you are erasing the words or figures on the board. So intense that you wish that if you could just teleport to a place where you can reflect and rejuvinate your body and soul for a while, or you just want to close your eyes and ears and wishing that they were all just a dream.

But reality bites! We are on earth where you experience variety of life. So what is left of that person? Cry and suck everything in and embrace that this is the will of the divine providence. It is just too painful to see everyone in such distress. And its so hard to accept that they are actually in that situation. It seems like it is so unreal.

A person should not be questioning God as he knows best, but that person cant help to ask, Why God?