Friday, August 03, 2018


The issue of parenting is both apropos and relevant for young parents.

There are how-to or self-help books on parenting, maybe to a point that there may be too much information about the subject. And many times, these different sources take divergent analyses or opinions on the same subject(s), maybe to a point that can confuse earnest parents.

But one thing we learn from experience is that each child is uniquely different, thus how to properly parent a child will depend largely on a parent's intimate and personal knowledge and understanding of each child.

There is an almost inherent bias for parents to assume that if they believe they were raised properly, what worked for them will work for their children too. After all, many of us know and believe that a child is composed of 50% of one spouse, and the other 50% of the other spouse, so it would be easy to assume that at that default stage we already know enough of our children to tailor the kind of parenting we believe will work.

But nothing I believe is farther from reality. Each child is still uniquely different from both parents to a point that we cannot safely say that the child is like either one of the parents, or maybe likened to other ancestors. That is just one facet of the mystery and awesomeness of life.

Additionally, as parents we tend to treat our children as fragile and easily traumatized individuals. Many facts point to a somewhat accepted reality that children are typically stronger, more malleable, and able to adapt to varying degrees of conditions and situations than we think they can. There is more than enough knowledge to show that children born and raised in very challenging situations have been able to lift themselves with their own bootstraps to become functioning and exemplary members of our society.

Does it make parenting more difficult? I believe so, since we now collectively possess more knowledge than the previous generations, the responsibilities become exponentially greater. Add to that the fact that life itself has become more and more complicated for the coming generations. Remember the cliché, with great powers come greater responsibilities.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Neri-San Jose of Cagayan de Oro Genealogy

Having come in possession of sufficient data, it is opportune to define and trace the Neri-San Jose branch of the Neri Genealogy.

At the start of the 1800’s, we begin with Salvador Neri, who married a Coronado.  History notes that Salvador became gobernadorcillo from 1831 to 1832.

We also have information about his known siblings.  They were Lino Neri who followed Salvador as gobernadorcillo from 1832 to 1833, allowing us to presume that he was a younger brother.

Another sibling was Leon Neri and from him we have the start of what we may call the Neri-Velez branch of the genealogy.

Salvador produced three known sons, Pedro, Graciano, and Ramon.  Graciano and Ramon married two San Jose sisters, namely Dominga and Emmanuela.

My family comes from the Graciano line (he died in 1907).

We did not know much about his one sibling named Pedro.  But for his other sibling, Ramon, we know a lot.  And one significant detail was that 2 sons of Ramon, namely Vicente and Ramon, Jr. married two Fernandez sisters, namely Vicenta and Josefa.

Graciano and Dominga produced 8 children and they are as follows:

Anastacio Neri, who was married to Marianita Velez, and who died in August 14, 1923, childless.  At one point, he was a mayor of Cagayan de Oro.

Pedro “Edrit” Neri, who married Crescencia Mercado/Rabatido.  Born in 1898, he died on December 24, 1925, childless. He had spent his life in what was then called Tagnipa.  The place is now known as El Salvador.

Filomeno “Minoy” Neri, who was single and childless.

Faustino “Tinoy” Neri, who married Matilde Menciano.

Ramon Neri, who married Cleofe Velez (born in 1875).  Born in 1878, he died in 1932.

Paz “Inday” Neri, who married Nicolas Pelaez of Tailisayan

Conchita Neri, who married Juan Borja.  Born on January 3, 1883, she died on January 25, 1945, childless.

Felisa “Feling” Neri, who married Casimiro Tamparong, Sr.

Our direct line started with Ramon Neri-San Jose who married Cleofe Velez.

The attached chart outlines the rest of the branch up to the current generation
1.       Pedro Edrit Roa 2. Lucia Neri (Marbella) 3. Felisa Neri-Tamparong 4.Crescencia Mercado-Neri 5. Conchita Neri-Borja 6. Faustino Neri 7. Manuel Rabgo 8. Laura (Laureta) Rabago 9. Chito Rabago 10. Paz Neri-Pelaez Picture taken circa 1907-1908
In the photo the siblings are Pedro, Felisa, Conchita, Faustino, and Paz. Thus, the other siblings not in the picture are Anastacio, Filomeno, and our grandfather, Ramon, to complete the eight offspring of Graciano Coronado Neri and Dominga San Jose. In the above photo, the only person not included in that generation is Lucia Neri, an elder sister of my father.


Our paternal grandfather,  Ramon Neri-San Jose.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Remembering Elvis

To this day, I wonder why I and millions more around the globe continue to listen to the songs of Elvis, especially his earlier songs though including some of those recorded later in his life.  And mind you, not only listen, but countless others from all over, try to imitate his voice and singing style.

Why?  Especially because no other popular singer in memory has garnered so much attention and inspiration as this guy.

I may have a peek of the reason or reasons why.

It may center on the uniqueness of his voice and of course, the distinctive style of his singing, which, btw, courted sufficient negative criticism from a number of other accomplished and famous singers of his time.  Singers noted for their very refined and smooth renditions of their recorded songs.  Songs done with such finesse and clarity as to be completely flawless.

The more famous songs of Elvis could be said to be rendered coarsely, more raw and unrefined, some bordering on being primal shouts or shrieks, with him relying heavily on his voice rather than the accompaniment or arrangement.

But if anything, Elvis did his songs as some kind of soul baring, like his songs were an exercise of emptying himself of all that he got inside, in both his core and soul.

So when he sung it was not simply to show how high or how far the notes he could carry or bring, or how fast his cadence without slurring words and stumbling over notes.  He avidly tried to pour out all he got and left things the way they came out and sounded.  Thus, he was almost fanatical about how he sung his songs, and for this, none, even those closest in his retinue, was spared from his almost violent displeasure when anybody tried to critique his style.

It also gave clear insight to the almost meaningless explanation he postulated about his singing, when he said that singing was not about style and technique, but about putting yourself into your songs.  

 And I do believe people of all persuasion from all over the world can readily identify with this and maybe try to emulate it in their own lives or entertainment careers.

It certainly holds true for me.   Enjoy, this simple imitation of one of his more known songs.



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mind VS Reality

As young kids with minds undiluted and uncluttered with life’s many experiences, we took pleasure loading ourselves up with images derived from ...stories told us, from books we read, and from all other sources within reach – from newspapers and magazines. And yes, from movies, too.

Our malleable and active minds created a world of our own, unlimited and unhindered by realities that we still had to experience. In such a world of Technicolor grandeur, reality took on almost surreal qualities. Everything perceived in our minds were heightened to degrees limited only by the blurred boundaries of our childish dreams. In that world, places in the world visited by relatives, or friends, or pictured in magazines and books, were like paradise, and populated by extraordinary people likened to those inhabiting our celluloid world.

And many of us grew up nursing those stupendous memories, mesmerized by the consuming fantasies they conjured in our minds. As layers of real life experiences were inevitably added, slowly the fantasies were stripped from our minds and we began to see the world in its real colors and dimensions. Our blinders removed fleshing out our realities with more mundane tones and details, not much different from the everyday lives who were used to living in our own little world.

So the local places which we visited and had grown to find either quite boring or trivial, or just ordinary, are now installed as equals and could compare grandly with the new and foreign places that we had begun to live in or visited. Our amazing realization that these places or peoples that we had visited turn out to be not much different from those that we were born with and shared the years.
The whole globe after all is not that diversely disparate in its parts. The beaches in Bali, or Hawaii, are no different from the local beaches we had frequented as kids. The skyscrapers in Makati or Manila, or even now in Cagayan de Oro are not really that much more awe-inspiring from the others, even those in differing degrees of development. Size and height are the same anywhere in the physical world.

For the images attached then while still looking majestic or surreal, thanks to the wonders of photography and the various editing tools available, we can look no farther than where we stand and live, all the days of our lives. To savor whatever excitement and grandeur we decide to invest them with.

Wake up! This temporal world satiates our arguably unfathomable thirst and quest for more.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Decisions, Decisions: Sanitized Virtual Reality Vs Ugly Reality of Old Hometown


A debatable subject aptly addressed to us ex-pats, both those who are still abroad and those who have come back for good (or so we thought).

Who can disagree that our cherished memories of the old hometown, rustic, rural, and crude, as it may have been when we departed from it, are worth remembering, revisiting, and reliving with both short visits and resettlement?

Thus for  a good number of us, decisions were made to return and resettle, and to pick up from where we left off.

Years later and after a series of grave disillusionment, comes now the need for re-assessment of that decision to relocate.  Has it been the right one?  Does the ugly reality of living in the old hometown at the present time jibe with our sanitized or hopeful version of it, one that we incubated in our minds through all the years that we were out of it?

So is the actual living in that hometown good enough for us to want to stay further?

Time to sit back and re-think.

 First, we need to re-examine our remaining attitudes and the nagging images we may still foster in our minds about the old hometown.

When we were still abroad, the stubborn thoughts of the hometown were more riveting giving us bouts of extreme nostalgic yearnings of not only getting back there, but also of doing helpful things in our new surroundings to help ameliorate the dire conditions of the beleaguered hometown, since someday that would become home for us anew.

We labored hard to set aside financial resources not only for our future but in aid of the old hometown, with an almost addictive sense of altruism and love for it as inspired by the alluring thoughts of what it meant to us.

Though we now hold very negative thoughts about what it has morphed into, we still like to think that somehow it would not be that bad.  Though in reality in our estimation it is really bad enough for us since if the need arises we would decide against relocating the remainder of our family members and their remaining lives in this now benighted hometown.

The growing disconnect then becomes more apparent, though we may continue to blind our minds to the now harsh realities in the old hometown.

We cling still to our steadfast declaration that we cherish our beloved hometown and that still we would do anything to assist it in its many ugly travails.  But deep down we continue to harbor no plans or inkling to get back to it.  Sounds rather contradictory?  Many would think so.  But I guess our thoughts and longings are beyond rhyme or reason, or logic.

And what about those who may have relocated and are now entertaining similar thoughts?  Is the option to uproot and re-locate one more time still a viable option?

That is the “to be or not to be” question.