The Obstacle is The Way | Part 2


Falls Church, VA
70° Cloudy

My son,

Learning to accept that there are things that we cannot control is one of the hardest things that you will have to learn. Another person’s thoughts, decisions, and choices are amongst those things and that’s ok. Once you attain the mentality of letting go, no matter how difficult it is, you’ll be free. It will hurt. It will hurt like a motherfucker. It will hurt for some time; maybe even a long time. But again… that’s ok. You’ll get used to the pain and you will survive; then you will thrive. Focus on yourself, your health, your loved ones, and remember that your dad will always be here for you no matter what.

Georgetown, DC taken by Ameera

A good friend of mine, one who I haven’t met yet in person, gave me one of the most solid advice that helped me through this:

“Think about what you would want your son to do when faced with something this hard.”

This has been my mantra day by day. I’m no stoic but I will live with dedication and I try to make every move I make with intention. Thanks Mike. When we do get to finally meet, I got you a beer or 12.

I’ve spoken with Her the last time I went over and stayed at WA. I’ve repeatedly told myself to act firm and not show weakness as I rehearsed what to say and how to say it but that didn’t necessarily work. I was on the verge of breaking down numerous times as I choked with every word as I said that my only concern is you and that our personal decisions in life should not be a factor with raising you. She was indifferent and unwilling to move back to VA so I made the choice to go to you. You need to have access to both of us whenever you need so you can grow up to reach your full potential.

Old Town Alexandria, VA

Ezra as I am writing this you are still a young two year old and still full of awe and curiousness… I know that you are already wondering why your parents aren’t together. I know you’re already confused as to why you only see me behind a small cellphone screen and why I’m not there with you every day. You’re one of the brightest kid I’ve ever known (that’s why you also have Akira in your name) and I say that without bias (your dad has 23+ godchildren and I also helped raising my siblings so I know about kids). I want you to know that since the very day you were taken from me, I have not stopped working on making sure that I would be within close proximity to you. I am sorry that you had to experience this at such a young age. You deserve so much more. I want you to always remember that you came to existence because of love and affection.

Elizabeth Furnace, VA

Your mother and I regardless of our differences consider you as the best thing that’s ever happened to us. It may not have worked out between Her and I but I want you to know this: you are not to blame. Don’t ever think that. Your mother made a choice and I’m sure it was a difficult one to make… every one of us has the right to pursue what we believe is the path to happiness. Did I wish that Her vision of happiness included me? Yes. Yes I did. Your dad fought tooth and nail to try and make Her realize that Her happiness was with us being together… With me. I wanted to rewrite the story that transpired because I wholeheartedly believed (still do) that families should stay together. That was wrong. It was Her story to write, not mine, and that chapter had to end. It may be premature to say right now but when she told me “this was for the best” maybe she was right. Only time will tell. I think things happen exactly how they should even if we don’t understand at the time. Like a friend once said to me: “It’s the sacred timing of the universe.”

Harper’s Ferry, WV

Change is difficult. It is constant but human beings are innately hostile towards it in a granular level. Shit Ezi I’m terrified of it. I am scared of what is to come. These drastic changes in my life made me understand humility and with that came acceptance. I am adapting with the circumstances that I have been dealt with and I will overcome this inertia for you and for me kiddo. I’ll be moving 3000 miles away from a place I’ve been familiar with for the last 17 years, a place I’ve lived in longer than anywhere, a place where our family and friends are, a place I can consider my hometown. And that’s ok because I get to do this. After all, where you are is home to me. You are my home.

Fairfax Hospital, Arlington, VA

I’ll end this two part entry with one of my favorite movie scenes. It’s an exchange between Robin Williams and Ben Stiller:

B: “I have no idea what I’m going to do tomorrow.”
R: “How exciting!”

I love you Ezra. Your dad will always be there for you with all the adventures your tomorrow will bring.


Haystack Rock, OR

The Obstacle is The Way | Part 1


Falls Church, VA
75° Cloudy

I’ve completely forgot about this blog until recently and I’ve decided to restart it in hopes that my son would be able to read this in the future. Something he can look back to about his father’s struggles and love.

I am the dad of the most wonderful human being I have ever met.

113 days ago a deluge of events that swept my bearings away has led me to who I am and where I stand today.

Chain smoking American Spirits as I was walk endlessly around my neighborhood was a painfully familiar feeling. With every step I had wished, I had hoped, I had prayed that it was all just a nightmare. I’ve never wanted to turn back time as much as I did then.

I was aimlessly backtracking every thing that I have ever done, trying to dissect every choice and every decision I have ever made that could’ve changed the way things were. I wasn’t just lost, I was… gone. A gaping void formed in my core that ate me up from the inside out. I could audibly hear my heart breaking. That sound was haunting and I constantly heard mine deteriorating. Death would’ve been a relief. I had a bullet with my name on it and at that time I would’ve gladly rid this planet of another shitty person. The weight of not knowing where it went wrong and how far back did it start going awry was a burden that pressed on me every chance it had. I could only blame myself for being abandoned.

I recall what she had told me from our first break up: “I don’t love you anymore” “I don’t see a future with you” as she looked me dead in my eyes while I was on my knees in the middle of a busy path in Alki Beach. That stinging feeling is something that will always be embedded within the confines of my soul. I had no one else to direct the blame nor was there anyone else responsible for how I was. But I’ll be lying if I said that wasn’t the catalyst for the wall I’ve slowly built between me and Her. For as long as I can remember now, the words “I’m not going to beg for you again” would always come out when we would argue. Now THAT was a lie. Because begging for Her back, for my family back, was the first thing I did when this happened.

I was fumbling to dial my dad and tell him that they’re gone. I choked as I was finding the words to tell him that not only had I lost the only person I’ve truly loved for 15 years but I’ve also lost his grandson.

She left on March 22, 2022. She said She was done and She was going to her cousins that lived 15 minutes away. Little did I know She had already purchased tickets to WA for Her and my son the day before. I had to leave the fucking apartment when I found out. The same apartment we’ve been for years, the same apartment where we started a family, the same apartment where my son learned to walk, and the same four fucking walls with memories in every corner were closing in on me. I don’t have claustrophobia but I would imagine thats how it felt. I was suffocating. I had to talk to someone. To anyone. I went to my sister. I broke down as I told Amani how my reasons for existing is gone. How I singlehandedly sabotaged the very thing that is most valuable to me.

Ezra, I wouldn’t be here right now writing this without your Lolo, Lola, Titos, and Titas.

I could not have asked for a better family than the one I was born into. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have crossed paths with my friends that have supported me throughout this ordeal. They we’re constantly reminding me that I was needed, that I was valued, that I matter. I couldn’t comprehend that. Not at that time. I couldn’t accept that I was anything other than pathetic for losing my family. But what gave me courage to keep on going was them telling me that I can not give up. I can not give up because if I do, I’m giving up on not just myself and them… but on you. And that is something that will never happen son. I will never give up being your dad.

Amani helped me find a plane ticket to fly there on March 24, 2022. I booked a motel in Fife from the same branch that I had stayed in aeons ago when I went to WA for the first time to see Her.

Flight UA 1413

October 26, 2007 was when I first met Ezra’s mom. I still vaguely remember how excited I was flying to SeaTac. That feeling is now long gone. As I sat staring outside the plane window, restlessness, resentment, and longing was gnawing at me. I got there late from what seemed like a never ending flight and took an Uber to Tacoma. “Whatever happens, it will always work out.” I held on to my Uber driver’s words as I sit on the same step on the same stairs as I did back in May 2012.

Kuya and Papa saw me outside. Same way they did back in 2012 during our first breakup. She didn’t reply to any of my messages but still I waited for 3 hours until Kuya went back outside. He offered to give me a ride to the motel to rest and sleep. He was right. I couldn’t let my son see me at my current state. That’s not the kind of person I wanted him to see me as. After more cigarettes and a meaningful conversation with Kuya I finally retired to the motel. I couldnt tell if it was the room that reeked of nicotine and despair or if it was me.

Proverbial steps
Motel 6, Fife, WA

I woke up while the sun was still down. Hopped in the shower in a surprisingly clean motel bathroom. I wondered if it would shine like the Milky Way if I used a black light. I shrugged the thought of being in a murder scene as a dried myself off and hurriedly walked to the gas station close by to grab some coffee; God knows I needed it. I called for an Uber and impatiently waited as I go through stick after stick of these damn cigarettes.

Ezra was already awake when I got there. With the same big smile that can brighten the darkest of my days, he said: “Daddy! do you want to see my toys?!!” as he grabbed my hand and showed me his collection of dinosaur figures. My son can wash away any grief and any shadow of doubt that I had or will ever have. He’s my home.

Ezra, ikaw ang mundo ko.


Dreamers of the day


“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”

-T.E. Lawrence

Growing up, I’ve always been categorized as a day dreamer. It was a fact. My head was always in the clouds. It still is. I wouldn’t have it any other way.