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Have coffee with me

Have coffee with me

By Noemi Lardizabal-Dado
Have coffee with Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, also known as @momblogger on social media networks. Sit back, relax and enjoy your coffee one sip at a time as she brings episodes that cover her past, present and future. Expect topics on grief, parenting, wellness, media literacy and adventures as a budding coffee producer. Send her a message at momblogger @ Leave me a voice message here. . Your message could end up on a future episode of this podcast if you agree. For podcasters like myself use the code. "CoffeeBreak" at
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How does one cope with the holiday Blues?
There is nothing abnormal about having the "holiday blues," which are more like a mood than any sort of lasting condition. Depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms are associated with the holidays because this season brings back memories of a happier time in our lives.
December 21, 2021
Leni Robredo declares her candidacy for President (English version ) #LabanLeni2022
Today, I stand with full resolve: We must free ourselves from the current situation. I will fight. We will fight. I offer myself as a candidate for the Presidency in the 2022 elections.
October 09, 2021
Parents leave two legacies to their kids- one is roots, the other wings
Whenever news about a mother is sensationalized or controversial, my readers ask for my reaction. I tell them that I cannot judge on what a parent should or should not do. Like any parent, I made mistakes in the past, learned from them and never did it again. Now the next question comes up with “How do you know whether you are being responsible or irresponsible ?” How do we teach our children what it means and how to act accordingly? Ellen Schrier on “What Exactly IS A “Responsible” Parent?” gave me wonderful insights on parenting without being preachy and calls upon your better judgment, maternal instinct and being honest about your role as a parent/ It is actually simple. Remember these key phrases. To be responsible means to respond appropriately.
September 23, 2021
Have you had a good cry lately?
It’s quite common to hear oh she is so brave! when the broken-hearted person appears controlled and poised in the face of grief. How is someone supposed to feel when their heart is broken? And yet we continue to admire those who do not show their grief in public, who receive condolences as though the occasion were a pleasant Sunday afternoon blabber. He was so brave. I was proud of him. He didn’t break down, not once, and so on and so forth…we hear people say. Really, whose benefit is this tight hold on our emotions? For the griever’s sake? For the sake of the consoling friends, who may be afraid of being swept into their grief?
September 02, 2021
“Children have to be educated, but they have also to be left to educate themselves.”
I learned from my parents. When the girls consulted with me on their college degrees, I said “Do whatever you want. Follow your passion. Because if you are happy in the work that you do, there is no need for me to worry if you will be successful. You will be successful if you’re doing something that you love to do.”
August 24, 2021
Excited on video production
I am so excited that I got accepted as a program participant of YouTube's Creator Program for Independent Journalists. YouTube announced on August 5  "the selection of nearly 50 independent journalists and over 40 digital-first newsrooms across the programs." The Creator Program for Independent Journalists aims to give the growing number of reporters publishing independently the tools needed to succeed on YouTube. I will continue to cover underplayed stories, fighting disinformation, Covid-19 and Voters' Education. So I am just learning how to do video production.  I started practicing a few videos at my channel. Don't worry, I will get better. Here is my channel , You can read more about it here
August 13, 2021
Using the consumer assistance mechanism of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
This podcast episode is a departure from my usual post on grief recovery so this will be a public service post.  I wasn't planning to write about my housing loan experience right after the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last year, but I continue to receive queries until today. Because of my Facebook post on accrued interest payments in October 2020, four other clients with a similar experience from the same commercial bank asked me about the process for its reversal, so let me share my experience. (I published the printed version of this podcast at the Sunday Business & IT, Manila Times, August 1, 2021.)
August 02, 2021
A love that transcends time and space.
I know I haven't posted anything for over a month. Here are some updates in my life and celebrating my son's 28th birth anniversary. Death ended my child’s life but not his relationship with my family. Even if there is no birthday boy to celebrate his 28 th birthday with, I know that a spritual bond exists between us. As I gaze at the lovely flowers I bought at the Market! Market!, I marvel at God’s creation on the beauty of life. It’s good to be alive and to have survived the past 21 years of this grief journey. True, my son might not be around but his memory lives in my heart. We can still celebrate his birth anniversary at home.
July 20, 2021
I will celebrate me
I like looking back to what I wrote back then. Here is an affirmation that I took from my recovery notes: For too long, I have been hard on myself. Others have spilled their negative energy on me. I know it had nothing to do with me. I am a gift to myself and to the Universe . I am a child of God. I do not have to try harder, be better, be perfect, or be anything I am not. My beauty lies in me just as I am each moment. I will celebrate that. I will take time to pause, reflect and rejoice in my accomplishments. For too long, I have listened to admonitions not to feel good about what I have done lest I will fall into the arrogance trap. Celebration is a high form of praise of gratitude to God. To celebrate is to delight in the gift, to show gratitude. Today, I will celebrate the lessons from the past and the love and warmth of friends and family. I will continue to enjoy the beauty of others and their connection to me. I will celebrate all that is in my life and all that is good. I will celebrate me. I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. “Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.” Says Robert Browning
June 15, 2021
A letter to my son in heaven
Dear Luijoe, It’s been 21 years . 21 years today… · without seeing your impish smile, · without receiving wild flowers with a note “I love you so very much, mama” · without your gentle reminder to pray · without your lectures on parenting · without your crazy jokes · without pinching your handsome cheeks These are all vibrant memories now tucked in my heart, which I stitched back together. Oh yes. the tears still stream down my cheeks just like today because I miss you terribly. Love never died, even if you are gone from my embrace. 21 years ago, I felt the world swallowed me up. I thought I could not live with the unbearable, gut-wrenching pain in my heart. At times, I thought I went crazy. I barely survived. I had to find that courage to live because your two sisters and dad needed me. That difficult journey left me literally with a broken heart but not too broken, because why did God give me a second wind in life to make a difference in this mortal world?.....
May 27, 2021
Getting out of my comfort zone
Watching Navillera, this heartwarming K-drama tv series reminds me of getting out of my comfort zone. What more can be inspiring than a 70-year-old grandpa trying to learn ballet despite his age? But it’s not only that, this drama will also teach that age is not just numbers, their age comes with knowledge that is based on years of experience. We are so accustomed to the comforts of “I cannot”, “I do not want to” and “it is too difficult” that we forget to realize when we stop doing things for ourselves and expect others to dance around us, we are not achieving greatness. We have made ourselves weak.” Pandora Poikilos, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
May 18, 2021
Thou shalt not gossip
If I tell my daughters that gossiping is bad, am I right? If psychologists inform me that gossip is inevitable and extremely beneficial, are they right as well? Yes, there is good and bad gossip and we need to distinguish the two. As psychologist James Lynch puts it: “Human dialogue can be a great healer or a great destroyer.” In my opinion, there should be two separate words to connote spreading information in the absence of those about whom we speak. “Gossip” should be reserved for the negative transmission of stories that aim at maligning one’s character, integrity, behavior and essence. “Godspeak” could serve as the term used for dispensing positive, admiring, loving and positive information about others.
May 14, 2021
Today, we celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary.
Today, May 5 is our 36th wedding anniversary, but we were a couple for 7 years before our wedding day. That means 43 years together. But instead of focusing on our wedding anniversary, I want to share the wedding vows of Alma and Mario who share the same wedding date- May 5 with us.  10 years ago, I was honored to be part of their 40th wedding anniversary celebration. We celebrated our Silver anniversary in 2010. Just looking at their photos, one can see that they still look young and very much in love. We have another thing in common. We both lost our beloved child many years ago. It is because of this unspeakable loss of our child that we found each other and co-founded a grief advocacy group in 2005 together with Cathy Babao.
May 05, 2021
Setting boundaries for the plastic or unhealthy persons
A few years ago at Plurk, once my favorite micro-blogging, social networking tool, a plurk  caught my attention: Someone asked civil and plastic what is the diff? Does it annoy you? When you learn someone is plastic? My friend goes further to explain that 1. Civil is being nice and mannered while plastic is brown nosing. Does it annoy me? There are times of course I am only human. 2. Plastic has the element of design or wanting something. You trust less the plastic. Anyway, that is for me. What I found interesting is a Plurk Friend’s response :most people confuse being polite and the social graces with “plastic”. Imagine the following scenario.
May 03, 2021
Practice forgiveness
Forgiveness sets you free from resentment’s confines; it breaks down the walls that anger builds and negativity reinforces. When we forgive, we stop letting our pasts dictate our presents. We acknowledge we want the very best for ourselves; accepting that our past makes us the person we are today, and embracing that. Letting go of resentment doesn’t necessarily lead to forgiveness, but when you embrace forgiveness, resentment ceases to exist. I know that I cannot control what other people do including family members, but I can control how I react.
April 29, 2021
Me time and nurturing myself with Virtual reality meditation
Once upon my early motherhood days, I often deprived myself of nurturing because I found it silly and self-indulgent. Of course, I didn’t know that nurturing is neither silly nor self-indulgent. Years later , after a million mistakes with myself and family members, I found out that nurturing is about how we show love for ourselves. I needed a loving relationship with myself that works so I can have a loving relationship with others that work. I am not where I am today if I didn’t learn to nurture myself. I wouldn’t have a second wind in my marriage if I didn’t have a loving relationship with myself first. How do I nurture myself?
April 26, 2021
The Wounded Bird Syndrome
They say marriage is for better or for worse. Couples try to support and care for each other, through good times and bad. Usually, when one of us hits rock bottom, the other can try to be the mainstay for a little while, to help the other along. But what happens when our child dies? The couple is now cast into the same dark place, struggling with the worst thing they have ever faced. Couples are there together, but they may discover that they are also there alone. Now not all couples in grief experience this dilemma. I believe that marriages with “wounded bird syndrome” suffer the most. What is the “wounded bird syndrome”?
April 24, 2021
Change the way you see happiness
Who says it is too late to redefine your life? I was 48 years old when I made a decision to choose happiness over misery. Ever since I changed my attitude towards life, I have never felt so much joy. Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that I decided to look beyond the tragedy. I now share that happiness with my husband.
April 13, 2021
Five parenting lessons my son taught me
Come to think of it, children are born without baggages. Children are wonderful. It is adults that give them the bad habits. Parents help shape their thoughts and habits in their early years. When I wrote this anecdote, Luijoe was only 4 years old. True, Luijoe was a good boy. It occurred to me that Luijoe taught me a lot about parenting. Luijoe did not mince words when he found something wrong with my parenting style. I am sure most of you have learned some important lessons from your children. I would like to share some of these poignant memories from my son.
April 07, 2021
Easter Sunday reminds me of my beloved son’s thoughts of eternal life
Sometimes I wished I had the power to go back in time and stopped his death. Of course, that is not possible. Those wonderful words he told me weeks before his death is what keeps my faith alive. Luijoe’s words never fail to bring me hope that we will reunite one day. It gives me the courage to put meaning in my life.
April 03, 2021
How my son reminded me about the comfort of St. John the Beloved
A month before my son died, we had our usual prayers before bedtime; he pointed to the picture of St. John the Apostle which was found in his Rosary Prayer book. I explained Jesus told John to take care and comfort his mother when he dies. Luijoe seemed to be touched by St. John and the following nights, he kept repeating the same question and this time he was asking how John was related to Mother Mary. I found that to be a very deep question, and I just said he was one of Jesus’ apostle.
April 02, 2021
A daughter knows best
It was the birthday celebration of my eldest daughter a few days ago. A precious memory of my daughter when she lectured me on my choice of a presidential candidate. Mommies know what is best for their children, but this time, my children knew what is best for them.
March 30, 2021
Dedma or not?
For the sake of diplomatic relations , I practice dedma. Is it being a hypocrite? Let’s look at the definition of dedma 1) To completely ignore/feign ignorance of the existence/presence of someone/something. 2) To snub, reject, or toss in the trash. 3) To pretend deafness or blindness in order to escape a sticky situation. (If you own a podcast, join by using this code "CoffeeBreak".)
March 28, 2021
Being a 70s child
“Being a 70s child & why today’s youth never had it so good” brings back sweet memories of my youth. Hence, I’ve come up with my own version of the 70’s child. (yes I am that old. High School in 1970 We didn’t have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X boxes, video games , cable TV with over 100 channels , VCR’s, surround sound , cellular phones , computers , online chatrooms, Zoom, cubhouse, Twitter, Facebook, Instead we, had… (If you own a podcast, join by using this code "CoffeeBreak".)
March 25, 2021
Good morning from the farm.
Just a brief episode with the chirping birds
March 22, 2021
Do you believe in giving second chances?
It takes two to a marriage. I knew I had to take care of myself first and foremost. I had to give myself a second chance. A second chance to be a more loving wife and mother. A second chance to be more financially independent and a second chance to be a better person. I believe second chances are possible if…. (If you own a podcast, join by using this code "CoffeeBreak".)
March 18, 2021
Simple deeds can outweigh words.
Words, no matter how eloquent have no bearing when they are not accompanied by gestures. In a relationship, words are important but you cannot depend on them alone. Of course, it feels good to hear your significant other say “I love you,” “you mean the world to me,” “I’ll do anything for you,” “you’re my everything” and so on but if that person constantly lets you down and hurt you, then those words may seem ironic. If you own a podcast, join by using this code "CoffeeBreak".
March 14, 2021
60 things I wish I could tell my 19 year old self
My mother died when I was 19 years old. I wished she were around to give me nuggets of wisdom. I ended up praying to my mom asking for guidance whenever I stumbled along the way. Most of the time, I was on my own with the help of my siblings. We often talked among ourselves and try to resolve our challenges. Most importantly, I learned to nurture my inner child.1 I learned the art of loving my inner child after I realized that there were many aspects of my life that were left unresolved. Now that I am older and wiser, I look back and talk to my 19 year old self because it was the year before I met my husband. I guess I would have been a better me, if I knew all this then. For podcasters like myself use the code. "CoffeeBreak" at
March 11, 2021
Beautiful and meaningful affirmations uplift my day
The affirmations of Louise Hay helped me in my grief journey. One way to empower the good is through affirmations which are just simple positive statements. I am glad I found her. Sadly, Louise Hay transitioned on August 30, 2017 of natural causes at age 90. She passed peacefully in her sleep. Her affirmations have helped me so much that I would like to share of few of them here.  If you own a podcast, join by using this code "CoffeeBreak". 
March 10, 2021
Our love story: 43 years with my college sweetheart
You know it is true love when you have gone through the worse moments in marriage and yet survived and make the love even stronger than it ever was. It wasn’t all roses, sweet nothings, and icing on a cake type of relationship. We nearly separated 16 years ago. Grief had overtaken us so much. Our marriage suffered during the first few years after my son died. My husband and I had different ways of coping with our grief. He wanted to talk about Luijoe's death. I preferred to keep quiet and be by myself. This created a distance between us. In 2005, I packed my bags and muttered goodbye . I couldn’t stand him anymore. I wanted a new life without him.  But... Instrumental music of "How Deep is your Love", Beegees, by Matthew Anniss Music How Deep is your Love, Beegees.
March 07, 2021
Life is about creating yourself
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw I caught the George Bernard Shaw quote a few days ago, and it made me reflect back on my life. It is almost 21 years that my son passed away. I do not recognize myself from the person I was in the past. I am more confident. I appreciate myself more. I have a new life, blogging and advocating social change for social good and recently, a budding coffee producer. I am having the time of my life and feeling beautiful, loved and being loving.
March 04, 2021
Death is not the end of love
“Death is the end of life; death is not the end of love.” The lesson that love lives on after death is one that takes time-perhaps years-to appreciate and fully understand. I remember the death of Hazel, the wife of my brother-in-law. She died of covid-19 last July , 30 2020. No longer will this loving woman be able to do the many good things for others that she had done during her life. No more will she sit with her husband at breakfast to plan a day of activities or reflect each evening on the events of the day. No more will she play with her two grandsons and or chill with her two daughters. Now, her loved ones who miss her so much need time to mourn her and adjust to their new lives. Leave me a voice message here. . Your message could end up on a future episode of this podcast if you agree.
March 03, 2021
Take care of yourself
After years of denial, numbing feelings of pain and all sorts of emotions, I finally came true to myself. I learned to take care of myself emotionally through practice and learning new behavioral patterns like. "Acting as if " (see episode 4) I forced myself into positive recovery behaviors, disregarding my doubts and fears, until my feelings caught up with reality. I am still a work in progress, of course.  Leave a voice message here.
March 02, 2021
The power of a praying parent
I am not a very religious person but I believe in prayers. I often drop by this quaint little chapel in Eastwood or the one in Greenbelt. See, my children don’t live with me anymore and I worry as most parents do. My only comfort is in prayers as it lessens my anxiety. My prayers are always for my children: May they be safe, may they be happy, and may they be healthy. Leave me a voice message here.
February 27, 2021
Touched by an Angel 15th blog anniversary
I am at my coffee farm but right now I am recording at Luijoe meadow listening to the birds chirping and recalling the memories of my Luijoe. Today (February 26) is also the 15th anniversary of my blog, Touched by an Angel”. Leave me a voice message here.
February 25, 2021
The gift of laughter
Today is the birth anniversary of my dad. I miss my dad terribly. My dad outlived two of my brothers, my mom and his grandchild, Luijoe. My sister , Myrna believes that dad’s legacy is his example of strength and perseverance to us, the seven children and eighteen grandchildren. I learned by watching him suffer from the ravages of Stroke, that I should never give up on life, and to hold on to every precious moment with my loved ones, fully aware that, like a candle’s flame, life can flicker out in an instant. His laughter just resonated . Enthusiastic, effervescent, so full of life! Leave me a voice message here. . Your message could end up on a future episode of this podcast if you agree.
February 19, 2021
Positive energy, anyone?
I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside.– Wayne Dyer It’s so easy to notice what’s wrong. It takes practice to see what’s right. Sometimes, it can’t be helped that I get my dose of negative vibes but I let it go after a while. I don’t let it destroy me. Each day, I ask myself, what’s right and what’s good about other people, my work, my day and my loved ones. Positive energy heals and transforms. I choose positive energy. I try to maintain a positive frame of mind by surrounding myself with positive energy in my life. I usually add the following elements to my life:
February 18, 2021
We don't "move on" from grief. We move forward with It.
"A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again. Yes, they're going to move forward. But that doesn't mean that they've moved on." Holly Goldberg Sloan said, "For someone grieving moving forward is a challenge because after extreme loss you want to go back." Unfortunately, we still live in a world where grief is a taboo topic. People who don’t outwardly show grief are said to be ‘strong’ and ‘brave’ while those who show and express feelings are spoken of in derogatory terms such as ‘falling apart’ and ‘going to pieces’ or ‘breaking down’ etc. “She’s not moving on”…In reality the latter are the strong ones, as they don’t care what people think of them.
February 16, 2021
Season 1: Have coffee with me
Hello everyone. Have coffee with me. This is Noemi Lardizabal Dado also known as momblogger on social media. It’s my 15th year as a blogger. Though I have been online since 1995, I started my blog ( on February 26, 2006 as an advocacy platform in grief recovery and parenting . This was my new normal . From blogger, to @momblogger, and advocate, I have achieved my now normal, a budding coffee producer. Sit back and relax as I bring topics that cover my past, present and future. Expect topics on grief recovery, parenting, media literacy and coffee. Season 1 will be about grief education and my stories that I posted early on in my grief recovery. For podcasters like myself use the code. "CoffeeBreak" at
February 16, 2021
A stark reminder to cherish our loved ones.
As of February 16, 2021, there have been 2,407,612 deaths because of the coronavirus. Multiply the grief and pain of family members, friends and associates by 2,407,612 .  These deaths are not just numbers. It is also a stark reminder to appreciate loved ones. "Don't live in "what could have been". Love the moments you've had... Some don't even have that much. Live today. You don't know that you have tomorrow." and other replies to the contribution of my brother-in-law to New York Times "Tiny Love Stories".
February 16, 2021
On Valentine's day & loving yourself first
As with the past 43 Valentine’s Day , my husband and I celebrate it at home. We could not spend Christmas Day together except via Zoom so today, we wore our ugly Christmas shirt when I prepared lunch. Never too late to celebrate love and life. If there is anything I have learned in our 43 years of being together, it is loving myself first. Embrace and love all of myself including past, present and future. I forgave myself and as often as necessary; I talk to myself and list down my good points. I constantly work at loving myself.  Leave me a voice message here. . Your message could end up on a future episode of this podcast if you agree.
February 14, 2021
Grieving the loss of a loved one to COVID-19
A death in the family because of Covid-19 is devastating. Hazel, the wife of Sean, my brother-in-law died of COVID-19 in July last year. He found comfort writing letters to his wife on his Facebook page. Sean posts messages  sharing the mundane, happy events of the day; often talking about how the family copes without her. When Sean shared his story to magazine, he says, “I think it's important to connect faces and stories to all the numbers and statistics, so that people will remain aware that COVID-19 causes real and lasting human suffering.” Allow me to share his story and how others can find comfort in writing a journal or other expressions of grief.
February 13, 2021
Acting as if
“Acting as if” is one of my favorite recovery tool that worked for me. By acting as if you are a certain type of person, you become that person, what I call the “As If” principle. To practice the positive, I act as if. It’s a positive form of pretending. It’s a useful tool to use to get ourselves unstuck. For many years after my son died, I isolated from friends. During the rare social gatherings I attended, I forgot how to initiate small talk. I was catatonic, who preferred to be invisible amidst the light banter. I bet my friends or relatives felt they were talking to a blank wall. The only persons I socialized were close family members. I realized the gravity of my people skills when I joined a parent’s group of my daughter’s colllege, and I couldn’t say a word. I knew I needed to wake up from my zombie state.
February 12, 2021
Finding my new normal
Finding my new normal after a loss of a child was something I figured out along the way. Being a blogger in 2006 is my new normal because I would not have blogged about my recovery if I didn’t have my stories of hope. In time, I had the energy and courage to cope with the change. Learning to live a new normal is like learning a new language, a new way of seeing. In a way, I entered a new country. Though the terrain looks very much the same and many of the people are the same people, there is a different light over everything.
February 10, 2021
Touched by my angel
When I look back at my grief journey, the turning point came when I became a blogger. It must have been my angel that touched me that one night. That is why I chose to call my blog, “Touched by an Angel”. Looking at my first post in 2006, I merely wanted to give hope to parents, siblings and grandparents that there is a new normal after a loss of a child. I did not realize that I  would be touched by my own blog. Being a blogger is my new normal. Sharing the changes in my new normal after the death of a child is one way of reaching out to others. I offer hope that life can still continue on despite the pain and that pain is a wonderful teacher. Never in my wildest dream did it occur to me that this new life without my son would open doors to an even more meaningful life. Leave me a voice message here. . Your message could end up on a future episode of this podcast if you agree.
February 09, 2021
Luijoe, our angel
Before I turned to blogging, I wrote my story on Luijoe, My Angel on page 29 of the Fallen Cradle, a book written by parents on the loss of a child. The first few sentences of my story goes this way: “If I die, Mama, will I be alive again?” Luijoe asked. My six-year-old was lying on the bed, flipping through the prayer books piled on his tummy It was Holy Week, a month before that fateful day of May 27, 2000, the day he drowned in a beach resort in Cebu. I turned my body to face his and stroked his cheek. How could I explain the mysteries of death to a little boy? “When we die, Lui, we will live forever, through eternal life in heaven,” I said the lines I’d memorized from the teachings of our Catholic Church. This book paved the way to the positive resolution of my grief journey. During the second blueprint in November 2005, Agnes Prieto invited me to be part of the book. I have never written my loss much less how Luijoe died. Writing Luijoe’s story turned out to be very difficult, often bringing tears as I recalled the painful events. These events were buried deep in my heart and I had to reach out to my innermost feelings. My sister, Myrna L. de Vera helped me a lot with the writing style (Thanks dear sister) and the editing work. Writing Luijoe’s story culimnated into the renewal phase of my grief journey.  Leave me a voice message here. . Your message could end up on a future episode of this podcast if you agree.
February 08, 2021