Page Title
Editor's corner/ Over a cup of tea
Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the
Year for the State of
Wisconsin (U.S.-SBA)

                     Hot and cold and in-between

     I used to say that Wisconsin suffers from about six months of winter, and that I miss the
almost year-long summer in the tropics. But now that I’m here in Manila, I truly miss the cold
and the cool air of Madison! However, the very hot weather is compensated by the joy of being
with my family.  My grandchildren are in heaven daily, as their grandma spends more time
with them -- playing games, teaching them how to play the piano, treating them to ice cream
parlors, and just watching what they do. When I hear them whisper to my ear, “I love you,
Mama Heidi,” and then receive hug and kisses from them, my world turns the rosiest ever! I
know that when they grow older, they probably won’t like being watched over, so I am taking
advantage of the NOW moment! It’s the kind of warmth I didn’t get the chance to experience in
Madison.
     I visited my Tia Onor and my dad in the town of Santa Cruz, province of Laguna (where I
was born), more than a hundred miles south of Metro Manila early May. I went with my
daughter Sherry and her family, and they saw how my bond with my aunt and dad meant to
me. My Tia Onor has Alzheimer’s disease, and she recognizes no one anymore, but the first
words that came from her lips were, “Ikaw ba si Heidi?” (Are you Heidi?) She barely sees
things and people nowadays, but when she touched my head and arms, she grabbed them
and she started to kiss my hands. My dad, now 83, still is a talker. He updated me with what’s
happening in their little corner of the world, and complained that he could no longer plant
vegetables and take care of hens and pigs because of the extreme heat and that he’s getting
sickly. He was diagnosed with TB last year, and my siblings (in the U.S.) and I are doing all
we can to keep him healthy. My elderly aunt and my dad are two other reasons why I went
back to the Philippines. They needed the warmth that I could personally deliver to them in
their twilight years.
     I continue to work on Asian Wisconzine online and The Capital City Hues’ website daily,
but my “office hours” have changed. I have to sleep early, at around 8 or 9 p.m. (Manila time),
and wake up and start my work at around 2 a.m. Sometimes I get to take a nap at 6 or 7 a.m.,
but that doesn’t happen often, especially when my grandchildren start pouring in. They fill my
day with plenty of “summer activities.” I admit I miss my personal coverage of local events in
Madison area, though. There’s nothing like mingling with diverse people or interviewing them
and taking real great photos and videos of colorful performances! The kind of warm welcome
to me and Asian Wisconzine that is now a thing of the past but an important part of my
memories. I am thankful, though, for the great relationships I developed in Wisconsin and
other places in the U.S. because those real friends helped build and continue Asian
Wisconzine's remarkable local coverage and stories. The kind of warmth that will last a
lifetime.
     Soon I will embark on a new entrepreneurial venture, an Internet Café and a  Photo Studio,
and hopefully, it will provide me with enough resources to start my free computer and writing
classes for poor women and girls in North Fairview, Quezon City. I want to help save some of
them from joining the oldest profession in the world. It is going to be my way of bringing a
different kind of warmth around my neighborhood. Something that pleases the soul.
With my Tia Onor in Santa
Cruz, Laguna (May 3,
2010)