Remembering: They’re tearing down my hall

Cats have spirits too

By Eunice Barbara Novio

I received a few messages affirming my feelings towards my cat Max. While reading some notes, I thought I heard his voice calling for attention. My husband said it was just the howling dogs. He never said it’s just in my head. Not anymore.

When Jayson died, I felt his presence many times. He was the only one who would rub his body around my legs while I washed plates or did the laundry. Animals do have spirits. They know how to communicate. They are the first to recognize our feelings which are oftentimes unfelt by humans.

Last night, I cried myself to sleep. I woke up several times, still thinking that Max was sleeping on my pillow. Sara, the elderly cat, knowing that I was sad stayed with me all night. But she did not lick my arms like she is wont to do. Probably, she still smelled Max on my body.

When Max came, Jimi is already a year old, so we were expecting a new baby in the house. I was already planning his life — by May, he would be spayed, given vaccines, and so on. Since he was so tiny, I did not buy a collar yet, but I was planning to buy a shiny red collar for him.

Max left us even before I finished planning what to do with him. He is buried in our garden box. I know, someday, I might see him in some form — as a flower, a vegetable, or even a fruit. And he lives with me as long as I live. Exploring my feelings towards my cats makes me understand deeply attachment, love, death, and life.

Social media has turned us into spontaneous storytellers. Our new feature called “Remembering: Pinoy. Powerful. Personal” is a collection of short essays of memories pushed aside by time and making themselves apparent in the writer’s present. Some of the essays are contributed; others culled from social media posts. To send your essays, email

They’re tearing down my hall

By Cecile Licad

Philam Life auditorium, one of the oldest and best acoustics halls in Manila, will be demolished and supposedly transformed into a big mega mall. How sad that they couldn’t even preserve what’s beautiful. I had made my debut there at 7 years old, and across the street of the hall was the Manila Doctor’s Hospital where I was born.

Many memories there, including me watching and listening to the great Chinese pianist, Fou Ts’ong, when I was 6. I remembered having a bad allergy in my nose that day and sneezed and a German older couple tapped my dad aggressively and got pissed and scolded him, “How dare you bring your daughter to the concert?” Of course, my dad ignored them. Goodbye memories.

NaFFAA continues to update its list of newly elected, re-elected Filipino American officials in 2020. Email for information.

(C) The FilAm 2021

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