Thursday, October 4, 2007

Champaign-Urbana, ILLINOIS to Laredo, San Antonio and Curpos Christi, Texas

Eric's sisters: Julie and Deni

Pangga and I went to Illinois ( March 29- April 2) in order to attend Jim's funeral service (his elder brother died). A very sad occasion, another story. His sister Deni, had to fly to Illinois from Palo Alto and Jim's kids: Daphne and Stevie Ray were flying from Austin, Texas. Tara (who's pregnant), Jim's oldest child is living in Champaign with her husband Will. They said it's a bit sad to have a family reunion because of a dear one's passing, but they were still happy to see each other.

It has been a long time since Pangga went home. We stayed at Julie's (his older sister) and met the rest of the family. They were so nice and friendly, I'm glad I went with him. I admit I was nervous at first but they made me feel so welcome. I enjoyed touring around Eric's old neighborhood while he recounted his jaunts and mischiefs, hehehe. His sisters couldn't resist showing me his baby photos and were so nice to have it scanned for me, for copies. I would love to go back someday and not because of a sad time, but just to visit and enjoy.

Eric's family in Champaign

L-R: Stevie Ray, Deni, Eric, his mom, Julie, and Jim (poster)
Please click photo to enlarge.

L-R: Mallory (Julie's daughter), Julie, Tara, Daphne, Brooke (Julie's daughter) and me

L-R: Brooke, me and Mallory at their home

Pangga at sister Julie's home

Mike (Julie's husband), Eric's dad "Wick" and Eric

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Began in 1867, chartered as the Illinois Industrial University. Renamed the University of Illinois in 1885, it is one of the original 37 public land-grant institutions created after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862.

The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana (total population 180,000) in east-central Illinois. Situated about 140 miles south of Chicago and 125 miles west of Indianapolis.

Produced nobel laureates and pulitzer prize winners and a member of the BIG TEN in the MidWest.

My man (it was drizzling)

Pangga's apartment when he was in college.

pink magnolias in the campus.

At his dad's place in Philo. Their fishpond was featured in a local calendar for the month of March. The beautiful irises are in full bloom during summer.

Eric's dad,"Wick" with his 1974 model- Corvette

Their dog Sorok, a Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound) Sorok is Russian for woodchuck.


Time to go to Texas and show up because my employer (Laredo Medical Center) wanted me to start working already. It was my first time flying interstate, on my own. I cried hard when I left. It was a difficult time to be separated from my love.

I had two stopovers: Las Vegas and Dallas, Forthworth before finally landing in Laredo. The stopover at Las Vegas was brief but I got to play the slot machines at the lounge for up to $5, hehehe. Rochelle, my housemate would meet me at Laredo airport. I wasn't afraid to fly alone because I'm used to traveling but I was still on guard and anxious. I was careful not to lose my permanent resident ID and my airline tickets.

Laredo is a very small city with a huge land area. It was hotter than the Philippines most of the time, one naive enough couldn't believe he/she is in the U.S. The Mexican border was just blocks away. I never got to go to Mexico like Rochelle, but I've seen the border.

There was a Filipino community of nurses there which helped alleviate the homesickness a bit. But I was missing my man. I never learned to like the place much but I think I matured more for the experience.

Semper (one of my closest friends) and her husband Alex, finally arrived in Laredo. We had the same employer- petitioner. This was on our mini- reunion with our nursing schoolmate, Jane, her husband, Ate Ann and family, Cathy and family.

Laredo Medical Center

Laredo and Mexico Border



(L-R)Rochelle,me,Geraldine,Cathy,Kuya Andy

UTSA’s Institute of Texan Cultures
is San Antonio's cultural experience museum, dedicated to enhancing the understanding of cultural history and its influence upon the people of Texas.

"here be dragons"

inside a jacal hut

Studebaker wagon

I went to Corpus Christi with my friends, Rochelle and Alex last July 15 of this year. This is the USS Lexington, WW II aircraft carrier. You can check it out :

After that we went to the Texas State Aquarium to watch the dolphins. I loved going there. There website is


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