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‘Tis The Season To Be Grateful


By: Maria Girlie Pascual


This year is a special one for me. This was the year of immense joy, harried lifestyle with work and duty, and a year of reflection and pain. Like the proverbial line from the Forrest Gump movie with Tom Hanks, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’ll get”, such was 2018 for me, a box of assorted treats indeed, some I absolutely loved, others I could not identify the mix of ingredients, whether I liked it or not, and a few pieces, I almost gagged on. When you think you have lived long enough as I have and have reached what we might call as the “midlife”, there were times this year that I felt I absolutely knew nothing.

With my new office in Schaumburg, I was apprehensive at first to leave my former company that I have been with for over 15 years, but when my broker manager retired due to medical conditions, I took it as a sign to move forward with my real estate business, and find another office that will match my vision. Thus, I joined Realty Executives Advance at the beginning of the year and I must say I made the right move. Former and new clients found me, and this has been a banner year for me, and for that I thank my buyers, my sellers, and my family and friends, including my Via Times publication who have helped me exceed my goals this year.

We also moved into a new home in Schaumburg, a bigger, more modern place with soaring vaulted ceilings, wide windows and bathed with natural light. My investment deal with my former place needed to be sold, but thankfully for some great friends, we found this place that is a perfect fit for our needs. Thank you for that, too. Home is now a much sweeter place.

Then there is the heart health issue of my son’s father who lives in Torrance, California. After a harrowing year of uncertainty, multiple tests, a stent surgery and now a brand new defibrillator inside his chest, he seems to be improving slowly but surely, and for that, we are grateful. We want Wolfgang Wildoer around to be a part of the best blessing yet.

Finally, and I did save the best for last, my son Kristoffer Wildoer and his beautiful wife Svienna Sisaleum-Wildoer, just had a handsome and now healthy baby boy a few weeks ago, and he is the best thing, the most delicious piece of chocolate in that box, that God could ever send our family this year.

Kenzo Kristoffer Wildoer was born November 13, 2018 at a tiny 5 pounds, 4 ounces, four weeks early and rearing to meet his parents in Palm Springs. Sure, he gave us a scare, but boy did this little guy fight back! He will be a month old by the time of this publication, and as beautiful and bright as the North Star that will now guide our hearts and minds to assure him of a future that we hope will give him as much happiness as he gives us. He is truly our little Christmas angel.

As for the unwanted pieces in my chocolate box, l just discarded those, focused on the bites that I truly enjoy, and move on. For life will always throw you challenges here and there, but with a lot of thought, guidance from those who truly love and care for you, a whole lot of faith and prayers, everything seems to work out in the end.

Thank you dear readers and friends, family and the Lord up above, we wish you all a blessed Christmas and an even greater year ahead!


Thankful for loyal and “faithful friends who are dear to us, gather near to us” (Froma Christmas song), who share their support, wisdom, encouragement and love with Joe and Veronica Leighton-Mauricio, and Don and Flor Kramer


Thankful for having the gift of being called “Grandma” by this beautiful angel born on November 13, 2018. Merry Christmas to all from Kenzo Kristoffer Wildoer, from our family to yours!


Thankful for my son Kristoffer, his wife Svienna and their new baby boy, my grandson Kenzo Kristoffer Wildoer


Thankful for lifelong friend and mentor of 32 years, Veronica Leighton


Three generations present: Wolfgang Wildoer with son Kristoffer Wolfgang Wildoer and our grandson Kenzo Kristoffer Wildoer


Thankful for my tried and true BFF Dan Gawat, the most fashionable, sweetest and kind human being there is!


Thankful for Fred and Nora Tsai who continue their journey to recovery together.


Thankful for my Manila classmates and good friends who always come up with great things to do when I am there with (Standing L-R) Lilet San Juan-Lavinia, Jovie Galan and Cynthia Martinez, seated with me is Jingay Teotico-Kaimo


Thankful for my son’s friends who are his brothers and sisters, who are there for him and his family.


Thankful for my health advocates, my RN cousin Reyda Roxas and my dear BFF Sonny Madera, both from Los Angeles


Thankful for meeting the Drake Hotel Tea Time ladies, strong,stylish, lovely women who know how to laugh, have a good time and run their own companies. Seated L-R are Eden Olarte, Rose Cordero, Birthday Girl Salvy Madrid-Marino, Mabel Sacay, Tessie Lising, Sue Buniao and Gemma Maroon. Standing behind are Alma Viudez, myself and Elizabeth Regacho

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