I knew his name- yes, I was so sure of his name-Josiah- my 3rd son is coming!
That was two years before conceiving him. So the moment I learned of my conception in 1991, I exclaimed that am gonna have Josiah!-a name after the Youngest King in the Book of books.
Josh was months old in my womb & his two older brothers were of school age. I would at times literally bring them to and from school especially if hubby wasn’t around. I had the best exercise in going down and up the 2nd level of the apartment we lived in. Walking to & from their school was better as riding a tricycle was more dangerous due to the crookedness of the road.
Josh came out “smoothly’ (as I was well-exercised) on the eve of June 27, 1992. “He’s such a tisoy!” Exclaimed my Ob-gyne-Ninang Coring Bacacao. His hair was blonde- like his dad’s, skin so fair and face so lovely.
His yaya Yonie would proudly dress Josh up several times early morning & shout at the top of her voice to the occupants of the the ten-door apartment in GSIS of how ‘pogi & tisoy’ is her alaga.
Wish to have his childhood photos but floodwaters ruined them.
In Josh’s growing up years, he literally went thru times where his personal-heroic skills were tested. He was more than 2 years-old when daddy placed him at the front seat of the Cimmaron (service vehicle he was using). Dad left him on the seat as he went down the nearest pharmacy to buy medicines. Little did he know that a huge ten-wheeler truck driver lost control of the brakes & unintentionally bumped onto the parked Cimarron by the parking space at the road side in Matina Highway.
To hubby & everyone’s surprise, Josh was on the front floor of the vehicle, unhurt, no damages on the cimarron but the truck had several damages and dents. The bystanders shouted “Hala, and bata, walay tatsa! (Oh my, the kid’s untouched, not harmed-no bruises)
Another time was when dad brought me to the market tagging along our 6 year-old Josh. On their way home as they turned a corner, the front-passenger door swung wide open & off went Josh-clinging to the car’s door with his water flask hanging on his shoulder. He remained unharmed-holding onto the door for several minutes before the car came to a forced-stop..
On his first year in formal school, he went straight to K2 due to his age, without going thru Nursery & K1. He was so brave that he would like to go to & from school on a bus by himself. Of course, we didn’t allow him as he would cross the busy street of Buhangin. He almost didn’t make it thru that school year due to a more or less two months of absence caused by some prevailing physical condition. I was back to school then & it was a challenge for me to fully take care of him & his younger brother. I appreciate Cecile, our helper then who took care of my two younger boys while I was back to school for my second course.
I remember one early afternoon as I left for school, I didn’t bother to say goodbye to Josh & Joseph, his younger brother lest they would cry but upon seeing that I was already in a tricycle, he run after us, crying so hard. I felt my heart crashed. (When he reached college, I reminded him of such incident & asked him if there’s still pain in his heart on the said incident. His ready answer was, “I am more than grateful Mom that you pursued your studies as you have greatly helped dad in sending the four of us, especially in college. I sighed with great relief & happiness.)
As we transferred Josh to Southpoint School, his first outstanding feat was in the field of Chess. His Daddy Orville was his first coach at the age of four (4).
So at six years old, a Kindergarten 2 pupil, he was laughed at when his contenders learned his age & grade level. Surprisingly, after an intense time, to everyone’s shock & disbelief, Josh defeated the Grade 6 student (the reigning champion from other school) & eventually came up as Champion during the PRISAAD inter-school Chess competition. I can’t believe my eyes as I saw students, teachers & administrators giving him a standing ovation, applauding him with much joy & excitement. He indeed waved high the banner of SPS.
Josh finished Kindergarten as Gold Medalist. Thanks to Mm. Marlybeth Zafra for all the learning & for believing in him.
The following year, still in chess games, the champ in another school had a literal loose bowel movement (lbm) as explained by his mom, the reason why they were late during the competition. The lbm was caused by the stress & pressure of her son upon knowing that Josh was his opponent, the defending champion.
It was a close fight that Josh had to stand to see how the game was going. At his young age, he ‘coached’ his opponent (to our dismay) that made Josh end on second place. In a way, he sacrificed his win by ‘helping’ his opponent. Everybody knew that he would have ended as champ had he not done the ‘coaching’ thing.
Early on, he was exposed to different chess games, even with adults. Once he was brought by his Uncle Lemuel in AdDU & Josh’s skills in chess were observed by his uncle’s classmates as noticeably remarkable. James Infiesto, a great Magician, Chess Mentor & Master here & abroad saw so much of himself in Josh that he advised us to give the young Josh a coach. Much to our regret as we were not able to follow such notable advice due to other priorities.
Josh was a consistent Honor Student then. It was remarkable (first in the history of Southpoint) for a HS graduating student to CHAMP in two Barangay Maa Competitions- in Chess and Poster Making.
In High School, he also won in a Songwriting Composition, a choir member & an an Awardee in Thesis Writing.
In College, he fortunately became a member of the UMChorale & his scholarship had greatly helped him finish his tertiary journey as our family went on multi-faceted crises.
He was part of a cover of the university’ Primum, their regular School Publication.
During his senior year, his heartbreaking love experience compelled him to join the 2nd University Film Fest. As he consulted me of his desire to join, i readily said “No” as I was more concerned of his health. He insisted of joining & promised to make it as his own legacy.
True enough, after all the sleepless nights in the midst of complying all his requirements for graduation & the nerve-wracking flood in our area, he succeeded.
Josh’s written & directed film- YOU WERE MINE bagged the following awards: Movie of the Year; Director of the Year; Best Cinematography & Best Production Design. It was a great collaboration of the cast and his younger brother’s special participation. He was also mentored by his older brother. His sleepless nights truly paid off.
Credits also to his early learning in film making during his HS days in SPS.
Consequently, he was given the chance to make a video for the University of Mindanao Hym together with his team. The said video has been used by the different departments of the university during programs.
Another door was opened to him on the same year. Josh’s Film- YOU WERE MINE bagged again the Best Film (Box Office); Best Cinematography & Best Actor awards during he First Kabataan ng Mindanaw Indie Filmfest where the said film along with other contending films were shown @ the NCCC Cinemas on May 11, 2013.
One fine night on the same year, while we were looking for his graduation needs, I was excitedly (reluctantly as well due to priorities) fitting a pink footwear that would match my dress for his graduation. I was tongue-tied & speechless when he said, “Kunin mo na yan Mom (you may have it mom & I will pay for it). I can’t seem to believe what I’d heard. Was more than happy and proud to have worn it during his college graduation.
His love for film making was more enhanced as he was able to personally meet a renowned film maker, Brillante Mendoza who came to visit Davao.
The following year 2014, after his college graduation, he requested me to accompany them to Singapore as he desired to work in Dubai. I was a bit hesitant at first but his persistence made me say ‘Yes.’
It was my second time to visit SG so we had a smooth Immigration process in Cebu. Thanks to my Inaanak sa kasal—Richard & Joan for accommodating us for several nights in SG. Their warmth & hospitality made us feel so much at home. We were more than grateful for great times of visiting the magnificent Singapore in all its splendor courtesy of the generous couple R&J.
I cannot forget the feelings I had when Josh (who wasn’t feeing so well) brought me to SG airport for my flight back to Cebu. It was very fulfilling to know that he was able to make it thru the subways, the going up & down several train stations, & back to our hosts’ house…his first time on a foreign land. He assured me of his safety & his will to do it made him succeed.
I can hardly contain my mixed emotions as I reached Cebu at dawn. I was crying the whole duration of my flight from Cebu to Davao—such inexplicable feeling of a mom, leaving her son in a foreign land for the first time…going to another foreign land.
Josh experienced some good, rough, tough & excruciating times but with the help and blessings of the Almighty thru our prayers, the help of our beloved ones in Dubai & Davao, he was able to come out from another disheartening episode in his life.
It had made him a better and stronger person then…like a tree trunk that cracks & breaks when new twigs & leaves come out.
Josh has always been creative & full of surprises. His homecoming to Davao (after almost two years in UAE) was one beautiful night I wont ever forget.
It was SPS’s Founding Anniversary & I was in the middle of giving the awards when he went up the stage. I thought I was just seeing one of our students as I didn’t recognize him with his cap. After a while, I blurted in ecstatic happiness as I saw him bringing a bouquet of flowers. With tears of joy I shouted “My son is here, Josh is back!” He gave me a gift of a new phone.
His coming home was for his older brother’s wedding that month of December.
By then, he joined again his younger brother in the field of videography. He was actually the one who started the said venture & left it to his trusted younger brother, who, eventually has expanded such skill.
His late dad taught him driving lessons. June 2017 was his first long-distance driving. We were on our way home from a 4-day visit in CdO when Josh tried to overtake a ten-wheeler truck without noticing the rushing van at our right. We were almost ‘sandwiched’ by the truck & the van but Josh’s hands were so quick to escape from a sure fatal accident. With much gratitude for our safety, right there & then I sang “Gratitude before me, gratitude within me…” & exclaimed “CONGRATULATIONS Josh for passing a very difficult test!”
That was indeed a MIRACLE! We breathed our THANKSGIVING to the Almighty for having saved us.
In year 2018, Josh & his two brothers took turns in taking care of their ailing dad. It was so challenging especially while I was away for a month. Lifting daddy in his wheelchair in going down & up the 3rd level in the apartment we were living in was more than I can bear. But the three of them endured until we transferred to a house on the ground.
How would I ever forget that day when dad asked to be brought to the sea. Wish granted as Josh consequently drove us to Azuela Cove in Lanang with Leah, hubby’s cousin (who served him wholeheartedly).
Josh brought us to Sea Green where dad had his last dinner with us.
Due to busyness in their craft, I told Josh to let daddy feel more & more his presence as his days are numbered.
Unexpectedly the following day, while Josh was working at their office, I called him as dad was no longer moving. The sight of Josh carrying his surprisingly ‘heavy’ dad pierced my heart, it made me pray more. Josh was literally bending, hardly able to carry his dad. Josh drove us to three hospitals as there was no vacant private room in the first two.
We were then told by the doctors that dad had a stroke. That explained his extra heaviness.
Dad must be more than grateful for your gesture of love for him before he transitioned.
On a lighter note, fast forward to year 2019, Josh was with us in Cebu to attend the wedding of his cousin.
We enjoyed our short visit to Cebu as we were brought by Mano Norman & Mana Tita to Simala, Cebu, a notable place of himala (miracles)
Another chapter in his life unfolded.
His proposal to Elisha was well planned during his 27th birthday last year. It was such a momentous time. I still looked for their matching outfit in Bali, during our trip- with the help of Joseph’s Lyza.
Thanks to Mm. Au Veloso for allowing Josh to come up with a little ex-deal to promote their family-owned Balibali Resort in Samal, giving us a good discount. ‘Twas a beautiful intimate time in a Bali-inspired place with great crew & delectable food shared by the family.
Speaking of Elisha, it was in April 2018 that I first met her at the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi together with James, Hannah & Keona.
On the other hand, Daddy Orville met her for the first & last time in January, 2018 @ ODS Production office before we left for Boracay.
Josh & Elisha’s wedding’s heaven sent thru favors given to Mads Grace/Bebs. God has blessed them with the right people at the right time to guide and light their way.
As we were looking for a venue, it was so timely as Dunom Dei (means Gift of God in French) Restaurant offered it to us. Thanks to their Ninang Dolly for introducing me to the owner. It was the restaurant’s first time to cater to an intimate wedding reception in their newly-opened extension.
The blessing of the heavy downpour came during the reception. Just as it was a bit risky for Elisha & her mom to go home, again, Josh has proven his audacity & courage as he plunged himself in floodwaters to singlehandedly save some stuff in the house of his in-laws. Such a test of dedication, commitment, patience & stamina on his wedding day.
For several times, Josh has passed life’s tests with flying colors.
Josh’s marriage with Elisha has been blessed with our Crowning Glory Baby-Jezziah Lusha. In the midst of a global pandemic, Baby Lusha reminds us that there LIFE thrives in the midst of adversity & crisis. She is indeed a Gift of God (Donum Dei). This pandemic allowed Josh & Elisha to give their full time & attention especially in her first three months.
Daddy Orville may not have seen Lusha in the physical realm but for sure, he is more than happy watching over her in Heaven.
Josh’s first Father’s Day on June 21, 2020, also a Solstice & a Solar Eclipse is such a momentous day for his Pilot Episode, his channel & FB Page- SUIT UP DADDY www.facebook.com/suitupdaddy.
Happy that Baby Jezziah chose you as her father. I know it takes a lot of love, patience, courage & stamina to become a father.
Josh’s humor & creativity is simply adorable.
As you celebrate your 28th birthday Josh, know that your Kingship is at work & on process. Your Heavenly Father continues to fulfill His purposes in your life.
I am more than happy and proud of you anak as you continue to surmount the hills & mountains of tests that have come your way.
With the help of your loving wife Elisha & supportive parents-in-law, Mads Maria Grace & Pads Edmund & your brothers & all of us, you are unfolding the very purposes of your life.
As you have learned to lay down the past, new things are coming to you. There is nothing that God cannot REstore.
There is nothing that the SOURCE withIN YOU cannot do.
As you continue to create, you realize that things are coming to pass.
I LOVE YOU ANAK, always, my dear Sweet & Adorable JOSIAH <3