My SALUTE to a great BEING of ESSENCE-Melanie

Judith Cabradilla Bacarro

April 15, 2020

<3 <3 A Birthday Tribute <3 <3

Long live a dear Being of Love & Light
Melanie Gastar Gatchalian who has entered her golden years with blissful ease & grace.

Let me honor you this way with the little yet valuable memories I have in my memory bank.

I see Melanie as an embodiment of a heart-warming catchphrase-

The highs & lows, the gains and pains of her journey have served as great building blocks of what she has become today.

It was in the 80’s when I personally came to know Melanie, so sweet, very humble & gentle in spirit with a beautiful & generous heart.

She used to be a working student in the then office of the incumbent president of a big university in Davao City. There she learned the ins & outs of office work.

Besides, she also served as a young church worker & secretary.

Wherever she is & whatever her hands touches, she always exudes a life of dedication & commitment. May it be small or big tasks, her work ethic is simply commendable.

In her walk with the Source & Creator, she would literally hear essential guidance in her life. One was having heard/known the person she was going to marry long before they were connected. Such revelation went thru some periods of tests though but eventually came to reality.

My late hubby & me, together with many others witnessed such fulfillment during her wedding with Roger.

They’re blessed with two offsprings while we have four. We lived next to each other in three places, twice in Ma-a & once in an apartment in GSIS, Matina.

Our lives with our children have been intertwined over the years. Both our husbands were part of the leadership in a para-church organization that we had collectively created.

Together with other friends and church leaders, we had gone to various places during the growing up years of our children, simply enjoying the blessing of working & living together in unity, friendship & camaraderie.

I have always admired her ways of being a great wife to being a doting mom of two & a very organized housewife, worker/employee.

I learned how to cook pansit thru her. We both love to indulge in eating boiled banana with ginamos (anchovies), root crops, fruits & veggies.
Melanie’s leche flan is simply beyond compare.

Her loving & generous heart always welcomes everyone in their place.

But just as nothing is permanent in life, our connection was severed by circumstances as they moved to the south.

Living & working in the south had served as her springboard to have worked & toured in countries outside the Philippines.

Since then, we never had the chance to see nor talk to each other.

Yes, for a period of long years, there’s no communication between our families until that time when I dreamt of talking to her on a very happy & light note. Days or a week after that dream, she invited me on FB.

The universe orchestrated for such a remarkable time of our REconnection.

It was in year 2011 that they visited us in our home in Jade Valley. Such was an unforgettable night of having dinner together…again, something that we missed doing over the years. Indulging the very sweet durian they brought made our togetherness warmer as we recalled & relived our fun and happy times of yesteryears.

On the same year, she took part in the pursuit of my doctorate education.
Before leaving again for DXB, she gave the four of us from Southpoint School, a hearty dinner treat after our post graduate Graduation Day in Cebu City.

It was great to have learned of her whereabouts, travels & achievements.

I can always resonate with her life of relentless pursuit to keep the family afloat.

Her desire to have her daughter stay with her for several years in Dubai was granted. Mel was also instrumental (thru her network of connections) for our son’s finding a job in Dubai.

It was in year 2016 that our connection was more strengthened & deepened by the union in marriage of our own children.

We were more than blessed to have her former boss & our spiritual father- Tay Ernie Abella to officiate the said wedding.

Days after the wedding, we had real fun while together in Singapore – with the newlyweds.

After almost two years, we were blessed by our apo, their first grandchild, and the first princess in our family.

In year 2018, during the illness of my hubby, she was also there regardless of distance, lending a helping hand.

When her own dad-Dadang was confined (shortly ahead) in the same hospital where my hubby was, Mel jokingly remarked-“pati sa hospital, silingan gihapon!” (We remain neighbors even in the hospital where her mom & I shared on whatever stuff we had at hand).

Even the transition of my husband in year 2018 & her father was just five days apart, such connectedness.

Upon coming back to UAE last year (til the time of writing this blog) for my long vacation, I got the chance again & again, whenever we are with them during weekends, to enjoy her warmth & hospitality & her yummy-healthilicious dishes, especially fish &/or shells with veggies soup.

Mel’s established faith in the world of Christendom has given her a steady & strong foundation as she evolved in the world of Yoga. During her yoga-learning stage, her friends and instructors had seen so much potential in her.


True enough, long before she realized it, she has then become one of the sought-after yoga instructors in a number of gyms in Dubai. Her yoga students love her as her yoga practices bring them to the Core of their being.

She unceasingly widens & deepens her spiritual & physical stability as she continually learns through online classes and personal readings and practices.

In terms of travels, I never thought that we could be together again in another country.

We were then in Armenia two months ago where we enjoyed our children & our princess. Her stamina in trekking Sevanavank, a monastery hundreds of feet above Lake Sevan was amazing as she did it effortlessly in the midst of the -7 temperature with snow around us.

In Tsaghkadzor, a ski resort in Armenia, her yoga stints and poses on the snowy ground before the sun added beauty & warmth to the place.

She made me play with the snow (my first experience in doing it) & took several photos. The child in me simply enjoyed such time.

She was my cableride partner in our going down from the mountain ski resort. We both realized that the sight in going down is far more beautiful than the going up as the whole panoramic view was laid right before our very eyes.

Upon coming back to Dxb from Armenia, she invited me to join the XYoga Dubai where more than a hundred ladies & some men of different nationalities gathered around at Kite Beach.

We were led by a young & beautiful yogi from Australia. Her cheerful, agile and graceful moves won the hearts of many including me.

I told Mel that it was a miracle for me to have survived the 5 hours under the heat of the sun with an empty stomach except for water that they provided.

Intentions are indeed powerful- it makes one transcend circumstances.

In our Covid-19 lockdown in Abu Dhabi (starting in March 2020 til the writing of this blog), we take time to meditate with the family. We even joined the Global Meditation last April 5, 2020 along with the mIllion others across the globe. I am more than happy of how our bond has blossomed & reached this far.

Mel enthusiastically & unselfishly shares her yoga expertise during our yoga sessions. Her physical stamina encourages us to join her in work out times. Our sessions with her are reinvigorating-boosting our immune system.

Her zeal for physical activities made her join and win in several 10kms & up Funruns.

Her boisterous laughter is contagious & as inspiring as her physical stamina.

Her life may be far from perfect but her joy & zest for life inspires those that are in her circle, near or far.

Mel is such a loving daughter to her parents (one proof was when she successfully executed well, with the help of other family members, her plans during the 50th Wedding Anniversary of her parents, several years ago); a supportive wife to Roger despite their physical distance, a loving mom, a creative & agile grandmom to her first granddaughter, a warm & caring sister & friend, a trusted Executive Administrator in her company, a sought-after yoga instructress in Dubai. For sure her other friends can add more to this list.

She has greatly evolved into the woman that she has become-realizing her dreams & living her life purpose.

To a woman of honor, valor and stature
have a blessed ‘8th’ (5+3=8) BIRTHDAY!

“The Lord bless you & keep you
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you
The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you
And give you PEACE both now & forever more!”

Got this old yet so alive song for you

“You have a destiny
And I know you shall fulfill
You have a destiny in that city on a hill
You have a destiny
And it’s not an empty wish for I know

May you see your dreams coming to pass as you continue to live your life purpose.

Much Love & Appreciation for your MGG-Magnanimous & Gorgeously Gregarious life!


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  1. Abbi Naling

    WOW! Awesome!


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