The Core Five: Grandchildren of Fighters


We are the Core Five, the first five grandchildren of Angelina and Diosdado Bulosan. From oldest to youngest, it’s me, my sister Bridget, Hannah, Luke, and Celine. We are grandchildren of dreamers who flew across the Pacific Ocean to live in America. We are grandchildren of small business owners, self-starters, tailors, and hard workers. We are grandchildren lucky enough to have a grandma who (quite literally) fights and has a black belt, and have a grandpa who is currently fighting for his life as we speak.

(Sidenote: We’re not the only five not-so-little-ones anymore. We have another six in the next generation after us.)


Family Situation

I briefly mentioned my grandpa in my last blog, and I’ve been very quiet about it in online. But now feels like the right time to explain because we finally got good news that my grandpa is responding. It’s an uphill battle from here, but I’m staying hopeful.

So, what happened? Last Monday, on January 22 — on my grandma Angelina’s birthday — my grandfather (let’s call him “Papa Dado” because that’s what I know him as) had a stroke at home in Hawaii. It was a text from my sister and mom. Monday was a blur.

My parents and Nick immediately booked the next flight to our hometown, and Mark and I drove them to the airport.

Tuesday to Friday, were endless amounts of family group texts about how papa is doing, how he wasn’t waking up, how he needs all these surgeries, and how much damage the stroke caused in his brain. I struggled and tried to figure out my finances to go to Hawaii and be with my family, but ended up not going because of work, time, and money.

Work allowed me take whatever time I needed, but I didn’t take them up on the offer because I know I’ve been out of work for too many days in December. Especially when Mark and I got married, my father-in-law was in the hospital, and Mark’s grandma passed away. It just wasn’t the right time to up and leave again, so I held on to the thought that my Papa Dado would have wanted me to stay and secure my position at work. Lastly, even if I wanted to go, I just had a wedding… so I couldn’t find the means (aka money) to buy last-minute tickets.

It was very hard for me to accept that I couldn’t be with my papa, so as a coping mechanism, this whole week I just buried myself in work and tried to help Bridget with babysitting Jenelle as much as I could.


He moved his hand.

Today, I got the latest news about my grandpa from my dad when he texted, “Papa moved his hand when I cam in and started talking to him.” HE MOVED. Now knowing the situation, you can imagine how much shock and relief I felt.

I dread every single day away from my grandpa while he lays in the hospital (unknown what will happen).

Then, quickly after the text, I received a video from my dad and it was of Aunty Donah, holding my grandpa’s hand… I cried… Aunty Donah continued on reminding him of his situation — You had a stroke papa, and comforted him, I know you’re there papa… You’re moving again papa… and she continued to hold his hand while he blinked and had tears in his eyes… I know you’re there… thank you for staying around for us. And I cried some more. I’m glad I worked from home today because I would have been a mess in the office.



We love you mama and papa.

Luke and Celine are able to be with you in Hawaii right now because they live there, but know that Bridget, Hannah, and I are working hard to continue your legacy after all that you’ve both sacrificed for your family to make sure we have the luxuries and blessings we have today.

I pray that today’s news about Papa Dado is just the beginning of his recovery. It’s during times like this that I am so grateful to have so many memories with my grandparents growing up.


full of gratitude 💙

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I write about anything that comes to mind. I follow my neverending bucketlist to the corners of the world. I live by the motto to "study and live in all forms of culture".

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