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Archive for the ‘silence speaks’ Category


We are all on the alert. Every time there is a storm signal here in Metro Manila, I feel so insecure. There was a time when I used to appreciate the rain when it gently pours and makes the green countryside even greener and fresher. Our experience with typhoon Ondoy almost five years ago changed all that.  Glenda is the seventh storm signal this year. Most of the provinces in Luzon are affected by this latest weather disturbance, we are under storm signal number 2. I am praying it won’t bring so much rain that would cause flash flood in Metro Manila.

There is this quote that I’ve often read and pondered about  for a long time now and it was even made into a lot of internet meme. It’s from Vivian Green (sorry, I don’t know  much about her except through this quote)  and it says:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Yesterday, I celebrated my 5th year in remission.  It’s really one good reason to celebrate and to offer it in thanksgiving . I thank God for all the blessings and graces. As I’ve always said in my previous blog posts, this blog exists because I wanted to share my journey as a cancer patient/survivor. The first two years of this blog were almost about my everyday experiences going to and from the hospital, weekly lab tests and the pain and anguish of having to undergo chemotherapy every three weeks. Miracles do happen in our everyday life and it is always a blessing to wake up each morning seeing the sun and the day’s unfolding. We are richly blessed by the love and care of family and friends, just sometimes, we forget to appreciate what we have and take everything for granted. I am always of the thought that life is one lovely journey despite the odds and the pain it brings us now and then. I am looking forward to a new day despite the storm.  I love this beautiful quote from the late Maya Angelou.

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caleruera3

The silence is deafening,

except for the ticking of the clock

that seems so loud in my ears.

I wonder what tomorrow brings.

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I set my alarm clock at 4am but I was  awake long before I pressed the snooze button. It’s Monday and my son and I were supposed to have our car registered at the LTO. Mondays are his rest days so we thought of going there early so as to avoid the long queue of cars with plates ending in 7.  It was raining though and I don’t want my son driving in the rain with traffic to boot. Typhoon Florita (internationally named Neugori) was upgraded to a super typhoon. Though it is still in the Philippine area of responsibility  and it won’t likely make a landfall, it is bringing monsoon rains in several places.

By the way, I would love to thank those new online friends who are now following me here. I know, 793 followers are not much to other bloggers’ standards  but then I am so lucky and grateful that they read my blog. Right now, my stats are blooming  registering a high 270,981 visits. That’s a feat if you ask me.  I am always conscious of  the fact that I nearly consumed two-thirds of the allowed 3.072MB limits. I used to post high-resolution photos in my earlier blog entries but then I realized that it would easily eat up my allowed free limits so I opened a new blog for my photos two years ago, I think. Of course I don’t expect that it will gather as many followers and visits like this main page but at least I get to see my macro shots in full. If you have time, you can visit it here. I am reviewing some of my earlier posts and trying to adjust the photos to at least medium sizes.

Every week, my daughter makes it a point that I get to talk to my grandson Nate over the phone. Although Nissa and I get in touch every day, I only get to hear Nate’s voice over the weekends. We see each other once a month, they come over so we could catch up on things. Sometimes, I laugh at the things Nissa shares in her messages. Yesterday, she texted that at Nate’s age, he is really a smart little boy. She told Nate, “Mommy will make you milk, ok” and he answered “ok”. I laughed when I read it and I missed him all the more. Last night, I got to talk to him for about a minute. Nissa told me that  when he saw my picture on Nissa’s phone, he said, “Nonna, Nonna”. I love it that he always responds to the non-stop “I love you” although sometimes he could not pronounce it yet correctly. He is a year and seven months old now, that stage where he listens to every word you say and try to imitate it.

It’s still a little dark outside. I’d love to take a few shots of the rain droplets at the garden.  What a cold morning and the drizzle has not stopped yet. Good morning :)

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It’s been a while. I know, I know, I was beaten by the lazy bug, a perfect excuse being not able to visit WordPress for a while. I really miss blogging. For the past seven or six years, I’ve shared my thoughts and reflections  online, from Friendster to Multiply to WordPress. Some friends are urging me to open an account at Pinterest, what for, I am happy with blogging at WordPress. I feel that even if I am sharing myself with the world in this medium, I can still maintain my privacy and the growing friends that I have here respect each other’s thoughts and ramblings. We may differ in a lot of things but we have the same quest for self-fulfillment and happiness. Blogging is like  a favorite chocolate brand that you seek now and then.

We’ve heard of the adage, into each life some rain must fall and we always interpret it as problems we need to overcome. When we think of it positively, we could say, those drops of rain that sometimes drown us  could be a series of blessing that we should be grateful for. The sun always shines after the rain, right? There are moments though when one feels the weight of the world on one’s shoulder and you feel helpless and afraid.  I remember, sometimes too vividly, the hurts and the pains of the past but I’d rather not dwell on that feeling for long. I let myself cry when I am alone, I let myself reminisce about the happy times but that is all there is to it, reminiscing and letting the tears flow silently for a while. I met a friend the other day and we had quite a long chat about life.  I told her about my struggles with my health almost five years ago, the pain of chemotherapy, the  worrisome kidney bypass a year later  and everything that came after that. She said I am so strong to have endured all of it and I answered back that I have to be for the sake of my kids and for my health.  It’s hard to let go I know but that is how life is. We cling to our faith and pray that we will be strong enough to face and carry our own crosses  in life. Sometimes though, we are in a hurry making a life that we forget to live.

It is my son’s 30th birthday today, something more to be thankful for – celebrating the gift of life and the gift of motherhood. I think this is one of those rare times that he spent his birthday away from home enjoying  the falls of Majayjay. I am getting old. Having grown-up children allows you to comfort yourself with the pleasant memories of their childhood, cherished thoughts of their growing up years, their own pain of chasing their dreams, finding their own niche under the sun and building their own treasures of good memories.

This afternoon, I heard my grandson over the phone  said “hi Nonna” and that was enough. I smiled, thinking happy thoughts about my family.

 

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Originally posted on Our Precious Bundle of Joy:

I am back, after a long, long absence from this blog. Our baby has grown, he will be turning one year and seven months in a week’s time. The days are definitely moving so fast.

Yesterday, we had lunch at Gumbo, an American style restaurant much like our favorite Burgoo. I had a grand time bonding with my super, super “kulit apo”. Take that to lovingly mean, he was curious about everything, repeating words that he hears even to the point of calling his dad “honey” after hearing his mom call him that way.  I say, he is a great explorer now. I took pictures and some of them made me laugh.

Tender moments between father and child.

Tender moments between father and child.

The favorite ninong, there is never a dull moment when the two of them are together.

The favorite ninong, there is never a dull moment when the two of them are together.

Camera shy?  No, he is not. He is just being playful . That's a typical Nate smile. Camera shy? No, he is not. He is just being playful . That’s a typical Nate…

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The monsoon  rains woke me up. For some strange reasons, I could not sleep last night and here I am, wide awake after just a few hours of sleep. The past week has been a little busy, busier than most actually but at least our little garden is looking like a proper garden now. Except for the vacant space outside our fence which still needs to be cleaned of growing weeds and whatnot, our carabao grass is now properly trimmed, my lone gardenia shrub has been deadheaded of dried flowers that sprouted the previous month.  I repositioned some of my Amazon lilies in a partly shaded area under our two lime trees.  Such is the backbreaking job of a gardener but a fulfilling one too.

As usual, I’ve been able to catch up on my ever-growing fascination for making bracelets out of loom bands. A friend asked what will I do will all those colorful bracelets. Well, I enjoy looking at them in the first place and son says, it is really a good way to unwind. True, sometimes though, the design is a little complicated, you miss something in between and you have to repeat it all over again. Another friend said she enjoys looking at the colorful bracelets that I post on my timeline and she even suggested that I buy my supplies near their place where the loom bands are cheaper than buying them in malls. Why not, it is just a 15-minute jeepney ride from our place.

Last Sunday, I had a chance to talk to my grandson over the phone and I say, time flies, really! He can clearly utter, “Hi Nonna” now. He has learned so many words since the last time we saw him. I am impressed with Nissa’s desire to teach him  everything. At eighteen months, he already knows a lot which reminds me, they went out to dinner last Sunday and Nissa sent me some pictures of Nate and another boy, a little older maybe, hugging  each other. Long lost friends? Nah, they were just at the next table where my son-in law, Nissa and Nate dined. Children have that natural inclination to be affectionate. Nate has the habit too of waving his hands at the wait staff of any food establishment that they go to.

The joys of everyday things.

The joys of everyday things.

It’s a glorious morning, the sun is up and my plants are happy  being drenched early from the rain. Hooray, this is my 1,450th post.

 

 

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Except for the incident of the dogs (a ten-round boxing game), life has been quiet the past week. I am trying to avoid the intense heat of the sun so I only stay in the garden early in the morning before the sun is up. Grass trimming has been postponed again. Come to think of it, I haven’t even taken a single shot with  my camera the past days. The weather bureau says we still have at least two more weeks of summer before the rainy season sets in. We have thunderstorms though almost every afternoon.

I still feel a little  lethargic at times – those moments when all you want to do is sleep but you can’t, those moments when you want to read but the words dance in your eyes, those times when you want to prepare a good meal but so lazy to stay in front of the hot stove for long. I must really be growing old, feeling the pains of aching joints and such. I hate to think that this is still the effect of the exhaustive chemotherapy sessions I went through almost five years ago.  The residue of the toxic chemicals is still in my system and when my immune system is low, I easily get tired.  No matter how you try to avoid stress in your life, it is always there.

I have this sudden vision of going far off to a place where I could really, really unwind, without thinking of the daily home rituals that one has to do. Just being in a place where you can still hear crickets  and still see fireflies on a dark  night must really be heaven. Just being in a place where you can enjoy nature at its best, feel the running water on your feet and eat when you feel like it. Such a charmed life I know but maybe, it is still possible, don’t you think?

Life comes with a lot of baggage sometimes but it is up to us to lighten the load and enjoy the journey with a lot less on our shoulders. Life comes with problems that are sometimes insurmountable you would not even know the beginning and the end. Life comes sometimes with lots of tears and laughter. I’d like to believe though that this is just another chapter in my life, I just have to turn the page to change the scene.

A big congratulations to my son-in-law who has just been newly promoted as Senior Manager two weeks ago. I am so proud of him, he really deserves it.

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The family  celebrated Mother’s Day today, a day earlier than May 11. We decided to meet at SM Megamall for lunch. Another day worth-remembering. One thing that highlights  the day is of course Nate’s presence. The moment he saw us, he let his dad undo the strap of  his stroller and let Josef carry him along. There is a special affinity between the “magninong” (that’s a Tagalog word for godparent) even if they don’t see each other often.  He can pronounce Nonna clearly now and I was so glad when he took my hand and planted a loud kiss on my face.  Nissa said he learned new words in the three weeks that I haven’t seen him.

We opted to dine at the newly opened wing of SM  Megamall. The Mega Fashion Hall  is the new high-end extension of the mall. It houses several restaurants and other international clothing brands. The set-up is somehow similar to the Ayala Malls. Aside from the more popular Vikings, there is another branch of  Lugang Café where we took our lunch. So it’s Chinese food for lunch. I took some shots but mostly of Nate banging a spoon and fork on the table and playing with the plastic green cup which they provided for him along with a green plastic plate and bowl. I had a good time watching him eat what was served on the table. He loved the Fried Beef Noodles and Fried Rice.

He was behaved...at first but he clearly knows when to stop and say sorry to Mom and Dad.

He was behaved…at first but he clearly knows when to stop and say sorry to Mom and Dad.

Mother and daughter team.

Mother and daughter team.

Three generations of Abuel.

Three generations of Abuel.

Nothing is more important than having the family around.

Nothing is more important than having the family around.

Busog na baby? Our little man!

Busog na baby? Our little man!

That's his way of saying,  "I'm full, it's your turn to eat Dad".

That’s his way of saying, “I’m full, it’s your turn to eat Dad”.

I love the Garlic Pork Roll and Steamed Fish Fillet. No room for dessert...

I love the Garlic Pork Roll and Steamed Fish Fillet. No room for dessert…

He is probably looking forward to going swimming tomorrow  with his Dad’s side of the family. Enjoy Nate  but be careful with the sun. I know how much you love to paddle your feet and splash water with your hands.  Until we see each other again.

(Note: This is my 1,440th post…can’t believe it)

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Spent the early part of the day going to the wake of a friend’s dad. He died at the age of 87  last Tuesday. When someone leaves us in this world, we  talk of the happy memories, the good times that we remember of our deceased relative. We always talk of  the times that we remember the most in our hearts, we talk of the caring ways, the love and care, the gentle touch of a loving dad to his kids and the great love he showed our own mother.

I remembered  Dad vividly in my mind while I was praying for Paul’s father. Letting go is not that easy. We always think we are prepared for any eventualities that may happen but when it is a close member of our family, we cannot just ignore the deep pain we feel, the sense of loss we experience.  Even if we say that we have accepted everything even before we lose a loved one, there is that tight knot of pain that surrounds our hearts.  Tere, another common friend who was with me at the wake intently listened to us exchange thoughts and ideas about death. I told Paul that he could still laugh, joke around with us because he can still see his father right in front but after the burial when everyone has left and it’s only the family facing each other, you feel empty, there is that deep void that no one can fill.  Your thoughts would slowly unlock all the lovely things you hold dear when your father was still alive. Acceptance is one thing but what is important is allowing yourself to grieve  so you would heal the pain of emptiness within.

Saying goodbye is not without its tears.  You experience all kinds of difficult emotions that sometimes you think  the sadness would never let up.  They say that there is really no wrong or right way to grieve. It may take a year or two or you feel the loss the rest of your life. We are not only talking about death here but of other circumstances when  our emotions are deeply affected. And then we ask ourselves, “is there a normal timetable for grief?” I don’t think so because it is a personal thing. Some of us may cope well because we make ourselves busy, it lightens the burden when we share it with close relatives and friends. Ignoring what you feel would just make you miserable. Real healing takes place when we face our fears. It’s normal to cry, but it does not mean that you don’t feel the loss when you don’t.

Time heals. It is  a slow dance of remembrance and unlocking  of precious memories you hold in your heart. Then you will smile at the thought that you have those precious memories to keep you warm.

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It seems like the month of April is rapidly fading into oblivion. I used to blog about beginnings and endings of each month but I got tired of it eventually. There was nothing that significant about this month except the canonization of the two Popes that I admire and yes, seeing Obama speaks  to the Filipino people. I think  during those almost two days that he was here, the Filipinos loved him more than they did PNoy.  I remember, I met another online friend  (one of our newest admins at our Catholic page) who came over to visit me two weeks ago. The month really seemed to have come and gone too soon.  I am grateful though that I was able to update my TBR list, read a few books from unfamiliar authors and posted short reviews at Goodreads.  When I’ve finished what I am reading now, I would go back to e-books. I still have around ten books there that I haven’t read. Lately, I came across  Josephine Cox and Elizabeth George. Cox’s Whistledown Woman and The Beachcomber are quite engrossing, although some reviews at Goodreads are quite disappointing.  I don’t base reading a book on previous reviews because I prefer to explore it on my own.  This is the first time that I got hold of one of Elizabeth George’s books. I found her personal page and read about how she wrote those mystery novels  (in a series, that is).

May is such a lovely month, they call it  the month of flowers. We don’t have spring season here but summer always brings lovely new blooms in my small garden. Never mind the inevitable heat that we have every day (you’ll get used to it when you live here), never mind your exposure to the sun’s rays when you are brave enough to go out  and do some errands that need to be done, just don’t forget your umbrella and a handy fan in your knapsack  to beat the heat. In a few months, when rainy season sets in and you find yourself dreading flash flood and heavy traffic, you would wish it is summer again.

Sometimes, I ask myself  “have I become a recluse?” preferring to just pass the days quietly doing household chores, playing with our dogs, gardening when the sun has set  or before it shows its face in the morning, reading, reading to my heart’s content and experimenting with some recipes in the kitchen. Oh well, you’ll reach that age when happiness are just quiet days that you spend doing the things you love, no pressure and no deadlines. Of course I always look forward to the monthly visit of my grandson, my daughter and son-in-law. Those are the times that I really treasure. Nissa tells me that Nate now knows how to say Nonna. I can’t wait to hear him call me Nonna.

I ran out of butter. I was planning to bake chocolate crinkles just for the fun of it. This afternoon, I harvested more than a kilo of calamansi in our backyard. There are more than we could use, almost every branch is thick with fruits and yes, I still have about seven jack fruits to harvest and a few ampalaya for pinakbet. Living a provincial life in the city, wouldn’t you say?

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