Archive for the ‘reflections’ Category


You dream of one day having your own place

under the sun,

like a bird that glides its wings and soar

Why should you look for more?

If  you could feel the  honeyed breath

of the morning on your face

and the softness of wet grass on your toes

wouldn’t that be enough?

But you look for more

because love is never constant

and life is not perfect.

Still, you dream of one day -

finally finding peace at last

finally smiling at yourself

finally knowing that happiness

lies within you.

You cannot conquer the world

but you can dream, still!

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My Mokara orchids are blooming nonstop, same with my Hoya. I noticed two more buds while the last bloom is drying up. It’s such a joy to watch them unfold into lovely blooms.  When you are lucky to have Nature’s gifts, you can’t help but smile.  I am using most of my shots to make quotes for our Catholic page at Facebook.  This is one of them.


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The Gift of Today

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Sometimes -

the hurts linger

and the pain is like an open wound

that throbs.

But life gleams -

and it alters the horizon.

Though the shadows lurk still

the beauty of the day begins.

And there is a ray of hope

for those who still believe

that dreams come true.

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When the heart chooses to let go

the happiness that seems to be so out of reach

finally shows its face.

And you dream again.

You see the dawn breaking

promising a better tomorrow.

And when the heart chooses to let go,

There’s a ray of sunshine waiting

And a new day  unfolding

And you smile at the thought -

You are free at last.

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Remembering. Always remembering. And it’s like a dull ache that never goes away but just stays somewhere in the recesses of the mind, never forgotten but remembered with joys and pains.

It’s Daddy’s 6th death anniversary today. Every year since I started blogging, I would always write about him during his birthday and his death anniversary. How can you write about the pains of losing someone so loved and cherished in your life?  How can you write about someone who taught you the values of living and taught you how to be strong despite all the hardships that life brings?  Why do you need to remember and cry in pain?  It’s because he will always be a constant presence in my life. 629906-R1-00-20AThe good  and lovely memories will get you through somehow and you smile in remembrance of the long-ago days when you needed to hear life’s stories and words of wisdom, things that somehow shaped your views on what life is all about.

If dad were alive today, he’d be 91 years old. If he were alive today, I know he would smile   and wonder why I am even writing about him. I know he would smile seeing  Nate, his great-grandchild, walk on his own and point to himself and say, “baby, baby”. Yes, Nate has added more words in his vocabulary. I know he would be happy for all of us and would probably say, “there is nothing like a grandchild to put a smile on your face and warmth in your heart”. My children are so lucky having known him as a loving, lovable, affectionate and a caring grandfather. They fondly called him Tatay.

Wherever you are Dad, I know you are looking down on us with an indulgent smile.  I offered a prayer for you today. I still miss you after all these years because you  hold a special place in my heart.

(note: this is my 1,350th post at WordPress)

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bangon pilipinas

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I am thinking of  a nice title for this blog but all I can remember are the faces of those survivors , fellow Filipinos who were directly affected by typhoon Yolanda. We get to see several countries pitching in, embracing us  and helping not just financially but their presence in the devastated areas are like beacons of light and hope for  everyone. We get to see that the bayanihan spirit is still alive. We get to see people from all walks of life, from all areas in the Philippines doing their share of helping, making their presence felt, trying to reach out to  our unfortunate kababayans.  And the silent majority  are there quietly doing their share of repacking, donating goods and extending their hands and praying  that this tragedy would somehow make us realize that life is short but it is never too late to do our bit of kindness. We are in mourning – mourning for  the  loss of thousands and thousands of people from the Visayas, we are in mourning seeing the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda, we are mourning for those little children whose lives were suddenly cut short.

Some observers say they admire the resilience of every Filipino, the ability that one could still smile despite everything, the desire to rise again from the rubbles  and  rebuild one’s life despite all the odds. They admire the way we handle grief, weeping in earnest for what happened but life has to go on and we pick up the pieces  slowly but with determination that we could do it.

Earlier on, I was one of those who asked, “but where are the local officials and where is the national government?”  I would have ranted like the rest of the netizens in the social media whose way of coping was criticizing every move of our government officials, help is slow in coming and it’s a matter of life and death -  save our people from extreme hunger and thirst. The former are doing their best to bring sanity to such chaos but it still seems lacking and they need to move fast.  I posted this earlier at Facebook  and some of my friends had different reactions to it. Short of cursing the government for their slow move, they won’t take it sitting down. The government must know that they lack the push to do what needs to be done.

Rant all you want, criticize all you want but are you doing something? ARE WE DOING OUR SHARE in helping the government make life easier for the typhoon victims?  Sec. Dinky Soliman said that this is a collective effort so let us join hands and be one. It does not help that all we do is post negative comments and act as if we know better.

So I told them: I respect all your opinions here. All of us are affected in one way or another by this massive, destructive, enormous and devastating calamity. All I’m saying is that we must not negatively react “lock, stock and barrel” to all the news we read online.  And while we all know that it is the government’s duty and responsibility to help our people, let us do our share. Sometimes, ACTIONS ARE  BETTER THAN WORDS.

I was surprised to receive this wonderful letter from my niece who is a student at Oklahoma Christian University. She said and I quote:

Hi Tita Arlene! I just wanted to say a quick hello and see how you guys are doing. I also wanted to let you know that even though I know you guys weren’t affected directly by the typhoon recently, my school has sent a lot of love and prayers to the Philippines this past week and a half. We have a Filipino alumna  from here who spoke to us today about it and we also had a special prayer time specifically for the Philippines last Tuesday. So if you know anyone who was directly affected, please let them know we’re thinking about them! I definitely think about you guys a lot because it’s been so many years since I’ve seen all of you. I’m glad that you all are okay, and I hope you’re doing well. Please give Nate a hug for me on his birthday this week. I can’t wait for the day until I finally meet him. I always take joy in seeing the pictures that you and Ate Nissa post of him  – he’s definitely growing up fast! Anyway, I miss you all and please send everyone my love. Take care always!

Mae :)

Everyone is praying for the Philippines.  Our faith is bigger than any storm that comes into our lives. Bangon Pilipinas!

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Mar M, a friend who is based in San Diego posted several pictures of seagulls on his wall  at Facebook captioning most of them with quotes from the lovely book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I asked him if I could borrow one and he said yes. So here it is, a lovely picture of a seagull that truly reminds me of Jonathan, a fable about flight, life and having wings to soar to the sky. The book is about self-perfection and doing something one might think impossible  but with practice and grace, one can do it.  Those same quotes are heavily underlined in my little book of Richard Bach.

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

“You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn’t flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn’t have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.”

the art of flying

I remember those days when I started blogging here at WordPress, more than four years ago. I never knew that I could last this long in the blogging world and finally meeting online friends who share a bit of themselves like I do. During the early years, I didn’t care about stats and followers because all I wanted was to keep a blog and it took me almost a year to add something to my very first entry here and  a few tries  before I settled to this  theme which I am still using until now.  It’s been one long ride of happy thoughts, ramblings some times or just spur-of-the-moment  string of words that need to be written somehow. Needing to share and hoping to inspire others,  drawing strength from the knowledge that despite all the setbacks and ugly realities of life,  I learn something new every day and blessings come pouring in.

I still believe in dreams.  As I have said before in my earlier posts, dreams never end  just because you have experienced something life-threatening. Sometimes, in your moment of weakness, you ask, “What have I done to deserve all this?” and the echo gets back to you.  There are always roadblocks in our life and there will always be moments that you feel so abandoned and unloved but the times in between the dark hours are shining pots of gold.

Dream. Believe. Soar.  There will always  be a new  life, a new hope and a new beginning. Learn the art of flying.

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When all you see is darkness, turn to hope, and your heart will see the light – Milan Ljubincic

Now I wonder where I got this quote but I wrote it in a small piece of paper and dropped it in my utility box where  list of to-do-things, to-file-receipts/bills and other what-not go. I’m thinking of creating that jar of thoughts (it would be a big-mouthed jar literally) but I haven’t got around to finding one yet. I would trim it  with ribbons and spray paint it  with bright colors, that is, if I get the chance to do it one of these days.  It would be a good repository for  those one-liner thoughts that crop up mostly at some inopportune time when you don’t have a writing pad in your hands and a pen to use, then I could carry it when I’m in the middle of filling up the washing machine for the day’s laundry or trimming our carabao grass early in the morning.

I love October.  It’s the month of the Holy Rosary  and it is my birth month. It’s that month when the days run after each other and before you know it, it’s Christmas. The BER months, as we call it, seem to be the start of  counting the days before Christmas. One thing that comes so vivid in my memory was spending my birthday  at the Ambulatory Care Unit of the UST Hospital while having my 4th chemotherapy.  That was four years ago. A high school friend brought food for the doctors and the nurses there and we had impromptu party  while two IV drips were attached to my arms. When we got home, I had a big surprise when my two kids prepared dinner for us and two of my son’s classmates brought sweets and desserts.  A friend who is also a cancer survivor like me always asks, “kumusta ka na?” (How are you?) And I will always answer, “I am doing good and you?”  Sometimes, I’m not,  emotionally that is.

See what October does for me? I wallow in nostalgia, but that’s me speaking honestly.   There are times  when you have to give way to tears to be whole again. There are times when you have  to take a grip and just see things the way they are and not the way you want them to be.  There are times when you’re caught between giving up and moving on. Life, they say, is an experiment and you must be willing to accept what it deals you  to be able to say that you’re truly happy.

Learn to let go. How many times have I told myself this?  One has to move forward and release the breaks. You learn (for real) that life is not really perfect and it is in the imperfections that give it its meaning.

Yeay, it’s October!

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