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Smile


Nate

This made my day, a show of life’s beauty and grace, simple smiles from two precious people in my life.  It’s a new day!

 


What a mouthful for a blog title! Some would probably say it is too early yet. It’s the anticipation and the countdown though that make Christmas something to look forward to  every year.  It’s 76 days to go before Christmas, better yet make that 75 since October 10 is about to end.

Our street is the role model for the others when it comes to decorating. Christmas season or not, we have a color motif all year round. Since we adopted the idea of lighting our own street (that means every house has a light post in front) without relying on the subdivision fund to pay for our street light consumption, it has become even better. Our street coordinators maintain them and we have uniform potted plants lining the street as well.  I saw them fixed the parols this afternoon, those small Christmas lanterns that light our street every year. I got excited watching them decorate each light post.

Violet St. at night....

Violet St. at night….

This was how it looked last year. I wonder what they’ll add  to make it look more festive this time. I think it’s time to clean and bring out my favorite Christmas decor again although I don’t get to hang them until November 30 of each year.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Do I hear Christmas carols too?

Morning Thoughts


You watch -

as the grey dawn turns into gold

as the silver rain droplets stubbornly cling

to the taro leaves creating jewel-like dots

as the colony of ants meet and kiss

storing food for the rainy day.

Then a little sparrow perched on top

of the dried trunk of your avocado tree.

To your surprise, it started singing

and it made your day.

You can’t help the smile on your face.

It’s time

to make that hot cup of coffee.

 

 

Dreaming Of Calayan


“Come over and experience the peace and quiet, see the pristine beaches, just be”, he enthused.

And I said, “I wish, I wish, I wish.”  I wish I have wings to fly and visit this wonderful place and enjoy what nature has to offer.

My priest son and I were in  a long, long chat a few nights ago and he reiterated his invitation that we go visit him and see Calayan Island while he is assigned there in one of their Dominican Missions in the North.  I am writing this from memory, from what he shared during our occasional but lengthy phone conversations. You’re right, I spent a few nights searching for videos on Calayan and visiting some blogs written by travel bloggers who’ve been to the place. I still dream of visiting Batanes of course but Calayan offers the same lovely, unexplored places  which make my soul dream of it more.

Posted with permission from Estan Cabigas, a travel blogger who writes for international and local travel magazines. Thanks Stan for thse lovely images.

Posted with permission from Estan Cabigas, a travel blogger who writes for international and local travel magazines. Thanks Stan for these lovely images.

Who would not be impressed by this scenery?

Who would not be impressed by this scenery?

 

“We’ve just harvested corn”, he continued and “enjoying the cold weather now”.  I jokingly answered “Send some via LBC”.

Unfortunately, they don’t have LBC there. Every day, they only have electricity from 12pm to 12am but they don’t complain, they are used to it. I love the idea of  fishing when you need food to eat, growing vegetables on one’s backyard and they come fresh everyday, planting rice the traditional way (and Lovell tells me that he will try using it – the plough hooked at the back of a carabao), breeding chicken and pigs for meat. I was so surprised when he said that they don’t have a public market in Calayan. The people peddle their  produce from house to house.  Sometimes, the parishioners give lobster, fresh veggies  or live chicken to the parish.

Children walk to school and they have the luxury of time to just admire the sunrise and the endless blue sea an hour before classes start.  You could never do that here in the city. Tricycles and motorcycles are the popular means of transport. The best time to go there is during the summer months of April or early May.  Twelve-hour bus ride, (unless you take a plane to Cagayan) and four to six hours boat trip to the island.

Here is a Wiki description of the place.

Calayan (Ibanag language, meaning “where laya (ginger) abounded”) is a municipality in the province of Cagayan, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 16,200 people in an area of 49,453 hectares (122,200 acres).

It is located in the South China Sea, in Luzon Strait north of Luzon Island. The town is composed of four of the five major islands of the Babuyan Islands namely: Calayan, Camiguin, Dalupiri and Babuyan Island. Calayan Island is the largest of the Babuyan Islands. Fuga Island, the fifth island within the Babuyan Islands, is part of Aparri municipality.Calayan is home to the Calayan Rail, a flightless bird identified as a separate species in 2004 and endemic to Calayan Island.

Lovell says, you cannot appreciate it enough through pictures. The best thing is to go there and see the island for real.

 

He Plays Baritone


Around this time last year,  I featured a pencil sketch of my seventeen-year old nephew  entitled One Sunny Afternoon.  I was so impressed with his drawings which he posted on his wall at Facebook so I picked one to write about. It reminded me so much of those times spent with mom during off-school days. My youngest brother and his family has been living abroad for the last 23 years so we always appreciate every bit of news from both sides, ours and theirs. We laugh at jokes while talking over the phone, exchange family food recipes when we are in the mood, we remember the early years back in our province. This morning he surprised  us with a picture he took of Justin, his youngest son who is into music. My nephew  is a member of the Renegade Regiment, Union High School Marching Band in Tulsa, OK. I love this picture, I think it was perfectly captured – the boy and his baritone.

The baritone horn is a low-pitched brass instrument. Baritone horn is a piston valve brass instrument with a predominantly cylindrical bore like the trumpet  and uses a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece.

The baritone horn is a low-pitched brass instrument. Baritone horn is a piston valve brass instrument with a predominantly cylindrical bore like the trumpet and uses a wide-rimmed cup mouthpiece.

Seeing this, I miss them all the more. Go, go Justin, follow your dreams.


Originally posted on Our Precious Bundle of Joy:

Wow, is more adventurous than I am.

Wow, Nate is more adventurous than I am.

Nissa says he is more afraid of the birds  than holding  these up close. Our brave little boy, enjoying Sunday afternoon with his mom and dad.

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Welcome October


October

I actually thought of posting a blog yesterday but things got in the way as usual, it was a busy, busy day. Finally, Josef  and I were able to finish cleaning the garden and trimming the carabao grass. It looks more like a garden now, thank God.

How I wish the thunderstorms we’re having every afternoon would let up a bit and let me enjoy the sun all day long. The heavy downpour yesterday made going home an agony for most commuters. My daughter and son-in-law got  stuck in traffic for around two hours when on normal days, travel time is only about thirty to forty-five minutes.  I  told them to always have something to munch on inside the car for such eventualities. I left the corporate world fourteen years ago, but sometimes I miss the daily commute, the camaraderie we had with fellow commuters and office mates.  Back in those days, we had carpooling , sharing a ride with friends who lived  in the same area so travel time was more enjoyable than the options public commuters have now, jostling with  a big crowd, waiting in line on MRT trains that frequently break down,  smelling the exhaust fumes of motor vehicles, buses and jeepneys in all corners of Metro Manila. These are those times that I am grateful to be in the comfort of our home sans the traffic and everything that goes with it.

I am glad October is finally here. It’s my birth month so I am excited.  Time flies! I don’t mind growing old really, I am just grateful  and thankful for all the blessings in my life. At  times though,  unseen problems show their ugly faces but what is life without challenges?  Wear age with grace – never mind the grey hair that show regularly like a proud crown on your head, never mind the aching joints that make you sometime sleepless, never mind the wrinkles that crop up before you can even say, “gosh, I am getting old”.  Two years from now, I will be able to line up at the senior lane in supermarkets. Two years from now, I will be able to buy medicines at a discount. Two years from now, I won’t have to pay Philhealth contributions so I could enjoy the benefits attached to it. Two years from now, when Nate turns four, I will be able to teach him to read by himself and appreciate nature through the camera lens. You see, happiness is how you make it. Getting another year older won’t be a hindrance though, it somehow makes life something to cherish even more.

Welcome October!

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