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Posts Tagged ‘always a friend’


life

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Gosh, I was like “oh, oh, where have you been” upon seeing the faces of my three friends two of whom I’ve last seen almost a year ago. And to think this is the first time that they came over here at the house to visit me.

Thank God for surprises! When He tickles you with one, He makes sure that it is really something you will treasure, maybe long after the laughter, the giggles and endless smiles are gone.  Yesterday was another day “worth-remembering”.  That’s really my favorite line, the worth-remembering people, events and surprises in my life. There are moments when you just look up and say a prayer or two that He is giving you another beautiful day to put in the treasure chest of your memories.

Yesterday was such a lovely day spent with friends from my Catholic apostolate group, the Apostles Filipino Catholic Community.  It all started about two years ago when Fr. Louie  Coronel, OP created an online page at Facebook. AFCC has actually been in existence  as a Catholic organization in Rome for the last twenty years. We cater to the global Pinoys and share reflections, news, ideas, and ways of strengthening our Faith and our own journeys as Catholics.  We finally met some of the members  in two successive gatherings  last year at Bahay Dominiko, Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. Meeting face to face, realizing that they were not just names and pictures on Facebook was awesome.  Truly, God works in wondrous ways.  Forming friendship with people younger than you are, (they could be your sons and daughters) sharing their own spiritual journeys in life, sharing their own pain with you and  sharing their thoughts and aspirations are clear affirmations  that everything is possible when you look together and look forward in  the same direction. Friendship is a lovely thing, don’t you think?

Imagine six hours of sharing and laughter, talking about anything under the sun, touching on such serious subjects like life’s travails and  journeys  and yes, we even touched on subjects  like the stock market and how it works, life in a bank as an employee,  life of a OFW,  photography, faith, and places we want to explore and dream of visiting – they are an eclectic mix of topics alright.

We had a yummy lunch of grilled pork steak, roasted chicken, grilled liempo, sautéed mixed veggies and the ginataang santol which I cooked earlier. Reymon, Joan and Lilet said that this is the first time they have tasted santol cooked as a dish. It went well with the grilled meat. I jokingly asked them, “Did I pass?” and Reymon laughingly  answered,“Wow, ang sarap po Mommy.” Late in the afternoon, we harvested calamansi in the backyard for Lilet to take home.  It was such a joy seeing them enjoying themselves  picking calamansi despite the afternoon shower which turned into a heavy downpour before they left.

Oh, the joys of meeting and hugging each other, and smiling at the thought of shared jokes remembered – what a lovely gift – having friends!  And I’d like to end this blog with these words for they briefly describe what friendship is all about. It was written by Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik.

Oh, the comfort –
The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words — but pouring them
All right out — just as they are –
Chaff and grain together –
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them –
Keep what is worth keeping –
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

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It’s been a long time, literally, that is! For the past few days, all I came up for a blog were one and two-liner features that made it to my most read list, just the same.  Anyway, I just thought of updating you all with the weekend I had.

Yesterday, I met a friend way back in college and I remember that the last time we had lunch together was a year ago. Although we get to text each other once in a while, it is always a welcome change to chat, giggle, reminisce, hold hands  and cry a little while drinking hot tea and making the big effort of finishing off the Shabu-Shabu plate she ordered at Gloriamaris  Restaurant at Gateway Mall.  Would you believe that we’ve been through the same predicaments and problems in life (not in the same degree probably) while counting the years being cancer survivors?  I’ve always said that the best people who would truly understand what you’ve  been through and what you are presently undergoing are those who are on the same road with you and traveling the same journey. Precy, a friend for almost forty years now is one such gracious and caring lady who is ready to help – a shoulder to cry on, a sister, family and all.

We attended a seminar on health and healing at  Noble Life International (Phils.) They develop and market organic healing foods endorsed by world-renowned medical researchers and doctors.  Their products are used by doctors and medical professionals as food therapy. Yesterday I learned a lot from one of their guest speakers, a neurosurgeon.  For the past three months,  Precy has been taking these  all-natural supplementary food medicines and she says that they really help in her recovery as a breast-cancer survivor. Having such toxic elements in your body as a result of six cycles of chemotherapy makes you so wary of eating unhealthy food. I’ve been so careful of my diet since I was diagnosed of stage three colon cancer almost three years ago. And again this brings me to some friends asking, “how can you talk freely about your illness and what you’ve been through?” Well, having a light-threatening disease is not the end of it as some people perceive it to be. It’s true, you have to go through the drastic measures of treatments, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and all but I am of the thought that sharing it through my blogs would somehow ease the pain for someone out there undergoing the same health problems as I am. And I feel happy that in my own little way, I am  doing a bit of helping these people cope. It’s the reason why I put up this blog in the first place.

Nissa and Obet came over yesterday to have dinner with us!  They brought with them ingredients for a yummy dinner, pork sinigang in guava.  And Obet could cook, we let him labor in the kitchen, churning out a tasty and indeed yummy sinigang sa bayabas. It was a lovely Saturday, alright:) And I had the chance to see the photos forwarded by their official wedding photographers. They haven’t chosen yet what to put in the official album from around 2,000 photos which will be narrowed down to about 150 at the most. I suggested that we have the candid shots printed and have them made into one lovely family album, after all, it’s not every day that your one and only daughter gets married:) .

It was a quiet Sunday and I almost cried listening to Fr. Leo’s homily today!

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Your  presence is enough because sometimes words are inadequate but silence says a lot!

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I am re-posting this  because it exactly echoes what I feel at the moment, the trying times of seeking answers and finding everything jumbled.  I wrote this more than two years ago. I am glad though of having friends around who care, praying for me every step of the way.

I remember an old friend who used to say, “The journey to life is an endless struggle on  perilous paths of treacherous stones and storms”. For one so young he surely looked at the world with open eyes and between the two of us, I was more of the dreamer than he was.  I had this penchant for collecting quotes from almost every book that comes into my hands,  filling up three full notebook of quotations my entire college life. He was really a big influence to me –  appreciating  good poetry, good books and  yes, quotes that somehow played a big chunk of what I called my “sentimental” moments.

“Live the dream”, he would  say. I do. I did. And I like to think that somehow, in between wakefulness and dreamland, life was real. Why am I remembering?  Why the sudden recall?  Or is this one of those moments that makes  one wander far beyond, going far off to a place of childhood dreams?  I really don’t know.  I just saw the place where we used to walk and talk, and dream about big things that only the young would think of  and I suddenly pictured his smiling face, creating a sense of sudden longing. Memories sometimes have that power to make one lonely and alone.

I would have liked to share that I am going through a phase in my life full of so much pain. But I can hear his voice saying,  “Life is never perfect”. And he would understand.  And I would tell him that I am brave enough to face it all.

How true, life is never perfect and when you expect too much from it, you’ll just be disappointed.  Special thanks to my ever thoughtful friends Lovell, Lilet and Fr. Louie, thanks a lot for listening!

 

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The other day, I met a friend whom I haven’t seen in years and she asked how I was. I told her, I am sharing my journey now as a cancer survivor. Whereas before my blogs were all about my treatment and chemotherapy, now I get to meet lots of people through an online Apostolate, the Apostles Filipino Catholic Community and it makes life more meaningful!

Despite all the setbacks, life has to go on. And I am now beginning to realize that He put me here for some other purpose and I am doing it the best way I can. Reaching out, touching people and I get a real high when I hear from them and they treat me like I am a long-lost relative – a mommy to most, a tita to some, an ate to everyone . And to all of you there, even if not all of you have the chance to visit my blog, I’m grateful. You add meaning to my life.

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The stars are out tonight sending sinews of hope for a better tomorrow.  Just looking at the pictures of the victims of typhoon Sendong and listening to the news  of  how more than a thousand died  and many more missing makes me feel depressed somehow.  As I have always said before, you can never really empathize  unless you were a victim yourself and experienced the same thing they are experiencing right now.  Typhoon Ondoy made me wary of the things it brought and the lessons learned and until now, every time it rains, I still feel that uncertain fear.  But life has to go on despite everything right?

Yes, in times like these, I resort to  reading poems or sometimes just focus  on inspirational books to get by. One of  my early favorites (aeons ago, since I was still in college when I found him) is Rod McKuen.  It’s a little uncanny when you find an author who exactly echoes your thoughts and what you feel right at that moment that you need to reassure yourself that everything is well. I miss my only book I had of his works but at least I could google him up and still enjoy reading his thoughts.

There should be some silence in this place so thought can harvest things it’s lately caught. I hope that you will take this as a resting space. A bench provided just before the clearing up ahead.

Arms around me these past years have not been commonplace, your comfort passed to me from out there, somewhere – dare we call it outer space, has kept me safe. Your thought embraces better than the memory’s triumph over time. I have longed for you, thought up songs for you, missed and mourned you as the times passed past. Here you are. Brought back to me by your wish mixed with mine. Noise cannot touch us here. I will try and make for you the calmest place there is within this loud and getting louder world.

No map to help us find the tranquil flat lands, clearings calm, fields without mean fences. Rolling down the other side of life our compass is the sureness of ourselves. Time may make us rugged, ragged round the edges, but know and understand that love is still the safest place to land.

The journey back is always longer than the forward run.

Cats have it all – admiration, an endless sleep, and company only when they want it.

Once I thought ideas were exceptions not the rule. That is not so. Ideas are so plentiful that they ride on air. You have only to reach out and snatch one.

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.

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