Posted in blessings, blogging, family life, Happiness, health, journeys, life, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, family life, life, my 4th year at WordPress, silence speaks, thoughts and ramblings on May 11, 2013 |
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I came across this program early this morning on PTV4, a government-owned channel that featured ASEAN member countries. It made me quite nostalgic seeing those features on handicrafts and hand-made products using materials which are locally grown. I remember the early years of childhood when I was growing up in the province. Back then, my mom used to stay a lot with Dad here in Manila so my older brother and I were left to the care of our maternal grandma until both of us graduated from grade school and we transferred to UST to spend our high school years there. Growing up having a simple life made me appreciate simple things and embraced what I learned early on.
A friend posted a prayer in our group accompanied by this beautiful painting of a mother and child. Coincidence? Maybe. I planned earlier to blog about mat weaving which I learned from Baing Cion (Bai or Baing is the local equivalent of a grandmother in our Pangasinan dialect).
This is called Mag-ina sa Banig, a 1960 painting done by Nestor Leynes. I thought this is a perfect capture of the simplicity of provincial life forty or so years ago. No aircon to speak of, no TV disruption to idle your time away. That bamboo flooring was enough to enjoy an uninterrupted sleep. It was always cool to the touch and so easy to clean. Buffing it with semi-dried banana leaves was enough.
My grandma taught me how to weave sleeping mats ( like the one you see in the picture) made of buri palm which we had plenty of back then. We would gather buri palms, dry them in the sun then remove the middle portion when they are dried, roll them one by one into as big as a plate then when it is time to weave a mat, we would cut them into long strips by using wood-mounted razor blades for uniform width. More than learning the art of weaving, I enjoyed those endless stories which would usually start during the 2nd World War and how they survived as a family and always ends with how she raised her kids with the emphasis on Mom being the brightest of the four girls.
Oh, I almost forgot, today I celebrate my 4th year at WordPress as a blogger. The first two years were mostly about my journey as a cancer patient/survivor and the next two were random entries about life, faith, gardening, photography and such. Life is good and I am well. Thank God for all the wonderful blessings.
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Posted in guilty pleasures, life, music, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, David Cassidy, family life, guilty pleasures, life, Mark Lester, music, songs of the 70's on April 25, 2013 |
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I haven’t blogged for more than a week. Has it been that long? My mom’s 84th birthday celebration last Saturday was a mini-reunion for my two brothers, their families and Nissa’s family sans of course our youngest brother and his family whom I haven’t seen for more than five years but we get in touch often through phone calls and e-mails. He’s been in the United States since 1991 and he has embraced the American way of life.
Josef and I embarked on a bold project of painting our grills and two front gates over the weekend. It’s fun to undergo something like this but the heat hinders us from working the whole day. Anyway, our gates are sporting a new look – in bold reddish maroon color. We were able to finish painting the two spans of metal grills fronting the house and there is a lot more to do in the coming weekends. It’s good, paints nowadays no longer have that strong smell that makes you cough. Davies paints are odorless and easy to apply. You need to have a good brush and roller though to make everything smooth. It is an accomplishment that I am proud of.
Last night, I dreamed I was teacher. Yes, I was teaching high school kids to appreciate music. It’s not the kind though where you need to recognize wind instruments and chimes or guitars. I was teaching them how to listen to David Cassidy singing Cherish and The Associations belting out their more popular Never My Love. Ancient you might say but I remember in my dream telling them about the British Invasion in the music world and what baby boomer means . Earlier on, a friend posted some old, old songs from YouTube and it made me remember being a child of the sixties. Then I suddenly thought of teen idol David Cassidy. I was in high school during the early seventies and one such program that I never failed to watch was The Partridge Family. Never mind that we didn’t have our own TV set and just viewed the series on a small black and white unit of our neighbor whose children loved the same program. It was such a poignant reminiscing of the good old days. I also remember another figure that I loved, Mark Lester. I used to scrimp on my allowance just to be able to buy the monthly issues of Jingle Chordbook magazines where most of the time, they had colored posters of popular singers back then. I never learned how to play the guitar though because my eldest brother who taught me was left-handed and even if I could read the chords it was hard to interpret it when you were holding it the other way. My dad used to play the guitar and even composed some songs in the vernacular and one of my uncles played the violin. I guess I was the only one who never learned, but I am proud to say I could carry a tune. So much for dreams and music. Hearing your favorite tunes from childhood makes you smile.
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Posted in blogging, journeys, life, ramblings, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, guilty pleasures, life, silence speaks, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on April 17, 2013 |
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A friend who is an avid Facebook user asked me once why I am not using the networked blogging platform of FB. Although I am an avid Facebook user too, because my religious friends and I have a page to update, I am still not convinced that it is wise to share all your thoughts in such a chaotic world like Facebook. There is that hesitant feeling that my blog won’t be safe if I announce it to the whole world that I blog at WordPress. I know, I know, you might say that the latter is public too and anybody would be able to find you, right? I just feel protected using this blogging platform than anywhere else. If Facebook is a game, they are forever changing the rules. It’s either you delete your account or stay on the sidelines. I still link some posts though but they are limited to my friends. I am not after the number of viewers who visit my blog, I’d rather have a meaningful exchanges of comments with fellow bloggers who truly appreciate what I write. Same holds true with each post that I like and each blogger that I follow. I may not always leave comments but I appreciate what they share. Less than a month from now, I’ll be celebrating my 4th year into blogging. I celebrate the date that I posted my first blog and not the time when I bravely opened an account at WordPress, not knowing how to go about it and it took me more than a year to have the courage to update my blog here. It is not easy to share your thoughts to everyone, it is not easy to open yourself to people you don’t know from Adam but the nicest feeling comes when someone says, he/she is inspired by what you share.
I wouldn’t know how long it would take me to blog and find words to express my thoughts, I wouldn’t know how long it would take me to snap those pics that I share here but then, the feeling of fulfillment that I get is reward enough. Looking back, I just could not believe that I have posted about 1,204 entries at Dreams and Escapes and around 240 entries at my three other blogs that I have here. Dreams and Escapes has quietly reached 194,931 views as of this writing. My heartfelt “thank you” from all of you.
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Posted in chemotherapy, Closer to God, Faith, life, reflections, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, Closer to God, Easter 2013, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts on March 30, 2013 |
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March is rapidly fading into oblivion but I still look forward to tomorrow. Easter brings that lovely feeling of being reborn – a new hope, a new beginning. Easter is one of the most important feasts in the Catholic calendar.
It’s been a quiet week, highlighted by the celebration of the Last Supper mass and watching Siete Palabras on TV. I’ve cried my eyes out the past week. Yes, tears are just a blink away but they’re really not tears of sadness because I am lonely, they’re more of that feeling of reaching out, taking a grasp at the beauty of life and remembering the past and such. I do appreciate these moments of silence that Holy Week brings but my mind is still pregnant with thoughts that I somehow wanted to share but cannot translate into words. I’ve missed our yearly Visita Iglesia, my son has to report to work the past two days and I don’t know how to drive so I just visited the nearby church, a few minutes away from the house.
Why do I sometimes torture myself reading something that reminds me of those days when I was having treatments – endless hospital visits, blood tests, chemotherapy and doctor visits? It just happened that the book I recently read deals on how to survive and prepare one’s self for the inevitable. There’s no telling that no matter how careful you are, at one time in your life, a loved one or a family member becomes a victim too. But then, the glorious moment of knowing that you will get well and having that gargantuan faith in a loving Creator is more than enough to make you feel that you are truly, truly blessed.
I had a long chat with a friend last night and we touched on so many issues and things dear to the heart. One such subject that we never get tired of sharing is about our respective families. She has an eight-month old baby girl and I have baby Nate to talk about. I told her that when my two kids were growing up, I didn’t notice much of their everyday development because I was working. It’s quite different though when you’ve got so much time in your hands and appreciate everything you see and even blog about it. Who knows, if blogging was in vogue thirty years ago, I might have filled up all the empty spaces allowed. I still keep their “love letters”, those small notes that I got to receive every day taped at our bedroom door, I regret though that we were not able to save most of the pictures of their younger years. Our photo albums were destroyed by typhoon Ondoy and even if those shots were painstakingly dried and restored by my son, some pictures were blurred at the edges.
Happy Easter everyone!
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Posted in blessings, blogging, Closer to God, colon cancer, Faith, health, journeys, life, ramblings, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, books, Closer to God, health, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts on February 25, 2013 |
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I must really be getting old. No, let me amend that, I am definitely growing older. And I always think that growing older is always getting wiser with age. Got this throbbing headache that won’t go away or maybe it is just a sign of normal wear and tear. I was exchanging texts with a friend yesterday (we are both cancer survivors) and I told her, I easily get tired nowadays and I need to catch up on my siesta every day. Make that an hour or more instead of the usual thirty minutes shuteye that I used to have. She told me she underwent Zometa infusion just last week. Her doctor advised her to have it when she had a recent bone scan. And I thought, I am not going back to the hospital just to learn that you need more series of tests despite the fact that you are now living a normal life being a survivor. The last time I found out that everything was back to normal, including my CEA marker, I left everything to God. He will take care of me because He gave me a second chance. Living in faith and believing in God’s will.
I spent part of the morning reading articles by Barbara Gonzales. For the past years, I’ve followed her writings under her byline called Second Wind every Sunday. I like how she touches on her hobbies, writing and how she get on with life despite living alone. She said that one of her favorite books is Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy written by Sarah Ban Breathnach. I can’t help but smile at the thought that it is one of my favorite books too. When I am feeling so low, this book always gives me a lift. She always put her contact number at the end of her posts so I tried getting in touch and wrote:
Read your article with interest Ms. Barbara. Re: Simple Abundance. I have that book too for several years now. It’s like a daily bible for women like us. I even blog about it from time to time. I am a cancer survivor. It’s the reason why I keep a blog because I have this dream of inspiring people through my journey, that life is even more meaningful when God gives you a second chance. Thank you for your nice articles, I am a fan.
She texted back and said thank you. One other writer that I admire is Lucy Torres. I don’t care much about her political career but I love how she shares her thoughts and family life in Love Lucy at Philippine Star. Somehow, every time I read her posts, I always get the feeling that she is a close friend, the way she talks about anything under the sun. Reading her posts also makes me feel that she is writing about my own experiences in life, they’re closer to home, so to speak.
Having no internet connection for the past several days gave me the chance to watch a little TV and catch up on my reading. I watched Maid in Manhattan a few days ago (for the nth time). I am in the middle of reading Exile by Richard North Patterson, a thick book on Israel’s history as background. Now I understand why the Jews and Palestinians don’t see eye to eye.
How was your day?
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Posted in blogging, guilty pleasures, life, ramblings, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, Blogging at Multply, guilty pleasures, life, Multiply.com, thoughts and ramblings on January 30, 2013 |
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This is the best thing ever. Not that I would let WordPress take a backseat because it now occupies a special place in my heart and my time but knowing that my site at Multiply is still alive and yes, everything is intact, is like winning in a small-town lottery. Earlier on, I thought that everything I posted there from October 2007 until about three years later is gone just like what happened to Friendster. When I visited it yesterday though, my photo albums, music videos, CD uploads (I used to upload entire CD albums from my collections) favorite links, recipes are still there. Take that to mean a big smile from me. And the main reason why I am a little sentimental about it is, it was there that I learned the rudiments of blogging. And every blog that I did at that site was precious to me. I hope, they would let it stay that way. We could no longer use it as social networking site but we could retain it as is.
Kudos Multiply! I could listen to my favorite music albums while blogging here at WordPress. Thank you, thank you!
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I got the highest stats on my dashboard yesterday for this month so far and I can’t resist taking a screen shot of where they are coming from. The Philippines of course is on the top rank.
Got a total of 502 views yesterday with 314 visitors. How nice, I am quite inspired! Thank you all for visiting my blog.
21 January 2013 7:15am
I really think I need to correct this because the biggest number of views and visitors so far was last January 19 with 728 views and 500 visitors. Thank God for blogging!
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Posted in blessings, blogging, Closer to God, Faith, inspirational, New year 2013, ramblings, silence speaks, writing, tagged 2013, a bit of myself, blogging, Closer to God, Faith, Happy New Year, life, new year 2013, reflections, silence speaks on January 8, 2013 |
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In the three years that I’ve been blogging at WordPress, I have always posted month-ender blogs and year-end assessments of what transpired throughout the year. Have I been lazy? Have I been negligent? No to both questions of course. I was just overwhelmed by the flow of events that I clearly forgot to make an honest to goodness blog out of it. Next thing I knew 2012 is gone and here comes 2013.
The beginning of 2012 , January particularly is something I like to forget, if one could do so with so much pain associated with it. Let’s just say, it’s all buried now and I don’t want to be affected by it. Overall though, 2012 was a good year for us – my kids and I. Lovell was ordained into priesthood last November 07, 2012 and it was a lovely gift from God – the gift of priesthood. I was also able to witness his first Thanksgiving Mass held in UST last November 25, 2012. Dreams fulfilled, prayers answered and several years of perseverance coming into fruition. It seems that November would always be a special month for us from now on because my first grandchild was born on November 22, 2012. Although he stayed at the hospital for three weeks due to sepsis, I thank God for the miracle of life. He is the greatest binding force to us now. Babies always give us that indescribable joy that could never be quantified. I am happy for my daughter who embraced motherhood with so much anticipation and joy. The gift of motherhood is another lovely gift that God willingly gives to all lovely mothers in this world. The year 2012 ended with our baby Nate’s christening last December 29, 2012 at Sto. Niño de Tondo Parish. I used to post pictures of the recap of the year but since I now have my blog about Nate, I guess it would be a little redundant to do it.
2012 was also a year of meeting new friends and having them come over for short gatherings at home. I will always be grateful for my AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community) apostolate. Being inspired and inspiring others in one’s own little way is such a great feeling. And meeting new friends is part of it. My prayers for 2013 would always be good health for the whole family and friends and peace of mind. He knows what we need so I’ll just say, Thank You Lord for all these blessings.
I subscribed to this lovely site called Meet Me In the Meadow, an inspirational blog that I read regularly. I was particularly touched by this post by Roy Lessin so I am sharing it here. I am sure he would not mind because he is touching souls with his reflections. I have the same wish too for all of you.
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