Posted in Faith, journeys, life, ramblings, reflections, silence speaks, writing, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, Faith, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts on October 12, 2013 |
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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.”
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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Got this message from WordPress about three hours ago. Three years in a row today, every time I blog about Mama Mary’s birthday, my stats go crazy. Last year, it registered a total page views of 2,724 in one day (my highest stats so far) and most of the visitors clicked my post on Mama Mary’s birthday.The last time I looked about a minute ago, it registered a total of 710 visitors and 1,217 page views. Thank you WordPress. Thank you Mama Mary. What a lovely morning!
Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual!
224 hourly views
12 hourly views on average
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And I must say, it’s been a while. And it’s hard to start blogging again after a week of hibernation. Anyway, I promised I’ll be back. The last week has been full of thoughts and dreadful news that I buried myself reading a series of eight books ( I actually read six) in a little town of Virginia. Reading historical novels and getting acquainted with years of survival and living in a world when horses were the only means of transport in an undiscovered territory is sometimes a great change from the noise of daily living. As I read the last book though, cellphones, e-mails and social networking became ordinary means of communication in a modern world where horseback riding was no longer a necessity but something only the rich populace could afford.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t spent all of one week reading because in between resting my eyes, I was busy preparing simple meals and trimming our carabao grass. Gardening has its rewards, it lets your mind wander and form words in your head and you think of how blessed you are. When nature shows itself, you can’t help but think that there is something miraculous in the way it rewards you with lovely blooms despite the rains. My Mokara and Hoya Orchids are in bloom again. I saw four new spikes of Mokara showing gentle buds of orange. And all the Hoyas are blooming too. Gardening may sometimes be a pain because it does not thrive on neglect but the joy and the quiet times you spend pulling off weeds, pruning and watering are more than enough to make your day complete.
Last Monday, we have experienced the worst typhoon so far this year. Typhoon Labuyo (internationally named Utor) caused massive floods and landslides all over central and northern Luzon and wreaked havoc to so many homes, crops and properties particularly in Aurora province. I know the feeling of losing what you have to typhoons and finding your home submerged in water. Four years ago, we experienced exactly that and it took us a month to repair our cabinets and replace some of our appliances and personal effects that were destroyed by the typhoon. We lost most of our books too. But still we were lucky because we had a house to come back to unlike those typhoon victims in Aurora where their houses were destroyed. I always dread the thought of storms and typhoons. And it sad to think that every year, we experience at least twenty or more weather disturbances .
Just started on a new book by a Turkish author entitled My Name is Red. It’s sixteenth-century Istanbul and the author Orhan Pamuk is a recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.
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Posted in blogging, books, journeys, life, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, books, journeys, life, silence speaks on August 1, 2013 |
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Gosh, it’s August already? Time moves so quickly. And I used to blog about month-endings and new beginnings. Lately though, I found myself more engrossed reading my growing stash of books and some e-books on my phone. And blogging was relegated to the backseat. Soon, I will update my blog here. I just want to say thank you to all of you who have remained my online friends all these years, commenting now and then, giving me a glimpse of your own journey.
I am always touched every time I see comments asking how I am. Yes, it’s been four years since I created this blog and I think, in my own small way, I have touched their lives too, no matter how mundane my sharing has become. And yes, thank you so much for coming back here and telling me that you are inspired. Initially, I just thought of sharing my journey as a cancer patient/survivor but it has become a hodgepodge of everything. That’s who I am, still dreaming and believing that dreams come true.
And I am excited getting reacquainted with some authors I’ve known some years ago and trying unheard of writers whose works I find equally absorbing. I’ll be back, I promise.
I just want to say, “thank you.”
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Posted in blogging, books, life, Philippines, silence speaks, tagged blogging, books, guilty pleasures, life, literature and Fiction, reading, thoughts and ramblings on July 4, 2013 |
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Adversity is not detour. It is part of the path.
You will encounter obstacles. You will make mistakes. Be grateful for both. Your obstacles and mistakes will be your greatest teachers. And the only way to not make mistakes in this life is to do nothing. which is the biggest mistake of all.
Your challenges, if you’ll let them, will become your greatest allies. Mountains can crush or raise you, depending on which side of the mountain you choose to stand on. All history bears out that the great, those who have changed the world, have all suffered great challenges. And, more times than not, it’s precisely those challenges that, in God’s time, lead to triumph.
And those are quotes from one of the latest books by Richard Paul Evans, one of my favorite authors. I haven’t blogged for a while, and I mean writing a blog post with more than just one line. The past few days, I have posted several short prayers that I regularly compose for my online apostolate page. I am glad though that despite the absence of a longer and more substantial post, you still visit my site and make comments on my previous blogs. I am grateful
I’ve been indisposed for almost a week. I hurt my foot while trimming our carabao grass a week ago. It was a good three inches cut from the blade of the grass cutter. I tripped when I suddenly stood up and my foot caught the exposed blade. It’s a good thing though that my anti-tetanus vaccine is still in effect. I can now walk straight without dragging my right foot and the wound is almost healed. I spent the last few days reading, and spending an hour each day in front of my computer to update our page. The luxury of doing nothing but read and just cook simple meals for the family is heaven. Imagine yourself reading a new book each day and catching up on the stash that you have for so many months now, choose what you think is interesting or what you think is the shortest. I am hooked on historical fiction at the moment reading The Last Days of the Romanovs by Helene Rappaport. And this may sound crazy because I read a few of their story on the net complete with gargantuan pictures before I started reading the book. It is a historical fiction, a detailed chronology of events before the Imperial family of Russia, the Romanovs, were executed in 1918. It is nice to learn a bit of Russian history in a fiction format. It reminds me of another author that I read in the past, Ayn Rand, a Russian-American author more famous for her two novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
One of my book buddies posted on her timeline that our summer capital, Baguio City is slowly changing its face. I just can’t imagine Burnham Park being fenced and gated. Its charm lies in the greens all around.
Flowers don’t grow on concrete, do they?
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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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