Posted in blogging, books, family, photography, University of Santo Tomas, UST, tagged blogging, books, guilty pleasures, photography, University of Santo Tomas on September 14, 2014 |
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What does one write about on a rainy evening like this? My mind gets stalled not by lack of what to say but how I am going to say something interesting enough to merit even just one reader’s eyes.
On a night like this, I take momentary pleasures dwelling in a world of remembering the not so distant past. At least that would provide a change to the inane and inconsequential things one thinks about on almost any night but a rainy one.
I just enjoyed browsing three filled notebooks of previous writings and quotations from my readings from way back. The beauty of reminiscing and getting in touch with the old self, the beauty of rediscovering how life was many decades ago. I even found drafts of letters to friends during my college years. And I found these, two black and white pictures with Dad and my youngest brother. I had a good laugh at my brother’s bell-bottom pants and my short skirt (so seventies). Never mind, these were our school uniforms at the University of Santo Tomas four decades ago. I just want to share them here, I am afraid I may misplace them again.
Those were the days and these are treasured shots with Dad.
There is something so nostalgic about black and white or sepia pictures of long ago. And I remember these because my dad received a gold medal as exemplary employee of the university. That is why, the four of us kids (my three brothers and I) studied in UST from high school to college and my two kids are Thomasians too. I am grateful though and proud of being an alumna of the oldest existing university in Asia. In terms of student population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world in a single campus. The Pontifical, Royal Catholic University of the Philippines, that’s UST for you.
I started reading Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell, another historical novel that reminds me so much of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and Trinity by Leon Uris. I am always fascinated by Irish-American history.
What book are you reading now?
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Posted in blessings, blogging, journeys, life, Mama Mary, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged blogging, inspirations, journeys, life, my 1500th post, silence speaks, thoughts on September 8, 2014 |
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It has been more than five years now since I ventured into blogging at WordPress. It took me almost a year before I was able to add something to my lone post (a short poem, if I remember) because I didn’t even know how to navigate the site. I didn’t even know how to pick a nice theme that would go with what I planned to write about. Blogging at Friendster and Multiply before opening one at WordPress was quite easy but I was not able to save all my blog posts there when the two platforms bade goodbye for good. Sometimes I wish I could recapture what I wrote there but thoughts are fleeting, you’ll never know what would inspire you, something good enough to share, something good enough to write about, something good enough to inspire others too.
I started Dreams and Escapes because I wanted to share my journey as a cancer patient/survivor. I dreamed of inspiring people who are traveling the same journey with me, maybe not on the same road but with the same destination, that of getting well and living life without that extra baggage of thinking that we are not hundred percent fit. I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of them found my blog and they come back to update me on what is happening in their lives. That alone is one blessing that I treasure so much. Through the years, it has evolved into an online diary (well, sort of). Through the years, I have shared so much of myself through my short posts and I deeply appreciate the views, comments, likes and finding new online friends.
Life is hard. Who said it isn’t? Life is one long journey of faith, hope and dreams. Into each life some rain must fall so they always say. Sometimes though, that bit of rain becomes a deluge and it’s hard to see the sun shining through. Sometimes, you swim into it without knowing how you will reach the shore. Sometimes, you just stare and remember in some distant past how life has been. You wonder how you stayed standing still. You wonder how you got through the storms. You remember the days you cried. You remember the days you laughed with tears of joy.
I always look forward to this day. September 8 is Mama Mary’s birthday in the Catholic calendar. For the past three years, my blog has registered a tremendous leap and all because of my various posts on Mama Mary. WordPress must be wondering where all these viewers are coming from because they have sent three messages since last night saying that my stats are booming and my blog is getting lots of traffic. And all because of Mama Mary. Though one can’t measure how popular or how good a blog is, having more than a thousand viewers at any given day is so amazing.
Life may be hard but the lovely moments always stand out. The meaningful experiences always teach a lesson. Here I am, standing still.
You published your 1500th post on this blog!
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I wish I could blog more often on our precious bundle of joy but it is just a monthly update every time my kids come over for a visit. I wish I could say how much I love discovering something new that Nate has learned in a month – new words, new things that he has recently discovered too, the minute or two we spend on the phone saying hi and hello to each other, seeing him learning how to use a spoon on his own and feeds himself with the Yaya’s help. They are the things that make me smile although sometimes I wonder at the thought that he is really growing up fast. He’ll be turning two in three months. I smiled when Nissa said that we still have our birthdays to celebrate (hers on September and mine on October) before even thinking of celebrating Nate’s birthday. I also smile at the thought that when Nate is old enough to read and see my blog he would appreciate all the pictures and posts that I uploaded about him. He earned four blog followers today, not that it matters much but it makes me proud that some people like what I share with them. I wish I could continue writing about his growing up years.
The BER months are almost here. I can hear Christmas songs playing over the radio. We celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world (I think) that starts at the beginning of September and ends way beyond the celebration of Three Kings. I love Christmas, it is my most blogged about topic every year. I am looking forward to the season because no matter how hard life is and how commercialized it has become, it is still the happiest one we have here. Have I told you that I also collect books with Christmas stories?
How was your Sunday?
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Posted in 60's, books, family life, guilty pleasures, Happiness, journeys, life, ramblings, tagged blogging, books, family life, guilty pleasures, life, thoughts and ramblings on August 3, 2014 |
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It is always nice to reminisce the good old days. I wonder how many times I’ve blogged about something like this, mostly about books and music, music and books, a lethal combination that makes the heart happy. Every Sunday is one such opportunity to reminisce the good old days, the relaxed time, the “me” moments. Never mind if the laundry basket is almost full of dirty clothes that need to be loaded in the washing machine, never mind if the side yard needs sweeping from the jackfruit trees that shed leaves like crazy, never mind the half-finished and newly dug earth just waiting there outside. My aging body refuses to work on Sundays so it is spent catching up on reading and listening almost all day long to the music of the 60’s and the 70’s. Most FM radios play them anyway and AM bands have followed suit, so instead of news, I listen and sing along.
This morning, I had a nice chat with my brother who lives in Tulsa with his family. It has become a ritual for us to spend thirty minutes to an hour exchanging news via Viber. Talk about technology advancement and free calls from far-off US of A. I just recently learned how to use Viber, I had it installed on my phone and removed the app for Skype. I get to call my daughter Nissa and listen to my grandson Nate shouting “Nonna, Nonna, hi” over the phone thru Viber. I think this is the best medium for free calls and messaging. Gone are the days when you are often afraid to make overseas calls because you dread to see your phone bill rising to high heavens. It is always a riot of laughter while swapping stories with my youngest brother. We talk about our kids (mostly) and food (all the time) and how hard life is nowadays but as always we get to reminisce on the good old days (again). He loves to cook and sometimes shares his recipes with me. This morning, it was chicken gumbo and bamboo shoots. Alden, my other brother who lives in the province with Mom brought me fresh bamboo shoots the other day. I have some of it cooked in coconut milk with lots of sliced green pepper, the rest I put in the freezer for future use.
Nissa sent me this early this morning (an ad from Books for Less). She said I would surely enjoy finding treasures there. I am excited but they are closed on Sundays.
I hope you are enjoying the weekend.
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Posted in blogging, family life, journeys, life, ramblings, silence speaks, tagged blogging, family life, journeys, life, thoughts and ramblings on July 6, 2014 |
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I set my alarm clock at 4am but I was awake long before I pressed the snooze button. It’s Monday and my son and I were supposed to have our car registered at the LTO. Mondays are his rest days so we thought of going there early so as to avoid the long queue of cars with plates ending in 7. It was raining though and I don’t want my son driving in the rain with traffic to boot. Typhoon Florita (internationally named Neugori) was upgraded to a super typhoon. Though it is still in the Philippine area of responsibility and it won’t likely make a landfall, it is bringing monsoon rains in several places.
By the way, I would love to thank those new online friends who are now following me here. I know, 793 followers are not much to other bloggers’ standards but then I am so lucky and grateful that they read my blog. Right now, my stats are blooming registering a high 270,981 visits. That’s a feat if you ask me. I am always conscious of the fact that I nearly consumed two-thirds of the allowed 3.072MB limits. I used to post high-resolution photos in my earlier blog entries but then I realized that it would easily eat up my allowed free limits so I opened a new blog for my photos two years ago, I think. Of course I don’t expect that it will gather as many followers and visits like this main page but at least I get to see my macro shots in full. If you have time, you can visit it here. I am reviewing some of my earlier posts and trying to adjust the photos to at least medium sizes.
Every week, my daughter makes it a point that I get to talk to my grandson Nate over the phone. Although Nissa and I get in touch every day, I only get to hear Nate’s voice over the weekends. We see each other once a month, they come over so we could catch up on things. Sometimes, I laugh at the things Nissa shares in her messages. Yesterday, she texted that at Nate’s age, he is really a smart little boy. She told Nate, “Mommy will make you milk, ok” and he answered “ok”. I laughed when I read it and I missed him all the more. Last night, I got to talk to him for about a minute. Nissa told me that when he saw my picture on Nissa’s phone, he said, “Nonna, Nonna”. I love it that he always responds to the non-stop “I love you” although sometimes he could not pronounce it yet correctly. He is a year and seven months old now, that stage where he listens to every word you say and try to imitate it.
It’s still a little dark outside. I’d love to take a few shots of the rain droplets at the garden. What a cold morning and the drizzle has not stopped yet. Good morning :)
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Posted in blessings, blogging, Closer to God, Faith, inspirational, tagged a simple prayer, blogging, Closer to God, Faith, journeys, prayers on June 30, 2014 |
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Happy New Month. I’d like to bring back the days when blogging was such a joy because every day, there is something you can share even such a simple prayer like this.
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Posted in blessings, blogging, books, family life, guilty pleasures, life, Philippine cuisine, tagged a bit of myself, blogging, books, family life, food, ginataang santol, guilty pleasures, life, thoughts and ramblings on June 30, 2014 |
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The past days, I didn’t have the energy to blog. I am still busy with gardening,what with the onset of the rainy season and the carabao grass seems to grow by leaps and bounds. I actually hired somebody to clean our side yard outside because I am planning to have it planted with some green veggies. As is the case with people who are not really into gardening, they can never visualize what you want to do with it. I have to tell him how to remove the stubborn weeds by turning over the soil and removing the roots embedded there. It is even more time-consuming to give instructions and see if he did it the way you wanted. Gardening is hard I know and when you don’t have any love for the earth, it would be just one tedious task that you will have to do again and again.
My son and I did our marketing this morning back at Pasig market. It is always something I look forward to because I am so curious about what fruits we could buy that are in season which would save us a few pesos. Santol is selling by the crates and a kilo of the Bangkok variety with that sweet and juicy pulp is selling at P20.00 and the ordinary ones are at P10.00 a kilo. I was thinking of cooking ginataang santol so I bought two kilos. The last time I cooked something like this was about a year ago. I have forgotten how yummy it is, with the sour taste blending perfectly with the coconut cream, Thai red chilis and a bit of ground pork to make it more tasty. Filipino recipes cooked in coconut cream won’t be that authentic without the hot taste of red or green pepper. I am also planning to plant the local siling labuyo in our backyard. Josef was delighted when he saw bright red cherry tomatoes. We could use them for fresh vegetable salad. Locally produced zucchini are a lot cheaper than the imported ones. I also got the orange variety of sweet potatoes, what a joy! It is always a thrill to discover something new to buy and something nice to experiment on in the kitchen.
Yes,I was able to catch up on reading. I laughed out loud while reading Sophie Kinsella’s I Got Your Number. I know, you’ll probably say, most of her books are funny and humorous but then, don’t we sometimes want to read books that are simply relaxing? Just imagine, four books in one week and I am on my 5th one, another book by Jojo Moyes. That’s a feat if you ask me :) I could not wait though to do some looming again but it has to take a back seat in lieu of gardening.
How was your day? I am looking forward to what July has in store. I’ll be on my 5th year in remission by July 14th. Thank God for the gift of health. I bow my head for all these graces and blessings.
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