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Posts Tagged ‘life’


Mornings are definitely getting colder. Officially, we’re now at the start of the Amihan season, dominated by trade winds which means cooler temperature.  Hopefully, gone are the days of flash flood, thunderstorms and endless rain showers.  On second thoughts, it is during the months of November  and December that the Philippines experiences stronger typhoons when the southwest monsoon meets the northeast winds. I like this lovely season best of all, a  clear sign that  Christmas is near. Oh, I am not counting, I’m just excited about it all :)

Imagine yourself going to bed at an ungodly hour of 7pm and waking up at an even crazier time of 3am. I like it though, when you feel the palpable quiet all around, no motorcycles and motor cars to disturb the peace, just those silent moments of introspection and soul-searching.  It’s an additional bonus to write a blog with an uninterrupted and faster internet connection.

Gosh, I’ll be turning 58 in ten days, a certified  and indulgent “lola”.  Life is good and I am grateful. When I think of the times I went through in the past I could not help but wonder how I was able to stay standing still. Those are my favorite words nowadays, standing still.  Standing still amidst the vicissitudes of life, standing still amidst the trying times that you have no control of, standing still despite and in spite of every bend on the road that you encounter.  I am grateful though for the endless blessings that God bestows on me and my family.  Believe me, the trying times make  one stronger and braver  because they make you realize that you possess that inner strength and courage to face it all.  I remember what Nissa told me yesterday about what Nate recently learned. I smile at the thought that my almost two-year old grandson  is learning positive attitude  at such a tender age. When you say “God is good“, he would answer in a clear voice with two hands raised, “all the time”.

A friend once told me that as you get older, you tend to reminisce about the good old days and the times that made you really, really smile. Isn’t that what life is all about?  The past carries with it lessons that would help us in our present journey. I do remember. We ought to be growing wiser with age and welcoming getting older with grace.

Joy is shaped by simple pleasures.

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It’s a sluggish  journey to kingdom come, my internet connection, that is. For the past several days, it was a struggle to write a blog post here.  I hate that whole-screen commercial ad that suddenly pops up on my screen when I am searching the net. It is sponsored by our internet provider so I guess, short of blocking it out which I don’t even know how, I have to bear with it not with a smile but through  gritted teeth.  Even  my old PC  conks out on me just when I am a bit inspired to write.  They’re partners in crime probably.

The truth is I was not feeling well the past two days. I think I had too much of gardening, weeding and digging the soil, taking advantage of the sunny days.  I even planned to repot some of my sansevieria plants  and  trim my Fukien tea plants. And it’s been like ages since I captured a bloom in the garden. It’s almost all green now except for the white flowers of my two dwarf calamansi.

Pachystachys Lutea. Common names are Yello shrimp plant, Golden candle and lollipop plant.

Pachystachys Lutea. Common names are Yellow shrimp plant, Golden candle and lollipop plant.

Did you know that the actual  flowers are the white ones on the tip of the yellow bracts ? These are so easy to grow from cuttings. When I have time, I’ll propagate more of this.

Zebrina pendula

Zebrina pendula

 

After so many years having this in the garden, I finally learned its name just the other day. It’s called  Zebrina pendula more commonly known as Wandering  Jew. It’s quite invasive so it needs heavy pruning. It easily thrives through cuttings and  are best hung in a corner.

A friend just reminded me of my upcoming birthday.  Some close friends and I have already celebrated it in advance a  week ago at Vikings – Megamall.  One of them came home for a short vacation and she treated us to lunch. I will share some pictures I took of the event when my internet connection is good.  Birthdays are reminders that we are not only getting older  but should be growing wiser with age too.

Color me yellow at least for today.  Yellow is the lightest hue of the spectrum. The color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.  I need all these right now.

 

 

 

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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!

 

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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.

 

 

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“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.

 

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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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They come back in snatches, like a favorite old song that keeps you thinking how you felt while you listen and sing along. They come back, like the gentle patter of raindrops outside  your  window sans the frightening thunder and lightning that always accompany a thunderstorm. They come back and they make you smile.

Our overhead light got busted and you might think it silly that I am using a LED  light attached to my transistor radio to type my way through. I am afraid  I would forget these lovely thoughts if I postpone writing them even for an hour. I spent  the early evening visiting my favorite writers at Philippine Star. The latter is a  favorite national daily too because it was through their invites that I got two articles published a few years ago.  I was so happy that I got paid for  writing an article about OFW families, which we were back then.  I am digressing again. I read the editorial  page of  the Philippine Star now and then but I never skip the lifestyle section of the paper looking for Second Wind, a byline by Barbara Gonzales and Love Lucy by Lucy Torres. The former is a 70 something retired advertising executive who shares her journey with her readers. She writes, teaches writing, does arts and crafts while Lucy is the Lucy Torres Gomez, a house representative from Ormoc down south.  I am inspired by their writing style  that I laugh sometimes all by myself while reading their articles.  Lucy writes fluidly about her early childhood, her dreams when she reaches 85 (haha), her penchant for arts and crafts, her preference for writing short notes on pretty stationeries and sealed in even prettier envelopes, the midnight snacks she always craves for with hubby Richard.  These remind me of the days growing up in the province.

When we were kids, my aunt had a small sari-sari store that sold  everything from bubble gums, Vicks candies to Tancho pomade and that green aftershave/cologne that they used in barber shops  way back then. My favorite was the Vicks candies in small packets with free plastic rings that my cousins and I used to collect. All my fingers would be adorned with different colors of rings in different designs. Heaven! The treasures of youth.  I remember the happy times  when my cousins and I would gather dry twigs to use for cooking  and during summer, armed with wide baskets and bayong,  we would go out in the heat of the sun to gather duhat (black plum) for afternoon snacks. My girl cousins would use fresh annatto seeds growing in the backyard to color our lips,  and we would use madre cacao to curl our hair.  On moonlit nights, my cousins and I would play patintero or luksong tinik and tumbang preso. They were priceless games that a child of ten would definitely enjoy. The best though were the times when we would drink coconut juice straight from the tree and later eat the buko as soon as they were scraped from the husk.  By the  way, buko is a  young coconut.I had my share of climbing trees too (guava trees) mostly. Those were the days,  lovely memories of the past.  Some may be a bit hazy but the fun attached to those long-ago days are still fresh in my mind.

They make me smile with that pleasant ache of remembrance.  Traipsing down memory lane. What were yours, can you remember?

 

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