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Posts Tagged ‘reflections’


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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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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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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I love taking shots of the blue sky. Everything looks so clean and fresh when you see the sun after the rain.

I love taking shots of the blue sky. Everything looks so clean and fresh when you see the sun after the rain.

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IMG_6258

You speak of sunshine and blue sky

You speak of blue waters dancing on a fountain

You speak of  innocence, of gentleness and peace

While  you watch the doves dip their noses and wings

in the blue water.

What a lovely moment to feel serenity within.

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I have often raised my hand in the silence of the night and in my solitary cell, blessing you all and presenting you to Jesus and to our seraphic father, St. Francis of Assisi. – St. Pio of Pietrelcina

I have often said in my previous blogs that when you are touched by God’s graces more than you ever expect, your heart sings with joy and gratitude.

The arch at the back entrance at Padre Pio Chapel. Notice the hundred of rosaries hanging there. A tremendous and overwhelming show of faith.

The arch at the back entrance at Padre Pio Chapel. Notice  the rosaries hanging there. A tremendous and overwhelming show of faith.

Yesterday, I was so blessed to be able to visit St. Padre Pio Chapel again after more than three months. This time, I was with some friends and a healing priest. Fr. Cris Bautista, MS  belongs to the congregation of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette.  I was there earlier than the appointed time because I want to pray the rosary inside the chapel and write my petitions at the prayer room of St. Francis  of Assisi. I am always touched by the silence and beauty of the place.  I saw some visitors too wearing head gears, hats and caps with matching face masks. Deep in my heart I know that some of them are cancer patients or maybe cancer survivors like I am. Until now, I still wear face masks too when I am in the middle of a crowd and when I am traveling in a public conveyance. There was even a patient in a wheelchair being fed via an intravenous tube attached to his body.

The silent moments, the peace within, the joy of visiting a sacred place to pray.  I always feel so blessed every time I have the opportunity to come here. This time though, I call it a truly blessed Saturday for me and my friends. Fr. Cris prayed with us, anointed us with Holy Oil and we sang with him songs for Mama Mary  (Salve Regina) , we prayed in thanksgiving  for our health and healing – memorable moments that made my day complete, and the tears flowed freely while Fr. Cris was praying with us.  What a beautiful message faith brings, trusting in the Lord’s goodness, secure in His love.

I posted this simple prayer at our online page this morning.

I choose to be brave

I choose to be strong

I choose to have an unshakable faith despite the raging storms in my life.

St. Padre Pio, please pray for me.

Mama Mary, thank you.

Lord Jesus, bless me.

Fr. Cris gave us rosaries and prayer pamphlets of  Padre Pio. September 23 is a special day for Padre Pio devotees. It is his feast day. I’ve long wanted to buy a biography of Padre Pio. One of these days, I will visit St. Paul’s publication to find one.

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Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask. I wear a thousand mask
masks that I’m afraid to take off
and none of them are me.
Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me
but don’t be fooled,
for God’s sake, don’t be  fooled.
I give you the impression that I’m secure
That all is sunny and unruffled with me
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name
and coolness my game,
that the water’s calm
and I’m in command,
and that I need no one.
But don’t believe me. Please!

This is just a part of the poem I copied in my journal when I was just starting college life. It’s entitled  The Mask I Wear, the author is unknown. Seeing the news today and the many tweets on the death of Robin Williams made me recall this poem. How much pain do we hide behind the mask? How alone do we feel after all the laughter and smiles? How often do we see ourselves in others? The gaiety becomes a feeling of anguish after a while.

Robin Williams is one of my favorite  actors.  Although I am not much into watching the big screen and television  reruns, he is one of those who could hold  my attention from beginning to end. I loved him in Mork and Mindy, I loved him in Mrs. Doubtfire, I cried  watching Good Will Hunting.  I am sad that he passed on at such an early age.  His legacy lives on.

You made me cry, you made me laugh. Robin Williams, may your soul rest in peace.

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