Posted in blogging, journeys, life, memories, silence speaks, writing, tagged blogging, childhood memories, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts and ramblings on September 29, 2014 |
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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 read about ALS back when I was into research of alternative treatments for cancer when I finished my six cycles of chemotherapy five years ago. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It sounds frightening and they say that there is still no known cure that would put a stop to it. I only heard of it again when I saw some personalities on TV doing the ice bucket challenge. It has become viral on social media. Are they doing it for publicity or are they doing it because they sincerely want to help people with this kind of ailment? I am not here to judge, I just noticed that those who have accepted the challenge, movie and television personalities that you get to watch every day are also urging and challenging some people in the government to do the same. I even heard one this morning commenting that the feeling of tingling sensations while the ice water touches your skin is similar to the pain one feels when he/she has ALS. I am not in a position to say something negative here but do you have to do it so you could help? Wouldn’t it be nicer if you would help even without doing the challenge?
There is this interesting article I read a few minutes ago published by health impact news entitled “Do you Know What You Are Supporting?” such chilling facts that make my skin tingle. I remember the times when I was on chemotherapy, after each every session for two days at most, you can’t even move your body and arms normally because you are so weak, as they say in Tagalog, “parang lantang gulay”. I remember the times I cannot even hold a spoon and fork because the tips of my fingers are so painful like they are being pricked by a needle when they touch something cold or anything metallic. What I know is, everyone who is afflicted with life-threatening ailments needs support group and that is sadly lacking here in our country. When I was under treatment, I longed for some friends to discuss cancer freely with me but only a few dared. Probably they thought that it would be more painful to remind me of it but I tell you , it helps a lot.
The ice bucket challenge has caused general awareness in some of us but how healthy really is an ice bucket poured down your head?In an article published today by Philippine Star, a leading newspaper here in our country, it quoted a well-known cardiologist Dr. Willie Ong who told The STAR that “in some cases the blood pressure may drop suddenly, causing the affected individual to collapse. This could be particularly harmful to the elderly, pregnant women and the ailing”.
Is it a fad, are they just going with the flow? What’s your take on this?
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Posted in books, family life, guilty pleasures, journeys, more books, tagged a bit of myself, books, family life, guilty pleasures, literature and Fiction, thoughts and ramblings on August 16, 2014 |
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He said, “we must come back here”.
Oh yes, why not? Fancy my son being so supportive of my hobbies. Although he is not into fiction books like I am, he loves accompanying me to bookstores and letting me find more books to explore and read. Yesterday was one such lovely day that we got to spend together after a lightning trip to the supermarket to buy groceries. Grocery-shopping, reading labels and nutrition facts, finding something new, making list of items that we need to buy – purely routine for some but it’s a joy for me to do.
Last week when he saw what I bought at Books for Less, he promised to go with me to buy more. Who would not be thrilled with that? I thought he would be put off by the gargantuan and riotously arranged books on display there but he found out something to his interest, a hard-bound book on games (cards, magic tricks etc.) and he was hooked. He was even surprised that all books on sale are at P10 pesos each.
And more books.
When I think of all the books still left for me to read, I am certain of further happiness. ~Jules Renard
I found two more books on Christmas, one is a collection of short Christmas stories by Rosamunde Pilcher and a novel by Debbie Macomber. I found a copy of Taylor Caldwell’s Captains and the Kings. I watched the tv series decades ago. That was mid-seventies, I think when television programs were something to look forward to, not the sort of teleseryes (soap operas) that they have now that I never bother to watch. I remember watching it with Mom and Dad along with the television sitcom John and Marsha, the longest running comedy series that made us all laugh. I love history even if they are just written through fiction books. It is now hard to find mass-produced copies of novels written by great writers from way back except maybe in second-hand bookstores and I was lucky to find Captains and the Kings. It has mostly five-star ratings on Goodreads . I am also excited to read Los Alamos, a first novel by Joseph Canon. I have just finished reading the second book of Ken Follett on WWII and this would be a nice follow-up since its setting was at the end of WWII. How lucky could one get, right?
Yes, of course.
Yesterday, when Josef said that we have to come back and add some more to my loot, I readily answered, “Yes, of course” with a smile on my face that says, what a lovely day!
What books are you reading at the moment?
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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 Close to Nature, family life, food, gardens, journeys, tagged a bit of myself, Close to Nature, family life, food, thoughts and ramblings on July 21, 2014 |
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Despite the cold weather here, I woke up at an ungodly hour of 3:18am. It’s nice to just enjoy the early morning in peace and quiet but the steady patter of raindrops brings that fear again of flash flood. PAGASA said tropical storm Henry (yes, it is a he this time) won’t make a landfall but it would intensify habagat (southwest monsoon) to the rest of the country. The storm is northbound this time.
Josef brought home two large loaves of Gardenia bread from their team building the other night and I told him, we should consume it first instead of cooking breakfast and since it is his rest day, it’s a go. Mind you, I even googled a bit on the many ways to cook eggs. We usually have them scrambled, soft-boiled, sunny side-up and omelet. But what’s perfect for slices of warm toasted bread? He likes it cooked with lots of white onions and fresh tomatoes so instead of mixing them together, I cooked the tomatoes in a little butter, granulated garlic and black pepper.
It turned out so yummy, he had four slices of panini pressed bread. We usually have fried rice for breakfast with longganisa(native sausage) or dried fish or a week-old adobo flakes. Speaking of adobo, the longer you keep them in the ref, the tastier and more yummy it gets. It is a Filipino dish that never goes wrong with any meal, be it an ordinary breakfast fare or something special mixed with coconut cream.
I miss messing around in my garden and this rain makes it hard for us to trim the grass and our Fukien tea plants. I miss taking shots of my garden blooms but all I have now are my Hoya, some new buds of Mokara orchids and my ever patient Crossandra flowers. Maybe when the rain stops, I’ll take photos of the water droplets clinging to the leaves of the taro plants. Maybe in a while, the sun will show its face and I’ll be able to go out and explore. I guess this is also a perfect time to finish that book of Ken Follett.
Go away Henry and let me see the sun.
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Posted in blessings, Faith, health, journeys, life, silence speaks, tagged a bit of myself, Closer to God, Faith, health, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts and ramblings on July 14, 2014 |
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We are all on the alert. Every time there is a storm signal here in Metro Manila, I feel so insecure. There was a time when I used to appreciate the rain when it gently pours and makes the green countryside even greener and fresher. Our experience with typhoon Ondoy almost five years ago changed all that. Glenda is the seventh storm signal this year. Most of the provinces in Luzon are affected by this latest weather disturbance, we are under storm signal number 2. I am praying it won’t bring so much rain that would cause flash flood in Metro Manila.
There is this quote that I’ve often read and pondered about for a long time now and it was even made into a lot of internet meme. It’s from Vivian Green (sorry, I don’t know much about her except through this quote) and it says:
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Yesterday, I celebrated my 5th year in remission. It’s really one good reason to celebrate and to offer it in thanksgiving . I thank God for all the blessings and graces. As I’ve always said in my previous blog posts, this blog exists because I wanted to share my journey as a cancer patient/survivor. The first two years of this blog were almost about my everyday experiences going to and from the hospital, weekly lab tests and the pain and anguish of having to undergo chemotherapy every three weeks. Miracles do happen in our everyday life and it is always a blessing to wake up each morning seeing the sun and the day’s unfolding. We are richly blessed by the love and care of family and friends, just sometimes, we forget to appreciate what we have and take everything for granted. I am always of the thought that life is one lovely journey despite the odds and the pain it brings us now and then. I am looking forward to a new day despite the storm. I love this beautiful quote from the late Maya Angelou.
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Posted in family life, journeys, life, ramblings, reflections, tagged a bit of myself, family life, growing old, journeys, life, thoughts and ramblings on July 9, 2014 |
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Josef and I left the house early so we could avoid the traffic that usually goes with the morning rush hours. A few minutes would really spell the difference. For the past three years, we have renewed the registration of our car at the LTO Quezon City office and my brother who has the same ending number for July sometimes accompany us or has his car registered at the same time. He said earlier that he might not be able to register it early so we went ahead today. Imagine our surprise when we saw him already parked in front of the emission testing center at LTO.
We waited for their offices to open, we were there before 7am. It took us about thirty minutes to wait for the emission testing, issuance of insurance certificate and registration. Last year, most branches didn’t have stickers upon renewal but I was glad to see that my son won’t have to come back for it this time. They were ready with the 2014 stickers. One thing that made me laugh while recounting to my son why it took me a few minutes to finish was that the receiving clerk mistook me for a senior citizen and wrote SC in bold letters on the xeroxed copy of the car’s certificate without even asking if I am one. The perks of having a few grey hairs at your temple. You are on the priority list and that also holds true when you transact business in government establishments and banks. There is a separate line for SC.
Earlier on, my brother and I talked about what we will do when we reach the senior years (he is older by only eleven months actually) because Senior Citizens enjoy some privileges that make life a little easier. Under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the SC enjoy a 20% discount and exemption from the value added tax on the sale of goods and services like medicines, medical supplies and professional fees of attending physicians in all private hospitals, actual fare in public transports, 5% discount on grocery items to name a few. Here in our place, they even give you a basket of groceries every time you celebrate your birthday and free medicines for common everyday ailments. We talked about finally having retirement funds from the Social Security System. He is also a colon cancer survivor like am I. Thank God for miracles, he is on his 11th year being cancer free. I am still praying every day that we would both reach the age where we can still enjoy the company of our grandchildren.
Anyway, I am looking forward to being called a senior citizen in exactly two years and three months and I’ll be one….gladly.
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