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Life’s Simple Pleasures


Take that to mean lots of smiles for the simple me who takes simple pleasures in most things. I am celebrating my 5th year as an admin of our Catholic page on Facebook. I can’t imagine how I lasted this long since most admins that we appointed have left, they find it too taxing to make research, post inspirational stories, post Bible readings for the day and maintain the site. There are only three of us now, a Dominican priest friend who created the online  aspect of  Apostles Filipino Catholic Community and another friend who is a lay minister in their parish. I know it is not smooth sailing all the time but I thank God for the opportunity of serving Him in my own little way. Fr. Louie nicely put it this way,  You have been serving the Church through your talent as an online missionary“. It makes my heart sing.

It was Josef’s rest day today so I asked him if I could tag along when he goes out and  suggested that we’ll just have our lunch outside. I was so excited to taste the new product of KFC which they call Chizza ( supposedly a combination of chicken and pizza). Nothing much to rave about, it’s just like an ordinary pizza with chicken, a bit pricey for such a small serving but at least I would no longer imagine how it tastes like. He went to Makati to apply for another job while I was supposed to go to Robinson’s Galleria to look around. The UV Express made a short-cut so I ended up at Megamall. The driver reasoned out that he asked so I also asked a fellow passenger if she heard but she answered in the negative. Some people could be annoying, it wiped the smile off my face :(

On the way back, I rode another UV Express (they are cheaper in lieu of taxi but they have to fill up the 14-seater van to capacity, make that 18 passengers, the drivers/owners are wise, you know). Had a good chat with some fellow passengers which started with a box of Dunkin donuts, learned a few words from an authentic Taytay resident and  I was a bit surprised that they have another dialect different from Tagalog. We also touched on the local government officials of our towns and about flood and climate change too. How easy it is to communicate with people from other walks of life because they are friendly enough to share. Before we knew it, we’ve reached our destinations without getting bored with the traffic. I’ve missed this kind of interaction which is  oh so different from having an online chat with friends. It’s kind of different when you see the smile on their faces instead of a smiley emoticon in front of your PC.

Life’s simple pleasures, things that make you smile.

It’s A Pink Wednesday


Ah yes, color me pink for the day.

I spent the early morning in the garden weeding a bit. I don’t know, our carabao grass needs trimming again, it seems to grow by leaps and bounds. The rainy days last week contributed to the rapid growth of everything. I had a lovely time picking some Calamansi (Philippine lime) from our two fruit trees in the yard. They are almost ripe, just perfect for a pitcher of fresh Calamansi juice. Our Bougainvillea planted at the corner outside our perimeter wall is blooming again, those lovely clustered pink flowers are a sight to behold. The shrub serves as a protection to our concrete corner wall where there is busy traffic every day. Even my pink rain lilies are showing flowers in every tip. My pink and yellow Portulaca are blooming too so are my pink angels. How lovely to see different shade of pink in the garden. I call it a pink Wednesday.

My son and I had a good laugh a while ago when I heard the Beatles playing on his tab while he was having a late breakfast. I asked him, “since when have you learned listening to that kind of music?” He said, “don’t you remember, we used to watch them when I was in grade school”. Oh, senior moments again.  I laughed. Of course, I remember now, there was this new tv station (on test broadcast for a few days) and they played those old movies by the Beatles and some clips of their concerts worldwide.  You bet, I am now listening to their music on YouTube while blogging :) Those were the days and the good thing about the 60’s and 70’s music is that you always have the option to listen to them even just on YouTube.

Do you find pleasure in listening to old music, that kind that resonates with you, that kind of music that was a part of your growing up years? I do.

Understanding File Sizes


Oh no, I only have 30% left on my allowed free space for WordPress before this blog says goodbye.  I don’t intend to update it into a premium account then have to pay it yearly  just like I did with Multiply before. It is a personal blog and I don’t intend to use it to earn something extra. I remember attending a forum (paid at that with a bloody sum of P5,000.00 pesos) promising to teach online marketing, learning about SEO, finding your niche and such but then after the event, I realized it is not for me. I’d rather be the author, the blogger, the editor and publisher of my own posts than linking them to some other sites  that pay a minimal sum when readers click the sponsored ads on your post.

I have a free allowed space of 3,072 MB total since I am using a free theme. Most of us I think have the same limits.  I have used up 2,135.46 MB roughly 70% or a total of 936.54 MB remaining. How big is too big or how small is too small? Would I need to crop my pictures or post them  in a lower resolution format? Or would completely ignore posting photos because they eat up more space compared to just pure text? I wonder how many more blog posts I would have to write before this goes kaput. These are the computer storage units that we use like any other kind of measurement, kilo, mega, giga and tera.

  • 1 B = 1 byte;
  • 1 kB = 1000 bytes;
  • 1 MB = 1000 kB;
  • 1 GB = 1000 MB or 1 000 000 000 bytes

A 500-word blog entry is roughly 3,000 bytes so you can deduce from there how many more entries would fit into my remaining free space. Who knows, maybe in the coming days, I would not be able to find something interesting to blog about or maybe in the coming days, no one would visit my blog anymore because they are fed-up with what I am sharing here or maybe in the coming days, I have created a new site for my thoughts (I have actually started one but haven’t updated it yet).

Why am I worrying? I could still follow all those wonderful blogs that I regularly read, like and comment on. Just a word for new bloggers, resize or scale down all those hi-res photos before you upload and click publish unless yours is a photography blog and you need to show the minute detail of each post.

Happy blogging everyone :)

Memories Are Made Of This


I wonder if I ever shared this picture here, I can’t remember. I only did a few write-ups about my chemo days, the early years of blogging have been about getting well, getting on with life and trying to live it the best way a cancer survivor can. Would you believe that I met online friends here who shared and underwent similar journeys with me?

Facebook reminds you of a previous post you did years ago on the same day and month that you posted it and I got this.

I remember this....spending my 53rd birthday at the UST Benavidez Cancer Institute while having my 4th chemotherapy. With one of my oncologists, Doc Julie!

I remember this….spending my 53rd birthday at the UST Benavidez Cancer Institute while having my 4th chemotherapy. With one of my oncologists, Doc Julie!

Really, it made me smile and memories are reborn. A former classmate in high school prepared snacks for the doctors and nurses at the Ambulatory Care Unit of the UST Benavidez  Cancer Institute. She brought a large tray of  Pancit Malabon, drinks and cookies. Despite the two IV drips attached to my arm, I enjoyed those moments I spent with the staff. The first time I saw that Oxaliplatin IV drip wrapped in a black cloth bag, I just can’t help but think….that’s poison but still I have to convince myself that it would make me get well.I asked the oncology nurse why it has to be wrapped in black and she said that it should not be exposed to the light.

It was one of the best birthdays ever, because back then, listening to them singing happy birthday made me think that life even at its worse makes you feel happy too.


I recently visited (crossover, hahaha) some blogs at Blogger where I follow some Filipino book bloggers who also belong to my book club, Flips Flipping Pages. Most of them are not my friends but their blog posts about books are a joy to read. For the past six or seven years, I haven’t attended their monthly discussion but I get updated through FFP’s page on Facebook.  Then I saw this list somewhere, BBC’s top 100 books you have to read before you die. I wonder why there is that phrase “before you die”, I am not in a hurry to read books just because it is a must to read them before you take your last breath.  I read books because they give me that endless joy and discovery about other people and other places. I’ve seen similar list of places you have to visit before you die.  I think this is BBC’s latest list because prior to this they have included the titles of the seven Harry Potter books.  Blame it on how curious I am if  I made a dent on their list. Twenty seven books and if I were to add the other six books of JK Rowling which they have listed as a series, that would be 33 total. Not bad, not bad at all. Here’s the list I copied from a site (I could not remember now) on BBC’s top 100.  Some books I have highlighted are mine and some were borrowed from the UST Library and read them when I was still in college. Harry Potter’s hardbound copies are Nissa’s collections.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling

5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

6. The Bible (still reading it daily)

7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – on my TBR list

12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

14. Complete Works of Shakespeare

15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk

18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

19. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

20. Middlemarch – George Eliot

21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald – on my TBR list

24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – on my TBR list

25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Caroll

30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – in the middle of reading it

32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

34. Emma -Jane Austen

35. Persuasion – Jane Austen

36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis

37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres

39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

40. Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne

41. Animal Farm – George Orwell

42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving – on my TBR list

45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery – read three volumes

47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding – on my TBR list

50. Atonement – Ian McEwan  – couldn’t get further than chapter 2

51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel – watched the movie adaptation and was not inclined to read it

52. Dune – Frank Herbert

53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon – on my TBR list

57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt

64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

66. On the Road – Jack Kerouac

67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville

71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

72. Dracula – Bram Stoker – haven’t finished reading it yet

73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

75. Ulysses – James Joyce

76. The Inferno – Dante

77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

78. Germinal – Emile Zola

79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

80. Possession – AS Byatt

81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker

84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

87. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom – on my TBR list

89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (In French)

– read it several times but not in French

93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

94. Watership Down – Richard Adams

95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

If you ask me,  I would not even include Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code on the list and Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones would not even make it to the top 500 but that’s me talking.

How many books have you read on this list?


Yesterday,  I experienced the slowest connection to our internet browsers. Tried Chromium, Opera and Mozilla Firefox without success. Lately, I’ve noticed the so-slow connection while browsing and it sort of gave up on me yesterday. Josef has to back up all my files to my hard-drive and he made a clean slate of our Windows and re-install everything but the problem was since the connection was too slow, he could not install new browsers to my PC. I tried it a few minutes ago and surprisingly,Windows explorer was a bit fast compared to last night.  I’ve been using my tab to visit Facebook and WordPress but it was kind of weird typing on a smaller gadget compared to my 16″ Ganzklar screen.

I tried installing the latest version of Mozilla Firefox and what do you know – success! Can’t help that smile on my face. Browsing now is a bit faster than before and since almost all files on my documents were empty, there is no reason why it should not be.  I am afraid to install  the Zoom Browser EX of my Canon camera though since I am not familiar with it. I guess I have to use my hard-drive to browse those saved photos for my blog.

Electronic gadgets and such –  sometimes it makes us insecure that we could not access social media and be updated on what’s happening around. They have become such a necessity instead of being just lucky that we have them for daily use at all hours of the day.

I am one of those who read news online. I react (silently in front of my PC) when I read those dreadful and nasty comments from netizens  who won’t think twice in lambasting a particular would-be candidate for the 2016 presidential election. It’s something like getting the pulse of everyone who has internet access. I hope their complaints and shocking comments would translate to a vote for someone who spells good governance, not corrupt, and has the good of the entire country in his/her agenda. I miss those previous election periods where every candidate are required to have public debates on television and show their platforms of government. Let’s see how the Filipino electorate have grown in their choices and let those voices translate to a clean and honest election. I hope we will all learn from our mistakes in the past.

I am digressing again. Just happy to tell you internet access is quite good now :)

A Reminder Of Summer


canvas

It rains every day now

and seeing these late Gardenia blooms reminds me of summer,

those days of lovely sunrise and sunset.

Life is good.

Life is wonderful.

And I always remind myself to take time and appreciate what nature brings.

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