This Is It

Goodread's 2016 Reading Challenge

Goodread’s 2016 Reading Challenge

I finally got my badge. It’s time to move to other reading genre – YA (yes, I love them), contemporary,  poems (Upstream is just waiting)  some memoirs and of course  Christmas stories.


The darkening shadows of dusk remind me of you somehow,

– the laughter (we just can’t help ourselves)

– the tears (I was always crying on your shoulder)

– the fancy talks (because we have lots of things to share)

– your smile ( (the way you look when you are happy)

– the silly grin on our faces

– the childlike wonder in your eyes…

I am glad

I need a friend

And you are there!


Saturday Memories

Aching arms.

Blistered fingers.

Would you believe? I gardened for three hours straight this afternoon but I am finally done with trimming the carabao grass, close to the roots because sudden rains make them grow like crazy. My son joined me an hour later and took charge of re-shaping and  trimming our other plants. The Arius tree is now a perfect cone-shaped. We usually decorate it with lights during the Christmas season.  Watch your calendar, it’s sixty-three more days to go before Christmas.

Our two pets Mimi (the kitty) and Noki (the dog) are happy when we stay in the garden for a while.  I laughed when Mimi turned her face and looked at me while trimming the grass and with each snip of the garden scissors in my hands, she bobbed her head, that was crazy dancing I expect :)  If she could speak aside from the “meow, meow” we always get to hear when she’s hungry, maybe she would say “dance with me, let’s go crazy”.   Noki is happiest when he could run around, bark at the passersby and makes himself cozy between our Fukien tea plants.

I always bring my small radio outside when I garden. Don’t you think it is nice to listen to familiar songs and music of your younger years? There was this program aptly called Saturday Memories, an eclectic mix of 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music interspersed with OPM. OPM is an acronym for Original Pilipino Music.  Filipino singers are a talented lot. They are internationally recognized  in the music world.

I sang  along with some of the songs that I knew of old. Perfect day to garden, perfect day to enjoy music.  There was a portion of the program where they played inspirational songs and for a while there I stopped and listened. Footprints In The Sand narrated with a background music…how lovely. It’s one of those messages that make me cry, emotionally charged with  a good feeling that God will always be there no matter.  Then the inspirational poem Desiderata followed.  Until now, when I feel down, the words of  Max Ehrmann inspire me.

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story….”

I think most kids of the late 60’s and 70’s are familiar with these lines. As if those were not enough, they played  You Raise Me Up.  Goose bumps to the max. I suddenly remembered Dad. They played this song at Daddy’s funeral almost nine years ago.  It is a song of faith and belief in God.  And every time I hear Josh Groban sing this, it makes me want to cry.  And Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s version of The Prayer is the highlight of the afternoon. It was here that I cried.

♪♫♫I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
As we go our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your Grace
To a place where we’ll be safe….♫♪♫

It’s indeed a Saturday of memories.  What song made an impact in your life?

Lawin, Go Fly

You know that feeling of being helpless because you can’t stop the typhoon from reaching your shores.  I am tuned in to the radio for the hourly updates and at the same time following PAGASA’s updates online. Typhoon Lawin has intensified into a super typhoon as it  moves closer to Cagayan and Isabela which are now under typhoon signal #5.

Strength:  Maximum sustained winds of up to 225 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 315 kph.
Forecast Movement: Forecast to move West Northwest at 24 kph.


Metro Manila is under signal  #1. I am praying that it would weaken somehow during landfall. Our friends and family  in the Northern part of the country have suffered enough. I am so worried how they will cope once the typhoon lands in their place. Every time there is a typhoon coming (even if it will not directly affect our place), I am  reminded  of typhoon Ondoy back in September 2009.  It always gives me the jitters. Imagine your house submerged up to your neck  and you have to renovate and replace almost all of the furnitures  and appliances which were destroyed by the flood. Imagine your books  ( a collection that started during your college years) submerged in water and much as you want to save them, the pages have glued together.  Three yearbooks  (mine, Josef’s and Nissa’s) completely destroyed. I cried seeing those because they were our only reminders of our university days in UST.  Imagine your worry that your scheduled visit to your oncologist and chemo treatment won’t push through because your car was also submerged in flood waters.  I can still remember it all vividly.

You learn your lesson and you learn it well but when natural calamities are your enemies, you can only cling to God and pray hard. I am praying hard that super typhoon Lawin would not be that strong when it hits land. Oh please, move a little faster and get out of our way.

Do you know that Lawin is a Tagalog term for the bird hawk?

Gloomy Sunday

They are playing Only Friends on the radio which I blogged about two weeks ago. I never get tired  listening to it though.

I am digressing again.

It’s a good thing I attended an anticipated mass last night. I spent most of the morning  searching for news online and listening to the radio on  news about typhoon Karen. We were under signal #2 but we were lucky that we were spared of heavy rains and gusty winds. Typhoon Karen (international name: Sarika) slightly accelerated  a few hours ago  over the coastal waters of Pangasinan but hear this, tomorrow there is another one that will enter PAR (Philippine Are of Responsibility) and news reports say it is a super typhoon, stronger than the last one we experienced today.  Haima will be named locally as Lawin. I am praying hard we won’t be affected too much.  It is the middle of October and yet we are still experiencing severe weather disturbances.  Sometimes these late in the year weather disturbances are stronger than those we experience during rainy season.  Sometimes they come as late as December.

I am sharing a prayer with all of you  a prayer for deliverance from calamities.


Almighty Father,

We raise our hearts to You in gratitude, for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for Your providence in sustaining us in our needs, and for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.

We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of Your creation. We have not been good stewards of nature. We have confused Your command to subdue the earth. The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing, and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference.

Global warning is upon us. Typhoons, floods, volcanic eruption, and other natural calamities occur in the increasing number and intensity.

We turn to you, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.

We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard earned possessions be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made.

We beseech You to inspire us all to grow into responsible stewards of Your creation, and generous neighbors to those in need. Amen

Thank You Bob Dylan

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’……..
And the first one now

Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

These  words give me the shivers. They inspire me to understand  a bit of what is happening to my country. I am crying for the future of the next generation. I am crying because I could not verbalize what I feel but you said it well.  I am crying for the sense of decency that is slowly overshadowed by hate and ugly words. I dream of a nation where the people embrace each other and be one instead of being divided by ideologies.  Times are really changing. Words hurt, destroy a nation but they also inspire and give meaning to life.

I dream.

Thank you Bob Dylan.

You are an inspiration.


Best Friends

He followed me one morning at the garden

Looked at me with those soulful eyes

while I took the first sip of my morning fix.

“Coffee”, I said.

Our eyes met then came the tentative touch,

One paw timidly placed on my lap.

Another one shyly touched my arm.

Before I knew, his nose came close to my face.

Best friends.

Love is unconditional.