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Archive for March 19th, 2010


Lately I’ve been  quite  lethargic, for want of a better word.  I had my first laboratory tests and liver  and kidney ultrasound last Monday, after more than three months of rest from hospital  and doctor visits. It’s something  which I am   reluctant to do  but it is  unavoidable.  Three months of rest from Xeloda tablets and chemotherapy.  I’d like to think that everything is definitely  going back to normal.  Afterall, one’s health should never be ignored, haven’t I always affirmed that health is wealth? Sometimes though, when you are reminded of something as life-changing as  having  colon cancer, your world would never be the same again. And clinging to the thought that you are on remission is the only thing that would  make you feel better.  I had my CEA marker done too but I still have to see the results tomorrow when I visit my medical oncologist.  I am praying everything would be okay.

Last Wednesday, we had the Kumpisalang Bayan (Holy Confession) at the nearby St. Jude Thaddeus Parish where we hear mass every Sunday.  It is a welcome respite to be able to unburden yourself and share what you’ve been through knowing that here is someone who would understand and pray for you.  It gave me that feeling of deja vu, listening to the priest’s advise, I heard it before from one of my nun friends who underwent the same illness as I did.   God loves us enough to let us share in His suffering and  the fact that we are chosen to undergo such predicament should be a welcome thing in our lives.

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I wish to share  my very first blog which I originally posted at my Multiply site.   My journal entries way back in college don’t count of course, they are more personal – the growing up years contained in a thick notebook  which I still keep until now.  Funny how, this story talks about teenage life, first love, and heartaches. It reminds me so much of those days and nights  that I’ve done the same soul-searching. Life is full of chances to grow a little better, life is full of experiences that teach us how to truly love.

The Summer of  42 (April 22, 2008)

I truly believe that something happens when you least expect it.  Yesterday, while I was waiting for my urologist at the satellite clinic of the Medical City at Ever-Ortigas, I decided to while away the time going to my favorite jaunts. First stop was NBS, they have this bargain bin in one corner of the store and it is always a delight to find something worth-reading.  Next was a visit at the friendly Booksale lady at the 2nd floor.  Third stop was at Books and Mags. I was just browsing with no particular book in mind. There is a growing stash of books most of which I made on impulse buy.  I decided that I will stick to my Wish List and wait for another sale perhaps at Bestsellers and NBS.

Tom Clancy (plenty stuff there), Dean Koontz, Binchy – I found this small volume, Summer of 42 by Herman Raucher, a Dell book, 1971 edition. What came to mind was the music, Theme from Summer of 42 by Michelle Legrand. I distinctly remember that way back in 1971, this was one of the contenders for Best Instrumental Arrangement/Composition along with Theme from Shaft by Isaac  Hayes and Theme from Love Story by Francis Lai, for the prestigious Grammy Awards. Of course, Theme from Shaft won hands down (and I still have my Jingle chordbook magazine, Chapter IX to prove it),. But I am digressing here.

Summer of 42 – made into film by Warner Bros. with Jennifer O’Neill (Dorothy) and Gary Grimes(Hermie) as the main characters.  In everyone’s life, there is Summer of 42. A beautiful love story, poignant, warm, funny, sad, coming of age – it is just perfect.

The summer Hermie turned fifteen, he fell deeply  and passionately in love with an older woman of twenty-two and a married one at that.  Along with his two best friends Oscy and Benjie, Hermie spent his time running and playing on the beach and it was there that he saw and fell in love with Dorothy.  The story revolves around the fun and mischief of the three young boys, displaying their raw innocence about sex. It behooves me to think what life was like in ’42.

I dare not describe the details here because it is always best to read the book and enjoy it. The wording  of the song from the book sums it all:

last night I started out happy
last night my heart was so gay
last night I found myself dancing
in my favorite cabaret.
you were completely forgotten
just an affair of the past,
then  suddenly something happened to me
and I found my heart beating, oh so fast

there will be no new romance for me,
it’s foolish to start
for that old feeling
is still in my heart.

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It was one  of those really rainy, rainy afternoons – with dark cloudy skies to boot accompanied by the roar of thunder and an occasional flash of lightning. Nothing much to do but read. I was scanning the pages of an old  issue of Marie Claire and they have this article that says “What is your fondest childhood memory?”. It really caught my attention. Some said that going abroad at an early age was simply fantastic, an experience they will never forget. Another one loves taking a bath in the rain. Another says she could not just forget her mom singing her to sleep. Every one of us probably has treasured childhood memories and experiences but some of them simply come across as very distinctive compared to others. I was in grade school when I went with dad one time to go fishing. All I knew of catching a fish was through the use of a hook and line. This was what I learned from Mom when I used to tag along when schooldays were over. Digging earthworms to use as bait was one thing that I was such an expert of.

So one morning, I went fishing with Dad. I remember the water was not that clear because it rained the previous afternoon. He had this what you call kitang in our dialect. It’s a long line of several hooks (maybe about 10 or 15 feet) wherein you have to place the bait of wriggling earthworms one by one and then place the  kitang in the flowing river. A cousin went with us so he could hold the other end while dad was busy with the other one. The water was almost up to my neck and one thing I remember was you have to wait for at least thirty minutes to an hour with the kitang submerged in water to catch those biya. I was so excited when several biya got caught in the hooks. It was an experience I would never forget, More than the thought of catching fish, it was the time I spent along with Dad which was so dear to me. It was lots of fun. And it remains ingrained in my memory.

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