Archive for August, 2011

This is one of those days when I could truly say, how time flies. I could not remember when I started blogging about greeting a new month and saying goodbye to the old one but I do remember that when I was in college, I had a friend (she still is and I consider her my older sister) who was so fond of greeting me “happy new month”  every time we wrote to each other. Mind you, I am not exaggerating when I say that we used to write each other everyday on date due slips of the library. I think that added to my fondness for writing as well as learning how to read serious stuff  when we were both assigned as Student Librarians at the Humanities Section of the UST Main Library. It kind of stuck so I adopted it to my blog.

Sweet September.

Last night, I blogged about the first of September being a day where one usually hear Christmas songs on the radio. Do you think it’s a sort of ritual for them to greet the month happily with Christmas songs? Some people say that the Philippines celebrates Christmas the longest, from as early as September to as late as February the following year. The magical days are here again and I am just as happy greeting the new month with anticipation and cheer.  May I greet you Merry Christmas in advance?

One year, almost!

A few days from now, I’ll be celebrating my first year of being one of the admins at the Catholic site AFCC, which I’ve been blogging about the past few weeks.  It’s been a lovely journey, or should I say that it was a journey full of learning curves and inspirations. It was a journey that made a difference in my life. Looking back, I just could not forget the times I was just learning to adjust, not too comfortable with sharing my thoughts with people I don’t know about, but it’ s like blogging really, you share your ideas and thoughts to people you don’t know from Adam. The only difference is, some of the members of the group have become my friends. We have established a community where God is in the center of things. What a lovely way to spend a year  sharing with others and believing in the goodness of everyone.


In  our gathering last Saturday, August 27 at Bahay Dominiko, Fr. Louie had this ice-breaker wherein we were made to look for one thing  that we didn’t like about the person next to us. It is easier to say a kind word to everyone than to look for faults, right? Will we be judged if we act like some perfectionists who can detect and see a flaw in someone’s physical look? I don’t think so because, just like everyone else, nobody is perfect. Then we have this segment wherein we were asked to write one word, it may be a name of a person, an object, an adjective or a noun, just one word. And someone would describe it. I got the word Faith. Wow, I said, it is one of my favorite words because I could really relate to it. I remember a quote which says:

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

And I remember those dark days when I was in the hospital battling with cancer – the uncertainty of knowing whether I am going to get well or not, the fear of the huge expenses my family and I have to incur, the insecurity of thinking, ” will I live or die?”  But faith, that inner strength you have when faced with vicissitudes  in life was stronger and it carried me through. Faith made me believe that I am going to get well, that I will live a normal life all over again. God’s miracles have no bounds for if He wills it, nothing is really impossible.

When September nears, Christmas won’t be far behind!


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“August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.

One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.”
–  Elizabeth Maua Taylor 

The days come and go like a whirlwind passing through the edges of one’s thoughts. August is almost gone and the days seem so short. Since I can remember, some radio jocks always begin the first day of September playing Christmas songs on air, it’s the “ber” months, so they say. I don’t know but I always feel happy when Christmas is near. Are you excited awaiting Christmas just as I do? It’s a different kind of feeling altogether, like a child looking forward to having a new toy to play with, anticipating and counting the days and hours until he holds it in his hands.

August is just fine, the highlight of which was our 2nd official AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community) gathering held just last Saturday, August 27 at Bahay Dominiko in Sto. Domingo Church. We had eighteen members, including Fr. Louie and me who attended. I won’t say, it was good because  it was the best. The camaraderie, the laughter, the fun  and sharing – priceless moments that hopefully we will all treasure and reminisce as the days go by.  We are all looking forward to a third one maybe, next year.  I am thinking of actually blogging about the event and the various activities we had, foremost of which was the lovely and meaningful celebration of the mass with Fr. Louie as  presider.

I started reading a new author, it’s Jennifer Weiner. My daughter says the book is a  chick lit but I don’t mind really. I’ve been reading serious stuff the past few months. We need to laugh sometimes, right? And I am saving the best for last, another book by Nicholas Sparks.

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He stopped for a while

Hesitant to enter the door

He scanned the faces of the people inside

A slow smile hovering on his lips

This is it, he said.

Will I belong? he asked.

He was met by smiles

A round of applause

A pat on the shoulder

A hug for a greeting.

A warm embrace.

Welcome, they said

This is my family

My AFCC family, he thought.

He belonged, after all!

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I am still laughing out loud just looking at the pictures we took yesterday at our 2nd AFCC (Apostle’s Filipino Catholic Community) gathering which was held at Bahay Dominiko in Sto. Domingo Church, Quezon City. And here’s one shot that I love so much because it has perfectly captured the laughter, fun, and sharing we had yesterday.  We’re really one big, happy family.

(photo courtesy of our good friend, Paul Cardenas)

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I know it was an accident. The minute  I saw blood oozing from the cleanly cut lower part of my right thumb, I remembered  the time I had to prepare for my first surgical operation more than ten years ago when the lab has to record every second on how fast the blood clots.  And how it bled like crazy, I had to find a bandage large enough to cover the wound.  It happened in just a split second and I didn’t even feel it until I saw blood.  It still hurts and there is a throbbing pain like a ticking clock. I tried using my right hand to write my notes for our second AFCC gathering tomorrow but it felt awkward using a pen without gripping it with my thumb. The few lines I wrote looked like a  kid’s doodles, without control of the loops and crosses. It is easier using the mouse than using a pen.

Oh, I guess, this is  one of the shortest blogs I’ve posted.  I am just excited for tomorrow’s event. 🙂

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Most of the time, I do create my “Minute Reflection” at the Apostles Filipino Catholic Community and some of our members really like it, they make comments of their own and I am glad. Yesterday, I  posted this simple realization that life, if it is coupled with prayers and faith in God is easy to bear and to carry on one’s shoulder:

Sometimes, it is hard to smile when you have the weight of the world on your shoulder and it is even harder to laugh. You must learn to laugh at your own mistakes because they are blessings in disguise that make you stronger to face life’s burden and strife.

I was not able to update the site last night. The PC broadband connection was so poor, one need the patience of a saint to use the computer. There was really no option but to wake up early and post some updates at the site.  Here’s for the  “An Angel A Day” quote that I made early this morning:

Do you believe that angels have wings?  They come disguised as a loving friend, someone who smiled at you while you were in pain, a mother who embraced you and said, “Take care my child, be home safe.”  For anyone who helps you grow is an angel in your life.

And another one for our “Just A Thought” segment:

Whatever you are worrying about today, offer it all to God. It is only when we encounter unpleasant surprises that our inner self  shine and we discover to our delight, that we are brave and strong to face it all.

Got to feed the Koi and water the plants, sweep the yard and prepare breakfast, how’s that for morning exercise? Be back later.

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I blogged about this place last month when we went there for a visit because my daughter was planning to have their prenuptial pics taken there. This afternoon, I tried uploading the shots I took and luckily, this laptop was in the mood to read some of the various shots waiting to be posted. Sounds like this laptop is crazy huh, but yes, the past two months, I could not even view the shots from my camera using this. So here they are, it’s  a whole album of antique decor and 50’s bakeshop.

It was the first thing I noticed when we reached the place, the windmill.

Look at this lovely lantern. It is very conducive for windy and rainy weather. And that sungka board on top of it. We used to play sungka games when we were kids.

And look at this lovely table and the carved bust on top of it. And that lovely water jug made of wood.

This is where my daughter  had her prenuptial pics taken. There is an area near here where the tables are all made of chessboard where you can really play if you know how.

My daughter Nissa!

The place is really one big  area where you can enjoy reminiscing…your childhood perhaps?

No smoking…definitely. I also love those wrought iron chairs and tables that remind me my grandmother’s house in the province.

This is the entrance, at the right is their bakeshop. Look at the twigs used to decorate the ceiling. It is simply unique.

When I was in grade  school, we used to have a similar radio like this, powered by batteries.

I guess those are Japanese samurai swords together with a fan and some old pictures framed in a glass-enclosed  canvas.

The mini-garden complete with a pond filled with Koi fish.

We were about to have lunch. The food here is cheap. And their pandesal and ensaymada are pugon-baked, circa 1950.

A horse-drawn carriage which we used to call calesa prominently displayed in one corner of the place.

A rickety, rickety old bridge. My knees tremble just looking at it.

The facade of Pan de Amerikana with its signature windmill…

Just love the pocket garden in front of the place.

And this water feature blends well with it. Lovely, isn’t it?

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I love Buko Pie!  I always look forward to buying a box or two every time we go on road trips down south. They sell this at the nearby towns of Cavite and Laguna. A trip to Tagaytay wouldn’t be complete without bringing home a box, its perfect with a hot cup of coffee or hot green tea. Buko pie is a traditional Filipino baked young coconut custard pie.  I love the Colette’s brand, with thin and crispy pie crust and the slivers of  buko inside are  not too sweet, perfect for an afternoon snack.

My son brought home two boxes  today. They went on a trip to Laguna for their office team building activities. Just can’t resist a bite.

Buko pie, anyone?

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And I thought it was the phone ringing, I wanted to go back to sleep but the persistent sound woke me up. I almost forgot, hubby and mom have to go home  to the province early today and son will be leaving for Pansol, Laguna for their team building seminar.  Hmm, how nice it is to feel the early morning breeze  on such a lovely day like this. Back to the grind – watering the plants, taking care of the Koi food at the pond, a little cleaning at the yard and preparing  breakfast which consists of cold slices of embutido and  left-over  fried tilapia from last night. So many things to do today before catching the 9am mass at the nearby village. I am not complaining though because Sundays are usually reserved for the family.

We enjoy going to mass together but this time it was just my daughter and me.  Hubby and my son attended an anticipated mass last night. They have finally unveiled the newly renovated altar at St. Jude Thaddeus Parish.It’s so beautiful, the simple decor and the almost life-size statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John Mary Vianney and our first Filipino saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz were lined up at the altar. The image of St. Jude was  in a glass-encased  shelf.  Earlier on, I greeted Fr. Alex online,  it’s his birthday today.  I asked him where Fr. Matthew is because I haven’t seen him say mass for quite a very long time at the parish.  Actually, they are guest priests from the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross who help in the Sunday mass celebrations.

I was grinning from ear to ear when I saw Fr. Matthew. Speaking of the angel, the angel appears.  And I thought, this would be another beautiful celebration  of the Holy Eucharist and it was.  He has that gift that makes the parishioners all-ears listening to his homily.  One can always learn a lesson or two from what he shares, simple life anecdotes and adventures that relate to the gospel.

And it feels good sometime to just feel the quiet of the morning.  It’s another lovely Sunday to cherish and to remember.

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One of the many, many shots I took when my family and I visited Caleruega for the first time. I fell in love with these dainty Hydrangea blooms.  Look at the color, it’s simply wonderful!

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