Archive for June, 2012

Took these shots while fixing my son’s bedroom a few mornings ago. I could not resist that ray of light peeping through the curtains, trying to get in – some fleeting moments, a few seconds or more.  Life is like this sometimes, you remember then it’s gone and you smile because you love the memory it evokes.


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It’s the end of the month and what could be more exciting than finding something that would make you smile from ear to ear and like a child who has just received a new toy, you can’t believe your luck. It’s  a plain case of finding when you’re not looking (gosh, what am I saying). It’s the excitement talking here so indulge me if I talk like a ten-year-old.

My son and I went to the mall after having the car cleaned at the car wash shop near our place. I was only supposed to go to the bank,  and withdraw some money from one of those satellite branches of Bank of the Philippine Island, the bank  where I used to work.  I do all my transactions online, paying bills and transferring funds via my computer but I need cash and after two attempts and lining up for several minutes, the machine rejected my ATM card. Good thing, the small branch was already opened so I applied for a card replacement and had a chat with their manager when they asked me to present an ID. And all I had in my wallet was my expired alumni ID and my old, old BPI  ID which I kept for remembrance.

I bought a loaf of bread and  looked at the display of chocolates, some are locally made ones and several unknown imported brands, then I spotted these familiar green wrappers of Andes Mints. It’s been years since I tasted this melt-in the mouth goodness because I couldn’t find them in any supermarket every time I do the groceries. Wow!  My head says “greedy” but my heart says “go,go Arlene, indulge.” I was planning to buy at least five packs, on second thoughts, what if it does not taste as good as it was several years ago, so I settled for two, a Creme de Menthe Thins which contains bite-sized layer of mint-green cream sandwiched between two layers of chocolate and a pack of Mint Parfait ThinsI told you, I am not greedy but I want to go back to Ever Gotesco Mall to buy more.  A pack has 28 pieces of foil-wrapped mint chocolate that is a bit smaller than a domino but packed with extremely refreshing and delicious chocolate inside.  Here’s the Andes story if you are interested to know how Andes mints came about.

Maybe some of you are not familiar with it preferring the more popular brand of chocolates in the market. But Andes mints for me speak of childhood, a welcome treat from long ago days when chocolates were some sort of luxury for us kids.  Of course, I still have my favorite brands  like Ferrero and Hershey’s Kisses  and I love dark chocolates too. Any brand even the local Goya,  will do as long as it is dark.

And have you ever tried putting mint chocolate in your hot cup of coffee?

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Mom was watching an afternoon soap  (telenovela) while I was making a hot cup of coffee  and I heard  this conversation:

“Dapat pag mahal mo, ipinaglalaban mo, pero di pala ganun kadali yun, dapat pag mahal mo, ipinaglalaban ka rin.”

Loosely translated it means, “If you love him, you’ll fight for him but it’s hard to do it because if you love him, he should and he will also fight for you.”

So I asked, “Meron pa bang ganuong mga lalaki ngayon?” (Meaning one in a dozen, you won’t find a guy like that). Without batting an eyelash, she answered, “martyr”.

That’s mom….straight to the point 🙂

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I’ve just updated my photography blog here at WordPress. You are all welcome to visit the site here. Comments are welcome!

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Flowers are as fragile as one’s thoughts

Fleeting moments pass us by

And when they do, we ask,

“Where have they gone?”

Or are we just holding on to something not there at all?

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Dreams are for people who believe they can touch the sky!

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I think this is  my  third  blog  in a series of shots that I took giving colors to the day. At first it was orange, then white, let’s have it in yellow today.  Life in our neighborhood is a quiet life, it’s the noise of the vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles that shatter the peace and quiet. All our streets were named after flowers. One such stretch that I love is the street perpendicular to ours which is called Aster. Our two village gardeners have planted annuals lining the sidewalk and it is a sight  to see the yellow colors of blooms facing the sun.

And I was wondering why they didn’t plant Aster flowers to fit the name of the street  instead of these lovely Cosmos blooms only to find out that  the latter are also called Mexican Aster 🙂  They are eye-catching and when the wind blows, they sway in the gentle breeze. They don’t need much  maintenance.

Cannas are always a delight to look at. They stand majestic along the sidewalk and come in varied colors of orange, red and yellow.

And these Golden Candles are also a sight to behold. Do you know that the flowers are the white tips and not the yellow ones?

Don’t you just love this yellow lamp-post? It blends well with the Canna and Cosmos flowers.

I don’t exactly know the name of this tree but it is similar to a flame tree, the flowers just come in yellow colors.

It’s a yellow morning, at least in my part of the world! And do you know that yellow symbolizes wisdom? Yellow  also means joy and happiness. Be happy!

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A perfect day to stay in the garden for a while. There is a typhoon coming but the sun is slowly showing its face, begging for those quiet moments that one dreams of. It’s  the morning ritual of greeting the day with so much hope and enthusiasm, taking a few shots of the garden. Everything is grace, even the simple task  of picking calamansi fruits  for a healthy juice later.

I have to use a ladder since the fruits on top are  in clusters  and can’t be reached.  I just love these moments – being with nature and enjoying  the morning . What a life 🙂

We  have two dwarf calamansi trees which  we planted at the same time that we constructed the house  seventeen years ago.  They bear fruits all year round  but summer is the best time to harvest  them. When the rainy season sets in, they stop flowering.  Calamansi or Philippine lime as they call it has many uses in cooking aside from that refreshing freshly squeezed glass of lemonade.  We use it for marinade, for sinigang or paksiw. We also use it as dip for fried or grilled meat and fish. And it is better if you harvest it while it is still green but already matured since you can get more juice than when it ripens.

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Just had our afternoon snack. I made a simple sandwich each for mom and me and since it’s a bit windy and there is a drizzle now and then, I decided to make two cups of coffee for both of us. I seldom drink coffee and mom makes hers early in the morning even before I wake up so she seldom sees me offer a cup to her.

“What’s this, coffee?”  she asked.

I said “Yes”.

“Hmm, you make a good cup”,  at the same time sipping the hot brew.

Then she added, “Tsamba?” read that to mean as something made by chance  and  it tasted good.

I laughed and she smiled!

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Gosh, I was like “oh, oh, where have you been” upon seeing the faces of my three friends two of whom I’ve last seen almost a year ago. And to think this is the first time that they came over here at the house to visit me.

Thank God for surprises! When He tickles you with one, He makes sure that it is really something you will treasure, maybe long after the laughter, the giggles and endless smiles are gone.  Yesterday was another day “worth-remembering”.  That’s really my favorite line, the worth-remembering people, events and surprises in my life. There are moments when you just look up and say a prayer or two that He is giving you another beautiful day to put in the treasure chest of your memories.

Yesterday was such a lovely day spent with friends from my Catholic apostolate group, the Apostles Filipino Catholic Community.  It all started about two years ago when Fr. Louie  Coronel, OP created an online page at Facebook. AFCC has actually been in existence  as a Catholic organization in Rome for the last twenty years. We cater to the global Pinoys and share reflections, news, ideas, and ways of strengthening our Faith and our own journeys as Catholics.  We finally met some of the members  in two successive gatherings  last year at Bahay Dominiko, Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. Meeting face to face, realizing that they were not just names and pictures on Facebook was awesome.  Truly, God works in wondrous ways.  Forming friendship with people younger than you are, (they could be your sons and daughters) sharing their own spiritual journeys in life, sharing their own pain with you and  sharing their thoughts and aspirations are clear affirmations  that everything is possible when you look together and look forward in  the same direction. Friendship is a lovely thing, don’t you think?

Imagine six hours of sharing and laughter, talking about anything under the sun, touching on such serious subjects like life’s travails and  journeys  and yes, we even touched on subjects  like the stock market and how it works, life in a bank as an employee,  life of a OFW,  photography, faith, and places we want to explore and dream of visiting – they are an eclectic mix of topics alright.

We had a yummy lunch of grilled pork steak, roasted chicken, grilled liempo, sautéed mixed veggies and the ginataang santol which I cooked earlier. Reymon, Joan and Lilet said that this is the first time they have tasted santol cooked as a dish. It went well with the grilled meat. I jokingly asked them, “Did I pass?” and Reymon laughingly  answered,“Wow, ang sarap po Mommy.” Late in the afternoon, we harvested calamansi in the backyard for Lilet to take home.  It was such a joy seeing them enjoying themselves  picking calamansi despite the afternoon shower which turned into a heavy downpour before they left.

Oh, the joys of meeting and hugging each other, and smiling at the thought of shared jokes remembered – what a lovely gift – having friends!  And I’d like to end this blog with these words for they briefly describe what friendship is all about. It was written by Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik.

Oh, the comfort —
The inexpressible comfort of feeling
safe with a person,
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words — but pouring them
All right out — just as they are —
Chaff and grain together —
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them —
Keep what is worth keeping —
and with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

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