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Archive for August, 2012


I just could not resist taking this  personality quiz online. I was just curious how they will interpret my answers to the 41 questions posted at the site. Oh yes, it is somewhat intriguing when other people tell you what they perceive you to be. But then, almost all of it is quite true. Except maybe for the career options – I’ve never dreamed being a CEO or a judge or a lawyer or a scientist at that.  I used to work in a bank until  twelve years ago and maybe that of having an analytical approach to problems is ingrained enough. Sometimes, my kids jokingly tell me that I am OC. And it’s true, I always like having a well-run household, I place so much importance in the order of things, in short, I just like being organized at all times. Here’s the result of the quiz I took:

Your Personality Type
Assertive and outspoken. They are driven to lead. Excellent ability to understand difficult organizational problems and create solid solutions. Intelligent and well-informed, they usually excel at public speaking.  They value knowledge and competence and usually have little patience with inefficiency or disorganization.

Careers That could fit You Includes:
Business executives, CEO, organization founders, business administrators, managers, entrepreneurs, judges, lawyers, computer consultants, university professors, politicians, credit investigators, marketing department manager, mortgage banks, system analysts, scientists.

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There are circumstances and events that live in one’s memory more prominently than the others and going on road trips with the family is one of them – remembering the happier days. I am transferring some of my family albums from Multiply which according to news will close in a few months and I can’t resist posting this particular album here since I loved the place when we dined there more than three years ago, a few months before I discovered that I had colon cancer. It changed my perspective about life because after my surgery, we have cut down on taking trips like this. It was replaced by regular trips to the hospital, diagnostic centers and my doctors. I am so grateful though that before  that life-changing ailment, I was able to visit here.

This was when I was still starting my love affair with my camera. I can’t remember now which one I used here, because I used to have a Pentax Optio and a much-lower-priced Samsung. I am using a Canon Ixus now with many added features. These are raw shots that were never altered, not even cropped.

Breakfast at Antonio’s (that’s actually the full name of the restaurant), is a high-end restaurant that serves breakfast meals all day long.  I remember the date, it was January 15, 2009. We came from our first road trip to Caleruega and we were on our way back to Manila. We were talking of where to take lunch even before we left Caleruega. And the kids were unanimous in saying that we will have it in Tagaytay so they could also enjoy the view of the Taal Lake. It was quite cloudy when we were there so I suggested why not try Breakfast at Antonio’s? It is about two and a half kilometers from the main highway but it is worth the time and the wait. We waited for about thirty minutes to be served. There were only about three occupied tables when we arrived. It’s gourmet dining at its best. Hubby was impressed. My two kids ordered chocolate milk drinks while  hubby  had tomato juice. I just had plain water because I had so much coffee while we were in  Caleruega.

It’s an architectural showcase, notice the high beams, it blends so well with the place.

While waiting for our food, we had one of the waiters take a shot of the four of us.

The fun part – eating! They call this Sausages and Scrambles.

Beef  tapa, a must have for a nourishing breakfast but we had it at lunch.

Ham and Swiss Cheese Roesti

Croque Madame

More than the food, I just love the ambience of the place.

This greets you at the reception area, a room full of antique items on the walls and as decors too. Even the floor entices you to go barefoot.

Ah, the Koi, we all love Koi!

Love that big pot of Anthurium, part of the charm of the place.

The main door stays closed but they open it for clients and diners.

My two kids….

A rare shot of the four of us – as always, we have to set up the tripod for this.

Love those paintings on the wall. This dining area has that airy atmosphere which is just perfect for a lovely chat.

I love that picture window and the garden beyond.

And this lush Koi pond….

The Koi fish are bigger than the ones they have at Caleruega.

Couldn’t resist these  lovely blooms….

Another shot of the reception area…

The garden in front…

That’s my son enjoying a few minutes of walking around the place.

I really hope one of these days, we could come back here and sample their other menu on the list.

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A week before “habagat”  (southwest monsoon)  wreaked havoc in Metro Manila, it rained hard causing flash flood in some areas of the metropolis. Who would think that even without a typhoon signal, flood waters would rise  again? Those three days that we stayed in our neighbor’s house reminded me of typhoon Ondoy which destroyed most of our belongings  three years ago.  There are several factors that caused the flood but I won’t go into details about it since this is a perennial problem in our country every time the rainy season sets in.  Our mountains especially in the areas of Montalban are now bare causing rain waters to flow freely, inundating  rivers that in return overflows to low-lying areas like ours. The problem with informal settlers who are near bridges and waterways hasn’t been solved yet so with high-rise buildings (built by influential people) which should not be there in the first place. Palakasan or lagay?  One of the major factors that among us Filipinos are probably guilty of is how we haphazardly throw trash everywhere. A few months ago, I blogged about this. It’s a case of “as long as it is not in my backyard or in front of my house”, who cares? Discipline is the key and it is never too late to change our ways. Believe it or not, this contributes to flooding because the water canals are clogged.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino in an article posted by ABS CBN news said that Metro Manila can never be flood resistant but it can be flood resilient. I hate this feeling of always being afraid every time it rains hard. It’s as if  one would always have that feeling of insecurity when the rainy season sets in, more so when there is a typhoon signal.

I took pictures of the flood in our vicinity not because I’d like to be reminded of the pain it brought  me and my son and our neighbors affected by it but I just like to share that when nature’s wrath is at one’s door, you are helpless to do anything but pray.

This was at the back of the house, flood waters kept rising past on the first day and 90% of Metro Manila got flooded.

Our small pond was inundated so we lost the Koi fish (all of them) which we took care of for three years.

Notice the rising waters on day two. It reached knee-high inside our house and about ankle-deep in our bedrooms and since we have to save everything, it took us a while to transfer and put them in higher places. Until now, my back aches because of so much work, putting back everything where they used to be and cleaning the house- read – scrubbing the floors  with disinfectant.

It was like a ghost town…

Ang layo pa ng umaga!  Taken at dusk – no electricity, no radio and the world was just so gloomy.

Notice that red mark on the Meralco post? That was where we gauged if the water level went up or down.

Another week in history is over. Thank God for the gift of sunshine. Thank God for the gift of friends who are always there to cheer us up.

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Congratulations Arlene! 

You may laugh at this, congratulating myself in reaching my 1000th blog. Mind you, it was all a labor of love and a lot of hard work thinking of what to share and remembering the events in my life which are worth sharing.  Documenting one’s own frailties, insecurities, battles and happy thoughts takes a lot of  courage, more so if you are doing it publicly through a blog. One thing though that I don’t regret doing is sharing my plight as a cancer patient and survivor. I started this three years ago right after I found out I had colon cancer. Each of us has her own coping mechanism and mine was writing my thoughts and sharing it with the world. I’ve always said and I will say it again that if I could touch a single soul out there who’ll draw a little inspiration on what I went through, then that would be enough, it would make me happy.  To my surprise, a few online friends found some of my blogs helpful in their own journey, having experienced the same thing that I did.  Kindred spirits, if I must say.

And  I just love posting photos here.  One of the highlights of the day is finding some subjects to post and reflect on. Last year I joined WordPress Post A Day Challenge. You can really blog everyday when you set your mind to the challenge and blogging becomes easier.  My stats went crazy because of it.

I may not have that many followers here but I do enjoy the fact that I get an average of  200-250 visits a day.  Being an unknown blogger, it’s certainly a feat for me.  Didn’t I say that blogging has become a way of life? Didn’t I say that blogging helped me a lot in coping with a life-changing illness?  Thank you all for visiting Dreams and Escapes.

Goal of 1,000 Posts Completed. Congratulations!

100%

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When you are on the brink of despair and self-doubt, when you feel so much pain because of circumstances happening around you, a simple “hi” or “hello” would bring so much joy to your heart. But sometimes, even that is hard to find in this “dog eats dog world” of  ours. Some people are just indifferent.

I saw the sun’s face today, briefly, but it is enough reassurance that  the sun always shines after the rain.

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Why do I get the feeling that I don’t know how to start blogging again? It’s been one stressful week. Rain, rain go away and don’t ever come back. Every time it rains, it gives me the shivers and I remember typhoon Ondoy all over again. We’re still lucky though that the water only reached more than a foot high inside the house.

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I got this from WordPress with this message:

“Congratulations on getting 1,000 total likes on DREAMS AND ESCAPES.

Your current tally is 1,008.”

For all its worth, thanks a lot! I don’t promote my blog except some occasional links  to my Facebook and Twitter.  If you find something here worth reading, your comments are very much welcome!

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“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – anais nin

It’s always a thrill to find some nice subjects that would represent how one would interpret the weekly photo challenge here at WordPress.  Some would be just symbols but it’s also quite a thrill to literally point your camera  at something  that means exactly how one views the subject at hand. Growth – an ampalaya plant just out from its bud and a oregano just starting to sprout new leaves. They’re both growing nicely  in  our backyard.

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How far can you go?

How far can your dreams reach reality?

How far can love bring you happiness?

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What started as a gloomy and depressing morning  was a  delightful day after all. Talk about surprise finds and nice endings. Don’t get me wrong and don’t be mislead by the title. I am just talking about books here, yes books I found this afternoon in one of my rare trips at Booksale. It’s that moment you find something unexpected and you squeal with delight, a scandalous  shout of YES  and people looked at you with indulgent smiles on their faces. One of them said, when I told her that I’ve waited too long to find a copy of this one, “It’s your lucky day.”

A year ago, my daughter borrowed a copy of On Writing (A Memoir of the Craft) by Stephen King and I made a short review in one of my blogs here. Guess what, I found a hardbound copy of the book this afternoon, a  steal at P130.00, it’s brand new complete with a dust jacket. It’s a must-read for those dreaming of writing one day, a lovely companion for those who love the written word.

 

I actually bought four more books, a little over the budget but I simply can’t resist Luanne Rice , Rosamunde Pilcher and Anita Shreve.  I love Anita Shreve in Resistance and The Pilot’s Wife, I hope  All He Ever Wanted won’t disappoint. Here’s a nice quote from the cover of Luanne Rice’s Safe Harbor:  No matter where life takes you, you’ll always come home.” Nice, isn’t it?  And I am lucky to have found Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Rosamunde Pilcher Collection, an omnibus copy of her three novels, one of which I’ve already read but I think is still worth-rereading.  And this is a nice surprise, More Glimpses of Heaven (Inspiring True Stories of Hope and Peace at the End of Life’s Journey). I think this book would help in my reflections for my apostolate work at AFCC.

I was invited by the  Dominican Community (Order of Preachers) as one of the guest speakers in their upcoming Social Media Summit this October. I am keeping my fingers crossed, I hope I would not disappoint them.

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