Archive for January, 2013




Sometimes the simplest things are the best Nature can give. And seeing the beauty of raindrops is like  allowing yourself to feel that life in all its angst is beautiful.


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Our Precious Bundle of Joy


I am trying my hand at taking close-up shots of Nate.  Here’s one. Yeay, our baby is two months old today. And when I think of what he’s been through during the early days of his life, I could only marvel at God’s goodness. He now listens to conversations and responds in his own language. And Nissa taught him that saying “I love you Nate” are the perfect words because he always has that nice smile every time he hears them.

Love you so much baby. Happy two months 🙂

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If there are popular street food in every corner of Metro Manila, there are also popular drinks that you will find in malls and yes, food cart on the street. Buko juice and gulaman at sago are just examples of these. Gulaman is simply the Tagalog term for  jelly while sago are tapioca pearls that go with it.  Don’t ask me why they go together but they taste good especially when they’re home-made. The ones they sell in food kiosks  in malls contain only about half a spoon of gulaman and probably  a teaspoon of sago. That’s P10 for you for a small plastic cup. Sago is also used in those very popular pearl and milk teas. I tried making a pitcher this afternoon, it’s better than sodas or soft drinks.  Gulaman of course is so easy to prepare while sago needs a lot of  boiling time to soften.

gulaman at sago

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I got the highest stats  on my dashboard yesterday for this month so far and I can’t resist  taking  a screen shot of where they are coming from. The Philippines of course is on the top rank.



Got a total of  502 views yesterday with 314 visitors. How nice, I am quite inspired! Thank you all for visiting my blog.

21 January 2013 7:15am

I really think I need to correct this because the biggest number of views and visitors so far was last January 19 with 728 views and 500 visitors. Thank God for blogging!

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Here are my own interpretations of what the word Beyond means to me in pictures. Come to think of it, I always look forward  to this weekly photo challenge because somehow you get to look  once more at some pictures which at the time you took were just pleasing to your eyes and senses. Sometimes though, they acquire a meaning and you wish you could capture the essence of each view and place you see.


Beyond this mountain is my provincial home which I haven’t visited  in quite a while. My old memories of this places is tied up to the river running below this mountain where we used to catch fresh-water fish during the early parts of rainy months. And yes, the impromptu picnics  beside  the river and taking a long soak after.  Fresh, unpolluted running water and lovely river stones that sometimes my cousins and I used to bring home  for our Piko games.


The cool mountains of Tanay. I remember taking this shot three weeks after my six-sessions of chemotherapy ended.  It was a kind of litmus test how far I can go without tiring myself after such a life-changing treatment.  I miss this place, I hope someday I would be able to come back here.


What lies behind closed doors, do you know? Dreams! Pockets of happy days!  Actually, I was fascinated by the stained-glass door. I seldom see this kind of window and door treatments except in places where they value old-age decor.


There is always something that fascinates me in discovering places and looking beyond.  I took this in Caleruega, the hanging bridge was simply irresistible. And beyond this is a vast garden and an upward climb to a hill that gives a wonderful view of the Batulao mountains in Batangas. It’s one of my favorite places to visit.

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Not long ago, two years to be exact, I blogged about these men on two wheels that ply Metro Manila in droves nowadays. Kindly click  this link  so you’ll know  what I am talking about.

In our more than seventeen years of stay here in our subdivision, this is the first time that our security (my family and I) was threatened by a crazed-gun-toting man who calls himself “police”   as if the mere mention of the word would scare the living daylights out of you instead of protecting you from  the harmful elements of the society. Do you think this is normal? Or maybe it  has become the norm in our world instead that these men exist. Evil lurks everywhere. I am not writing about this to scare everyone, rather it’s just to make you aware that  there are people out there who earn their keeps by doing something unacceptable and scary at most. You’re no longer safe even in your own homes or right in front of it. Generally, our place is peaceful, our immediate neighbors are like extended family to us and some of them are nodding acquaintances who we all know by face. What happened last night though makes me think otherwise.

My son was on his way home last night at around 8:15pm (still early), just about a few meters away from our front gate when he was accosted by a man in a motorcycle and asked him if he has seen a boy who allegedly snatched a  cellphone.  Their exact conversation  was:

“May nakita ka bang bata na tumakbo rito, nag-agaw ng cellphone?” The man was on a motorbike wearing a dark helmet. My son answered “wala eh” at the same time went on his way to our gate. Then the man said “police ako” and repeated the same question and asked where he lives. My son pointed to our house which is right behind them. Then he asked to see his cellphone and my son showed it to him. He snatched it at the same time pointing a gun at him and a few seconds later fired the gun he was holding into the air. There is a sari-sari store right next to our house  and someone saw what happened. The latter recalled that the supposed “police”   shouted  “takbo”   so even the bystander ran for cover. To cut the story short, the security team of our subdivision arrived and later a police and some of the officers of our village association. Earlier on, they told us that someone was also victimized in  the town proper and they  ran after  the motorcycle riding hold-upper.  And one  of the security officers said that it  has been the usual story told by previous victims of snatching in other Rizal towns in  the past two years. My question is,  why is the gunman still at large? Based on the description of the  bystander, it seemed that it was the same individual who did the firing. My son was not able to recognize his face because he wore a  dark helmet.  The thing is, one of our neighbors in the next street joined us and asked, “dito po ba galing yung putok ng baril?” Everyone answered in the affirmative. He said further that the bullet passed through the plywood covering the vacant aircon  unit  in their bedroom and their baby was there inside. Good thing, the baby’s toys cushioned the impact of the slug. What if the bullet pierced the glass windows of their bedroom, it might have hurt the child.  The moment I heard this, I felt like I was walking on air.  It was too much  to hear that an innocent baby could have been hurt.

We see violence every day on television or hear it over the radio but when  you are the victim, it’s a different story. I urge everyone to be cautious always in their surroundings  and when they see suspicious-acting men in bikes.  Most accidents that are reported nowadays  are  on motorbikes. I have nothing against people who use this type of conveyance but there are  riders  out there who use them for victimizing innocent  people.

I also urge our subdivision officers and security personnel to strictly impose “no helmet” policy inside the subdivision when they let passersby access our roads.  I urge my fellow  homeowners to be alert all the time and report any incident that affects our security as a whole. May this be a lesson to all of us that we should not be complacent even if we are familiar with a place, we’ll never know when something like this happens again.  The scenario keeps playing in my head.  It’s quite different when you are divested of your belongings like cellphones  but to be threatened by a gun?

What is happening to the world?


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I am really proud of this  since it was the first time that my Vanda orchid  growing on our avocado tree produced  these lovely blooms. What is left of our avocado now are just the trunks holding three Vanda orchids which I bought years ago as saplings. I really don’t use flower booster since they come in expensive packets here. A  month ago, I noticed  buds  just breaking into beautiful red-orange blooms.  Maybe it’s time to propagate the stems with protruding roots. And did you know that Vanda is just an Indian word for orchids?


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Had he been alive , he would have been 91 years old today. For the last three years that I’ve been blogging, I also blogged about him every January 16th so I hope you’ll forgive the sentimentality of this blog. I want to remember even snippets of long ago memories with him.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD. I miss you….still! My only regret is that, you were not able to see your first  lovable great-grandchild, a fourth generation Abuel.

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Hmm, the calming and delicious smell of Cinnamon Peppermint Tea on a cold Wednesday morning!

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Had this for lunch, a yummy fiddlehead fern topped with tinapa flakes, thin slices of ginger, onions and tomatoes!  They are locally known as pakú.

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