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Archive for May, 2013


All my life, I have lived like an aquarium fish in the safety of a glass tank, behind a barrier as impenetrable as it has been transparent.  I have been free to observe the glimmering world on the other side, to picture myself in it, if I like. But I have always been hemmed in, by the hard unyielding confines of the existence that Baba has constructed for me, at first knowingly, when I was young, and now guilelessly, now that he is fading day-to-day. I think I have grown  accustomed  to the glass and am terrified that when it breaks, when I am alone, I will spill out in to the wide open unknown and flop around, helpless, lost, gasping for breath.

khaledSiblings, parenthood, friendship – words  and topics that make up a good and brilliant story. I won’t attempt to make a review here that would probably spoil your fun in reading the book. This was recently released last May 21 so maybe some of you haven’t got hold of a copy yet.  I read his first two books, The Kite Runner which was released in 2003 and was  adapted into film later and A Thousand Splendid Suns  which was made available to the public in 2007. If you love Amir in The Kite Runner and cried with Mariam and Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns, you would surely appreciate  Pari and Abdullah  in this new tale  “revolving around brothers and sisters, and the ways in which they love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for each other.”

I wrote a review of his second book  A Thousand Splendid Suns back in 2007 and posted it here  two years later when I was organizing my blogs at Multiply. I was quite excited when I read about his third book  not knowing what to expect since my views of him as a writer  were colored by his first two novels but here is a good review I found after finishing the last page without spoiling your fun of discovering what makes it a five-star in my list of lovely reads.  There is that feeling  when you reach the last few pages and you don’t want it to end  – you feel the intensity, the emotions playing in your mind and you want to know more about the characters who have endeared themselves to you in the first few pages.

My best read so far this 2013.

 

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backgroundWhen you dream, you could open feel that you are on top of the world and the clouds and blue sky are never far from your reach.

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And when you commune with nature, you are really closer to God.

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And the beach could be a big playground for those lovely thoughts. It is  lovely to see how nature channels you back to peace, tranquility  and silence.

See more posts here.

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pizza breadI don’t know if I am the only one who is fond of turning left-over food into something that would look more  appetizing  to the palate. We have lots of left-over spaghetti sauce (I cooked more actually because my son loves spaghetti) when my daughter and her family came over yesterday for lunch.  I  found these day old sliced bread which we call in Tagalog Monay  and used it instead of pizza dough. 

We used to do this on left-over pan de sal sometimes topped with sardines, fresh onions and lots of cheese.  Just pop the bread slices in the oven long enough for the cheese to melt. It’s  perfect for that hot cup of coffee or tea while I’m  idling around in the garden waiting for my newly planted Vietnam rose to bloom.

It was definitely a lovely morning.

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The raindrops linger

And I stand here….

Still

Savoring the quiet

Of a misty morning.

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“It’s so curious: one can resist tears and ‘behave’ very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer… and everything collapses. ” – Collete

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I am going back to reading although it has become a bit slow for me. There was a time when I used to read three books a week, getting  older though made me quite a little slack doing some of my favorite hobbies, reading being one. Come to think of it, among all my books (probably  a thousand of them) there are only two signed copies that I treasure for the simple reason that they are the only signed copies that I have 🙂collageTwo years ago, my daughter gave  me a copy of Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me   as a birthday gift  on the condition that I attend his book signing at The Podium at Ortigas Center. There was an attached invite from National Bookstore but it was not an assurance that I’ll be able to have my book signed. Nicholas Sparks is more of Nissa’s favorite author so I’ve read almost all of his books. The book signing was right after my birthday so you can just imagine how nervous I was because I have never attended one before.  Read my adventures here on how the day went. It was an unforgettable event in my life. I was really tongue-tied when I met him face to face. All I can utter was “hello Nicholas”.

Richard Paul Evans is  one of my favorite authors. Hmm, let me amend that, he is my favorite author. I’ve blogged  about him so many times here. Last year, I received a signed, first edition copy of his book  The Last Promise , a gift from an online friend that I met at Multiply.  Look at how he signs his books. This may sound  crazy but I guess, the value of a book increases when it is personally signed by the author. Do you agree?

I am looking forward to my three  new books  which will be sent by another friend from the US, my copy of A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver and two more latest books by Richard Paul Evans.  Right now, I am in the thick of reading Anne of Avonlea (second in a series of the classic books by L.M. Montgomery).

And I wish that like the late D.J. Salinger, I could do this too, ““What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”  It hasn’t happened yet because I don’t have  a terrific friend  who is a book author 😦

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“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.” – Richard Bach

A friend said that this is one of my best shots.  And I thought the composition was not good, I was only trying to capture the clouds rapidly changing course  while passing through my lens. Then came this bird gliding rapidly, making itself framed inside the tie wires which we used as trellis  at the back of the house. This is a raw shot and it reminds me of  how it is to be free, unhampered by any extra baggage, reaching one’s destination by sheer determination and grace. It is the art of flying.

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This post came a  bit late but I can’t surely ignore it, can I?  Mine says Dreams and Escapes (with an S at the end).  There are several pictures  I took that would exactly describe what the word escape means to me but the following three shots stand out.

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CALERUEGA. This is one of my favorite places. I could stay here and just listen to the silence or write a journal while admiring the view and feeling the cold breeze touch my cheeks.  That’s my daughter busy with something. I remember, we brought that tripod and three digital cameras,  mounting  one permanently to the former while we were exploring the place.

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PUNDAKIT BEACH, SAN ANTONIO, ZAMBALES.  I remember those days when we used to go on road trips discovering new places . If only for the serenity of the place, I would come back here and see the sunrise or admire a wonderful sunset.  Beyond those mountains is Anawangin and overlooking this one is Capones Island.

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TANAY. December 27, 2009, my first trip out-of-town after six rigorous sessions of chemotherapy.  Can I endure the exhilaration of going down these trails and climbing up the mountains of Tanay? I did it with flying colors, a brief escape from the fact that I was so depressed while undergoing treatments.

The beauty of nature gives us that feeling of oneness with the universe, a form of escape from pain and heartaches.  I always love this phrase posted  in  every corner at Caleruega which I have adopted in most of my blogs, Close To Nature, Closer To God.

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Yeay, I had a grand time picking these fresh calamansi (it’s Philippine lime for you guys) from our two fruit trees which I planted when we moved here eighteen years ago (that’s how long we’ve been staying here in this place). They never stop flowering and giving us these fruits all year round but this is the first time  (I guess) that I harvested this much. They weigh almost two kilos. Calamansi has many uses in the Philippine kitchen – it is a perfect morning drink, an immune system booster, a perfect marinade for meats or even fish and poultry.

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I bought a pot of this Pink Angel years ago. When it stopped flowering, I planted some cuttings in two small pots but it took so long for it to show those lovely pink blooms, that is,  until  now. It’s a sort of vine and shrub combined. I never knew its exact name  because I could not find such similar blooms on the net. It’s a Pink Angel, the vendor told me, so be it!

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