Archive for July, 2013

“Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.”
― Ray Bradbury

A friend shared this lovely post about common sense and I asked her if I could share it too with all of you here. It’s that subtle difference between being wise and knowing what is right or wrong.

An Obituary printed in the London Times…..Absolutely Dead Brilliant !!

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend
more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children,
are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but
overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy
charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens
suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher
fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses;
and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to
realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap,
and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
– I Know My Rights
– I Want It Now
– Someone Else Is To Blame
– I’m A Victim
– Pay me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and
do nothing.


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Can’t think of a better subject to represent this week’s challenge than taking shots of my garden and the flowers  and plants growing there.  Something fresh that would greet you each morning, something that reminds you that every day there is a treasure to find, in simple and small things.





For more of this, you may follow this link.

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Would you believe, I am beginning to love Jojo Moyes, a new favorite author I just discovered. The past week, I read three of her books. She writes simply but every character is unforgettable. There is that feeling where you want to know more about them long after you reached the last page. I wish I could write something substantial here, like a book review but right now, I am hooked on reading Schindler’s List. I’ve seen the movie  a long, long time ago, a  Steven Spielberg film that made me shed buckets of tears. This is the first time though that I will be reading the book.  And there is Schindler’s List 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray combo pack made available last March 05, 2013.  And I wish I could watch it again, meantime  though, I’ll just enjoy the book.


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Mom is still with us and she can’t wait to go home to the province to tend her garden.  She spends most of her time here watching her favorite soap programs and playing solitaire. She’s not much into cooking, she said I cook better than she does. Well, one thing I love about her is, she is so appreciative of what I prepare  in the kitchen, whether it is a simple meal or an elaborate dish for special occasions. This afternoon, she watched me prepare puto,  a steamed rice cake similar to English muffins. I did a little variation though, instead of just plain puto mix, sugar, eggs and oil, I added a cup of evaporated milk for that rich and creamy texture and Mom loved it. She said, it is better than those she has tasted before. I just smiled when she uttered “mananam”. In our dialect, that means yummy. It’s nice paired with a hot cup of decaf coffee. puto

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Floods of memories are sometimes unlocked by a mere sight of a place that reminds you of childhood.  They come at the most unexpected time when you are vulnerable enough  and  you recall the days of old, the happy days when everything was right in your world.

Last Saturday, we attended the wedding of my niece held at the lovely Sweet Harmony Gardens in Taytay, Rizal, a two-hectare garden with several  function rooms for all occasions. On our way to the car park, my nephew commented, “Oh, I could smell mabolo” while I was busy taking a few shots of the garden and admiring the flowers growing there. I sighed. If only I discovered it earlier, I could have explored the place while waiting for the wedding to begin. True enough, when I looked up, there were so many mabolo fruits hanging from the kamagong  tree right above our heads.

Some of you may not be familiar with mabolo. They also call it butter fruit or velvet apple. Seeing those red fruits brought me back to the early years. I grew up with three brothers and a few cousins (from my mother’s side). We grew up together in my lola’s ancestral home until I graduated from grade school when we transferred to Manila for good. That old house was surrounded by fruit trees – kaimito  (star apple), sampalok (tamarind), suha (grape fruit),  kasuy (cashew), guava  and mango trees.  And yes, we had that lone kamagong tree where we picked  ripe mabolo fruits.  I remember waking up to the lemony scent of  the suha flowers right outside our window. I remember those mornings when we used to climb guava trees and eat them right there and then.

Growing up with three brothers had its  advantages though.  I was one of the boys, always tagging along, playing  holen (marbles) and any such rough games that a child of the 60’s did. Back then, television or any electronic gadget was unheard of. What we had was a small transistor radio that ran on batteries. There was no electricity and life was simple.  I remember those times when we used to find beetles by using a long stick on mango trees and they fall to the ground. You were lucky if you found  the green one with a very shiny body, more beautiful than the rest. It was such a joy to play with them by tying them with a string and letting  them fly.

Simple joys of childhood that all the modern gadgets and electronic toys nowadays can’t replicate. Here are the shots I took that afternoon that made me linger on childhood memories.

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You ask me how things are,

Hear this:

the book remains unread

and I stare into empty space

waiting for the rain to fall.


words are better left unsaid.

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Just a bit disappointed when I saw that my Mokara blooms were of the same color as the old one. I was expecting a touch of yellow or purple perhaps? Anyway, I love these blooms because they last for about a month bringing a lovely color to my small garden.

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Sometimes, you  walk through life full of anguish and pain but those are same moments when you realize that you are stronger than most, that you could face life and all its challenges because you are one blessed soul.

I do remember and I feel grateful and blessed today. Thank You for making me realize that the past four years of being in remission is  Your way of making me closer to You. I bow my head in thanksgiving for all the wonderful graces, for the gift of family and friends who were there during my journey, sharing my pain and making me feel loved.

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Mom and I had this for lunch today, a yummy dish of tilapia  wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in coconut cream.  Tilapia or St. Peter’s fish  could be cooked in so many different ways.  You can have it filleted, deep-fried or our usual way of cooking pangat. I like it cooked in kalamansi (Philippine lime) which I have plenty of  in our garden with chopped onions, green pepper and ginger. I was craving for something different  so I tried cooking it in gata using  two pieces of tomatoes instead of kalamansi. Mom loved it and she asked what the green leaves were.  I told her it’s a fresh harvest from the garden,some edible gabi leaves growing alongside my ampalaya plants. When you cook something with coconut cream, it needs to be a little spicy to go with the creamy taste of the gata.

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This morning, I was changing channels searching for some news broadcasts when I chanced upon this movie, Message in a  Bottle on Blink cinema. The first time I saw this film was through a beta tape that one of my former office mates lent me one weekend. You can just imagine how long ago it was.  I think it was even the first book that I read of Nicholas Sparks.  Three years ago, out of boredom from recuperating after my chemotherapy, I watched it again via a DVD which my daughter bought along with other love stories  and wrote something about it here.

Nicholas Sparks is one of those writers who really makes me cry. I bought this book late 90′s I guess, read and reread it more than I care to admit. The first time it was shown, I was looking for all the beautiful quotes in the book.  Kevin Costner is Garret Blake, a  boat builder and a widower. Robin Wright Penn plays the role of Theresa Osborne, she was intrigued by the writer of the letter she found in a bottle while she was on  vacation and spent her time looking for him.  Paul Newman shines as Dodge Blake, Garret’s father.  I guess it is his character that I love the most in the movie.  It’s a love story alright and a tear-jerker at that but just like in the previous times that I’ve watched the movie, the ending was a bit of a disappointment.  Beautiful stories do not end in tragedy, right? I remember a quote from the book and it best sums up the whole story, “If some lives form a perfect circle, other take shape in ways we cannot predict or always understand. Loss has been part of my journey. But it has also shown me what is precious. So has love for which I can only be grateful”.

At some point in your life, you could identify with this, a love lost, but it gives you lessons that you would carry through all your life. Some of us are of the belief that love is forever but it is not to be because  like people, love is not perfect. And as if watching a tear-jerker  movie is not enough, I reacquainted myself reading Love Story. A short read in two hours. Back in high school, my classmates and I used to sing this line while remembering Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw as Jennifer and Oliver in the movie adaptation. Come to think of it, I even wrote it in my journal:

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”   How wrong Erich Segal was, because definitely, love is not about never seeing the need to say that you’re sorry. Love is about humility too, always willing enough to say you’re sorry because you’ve hurt someone and  one should learn how to forgive and ask forgiveness.  It’s funny how the years have changed one’s perspective towards something you thought was so beautiful and inspiring in your youth.


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