Archive for August, 2013

I always love blogging about the sea, seeing it  in all its glory and angst but I seldom have the opportunity to visit one as often as I want.  Here are some pictures of Capones Island, in San Antonio, Zambales. It’s an uninhabited paradise that boasts of a long stretch of white sand beach and rocky cliffs and clear turquoise waters and azure sky.  Wouldn’t you want to stay here for a while and commune with nature at its best?


(kindly click each picture to enlarge)


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Everyone of us has followed the development of Napoles’ pork barrel scam.  The Million People March in Luneta last Monday showed everyone that the people mean business, that is, to get to the truth behind this scam that involves P10B siphoned off from the coffers of the  Philippine government which, technically translated, belongs to  all Filipinos who are diligently paying their taxes no matter how miniscule their income is.

Last night, Napoles finally surrendered to no less than the President himself.  And everyone following the news of her surrender rejoiced at least for a while. She was then transferred to Camp Crame. What I can’t understand is why are they giving her preferential treatment and even considering her to be a state’s witness?  It’s appalling to even think of her as a state’s witness, don’t you think?  Justice Secretary de Lima said that as far as the evidence shows, she is the central figure in this scam. Gosh, what is happening to our country? What’s the hidden agenda?   We can’t help but think that there is something fishy going on here.  I would not be surprised if we will see her in one of the hospitals here also on a wheelchair. The latest news says that she might remain at Camp Crame  or be transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa  and not at Makati City jail  as previously planned because she must be protected at all cost. What about those whistleblowers who also risked their lives to tell the truth so the people may know? Eh bakit ang isang magnanakaw, na nang snatch lang ng cellphone, derecho sa kulungan?

I am an ordinary citizen religiously paying taxes and I demand to know the truth and nothing but. As I have said in my earlier blog, I hope they are not just paying lip service to us all. And I can’t help but think that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are bigger fish involved and Napoles is now scared stiff for her life. I’m sharing a picture posted by one of my friends at Facebook and it clearly shows the”true picture”. Thank you to whoever made this cartoon,  the message is clear.


And here’s one more picture I found on Butch Abella’s timeline.   Such is what some of our politicians have become.  Greed for money and lust for power.


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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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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

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I am not sure if that word porky is appropriate here but this is just to show you how tiring it is to see and read news on the pork barrel every day. All of a sudden, I am tired of seeing Napoles’ face everywhere on the net, I am tired of reading her daughter’s blog freely flaunting her signature shoes, bags, and everything else she wears from head to foot, an ostentatious display of wealth while majority of the Filipino people are  living below the poverty line. I am tired of those shameless politicians denying that they didn’t get anything from their share of the “drums” and “barrels” of  people’s money  and those who entered politics just because they want to get their share too.  One  senator even said that it is not their responsibility where their pork barrel goes, if I may say, what an irresponsible and irrelevant statement coming from someone who was supposed to be intelligent enough to understand that it is not their money but hard-earned by Juan dela Cruz.  As they say in Tagalog, dugo’t pawis ang puhunan. Or are they swimming in the quagmire of their deceit, lies  and more lies?  Do they still have conscience ?  Don’t they possess any shame? Where did the P10B go, in the pockets of a few?

Today, finally, Pres. Aquino issued a statement on the abolition of PDAF  (Priority Development Assistance Fund).  Some senators have filed resolutions too  (or at least around 15 of them)  believe that it should be abolished.  I hope it is not just mere lip service since the Filipino people are getting  angry and we have the right to be.  Let  justice prevail and punish those who are guilty of this sabotage.  Corona’s impeachment is nothing compared to this.

I am just tired of it all.

So I’ll spend a little of my time getting acquainted with new authors and new books. Sometimes, you’ll get a nice surprise. I have just  watched the trailer of the movie adaptation of The Book Thief,  one of the best books I encountered a few years ago.  (A favorite read, obviously but I don’t have my copy yet).  Just can’t wait.  And here’s something from Roger Housden  which might inspire you too.

When I write I fall by the wayside and pick myself up and stumble and bumble along the line hoping that any moment, this moment, I’ll find my way home and there is a moment and then another moment when I almost catch the inexpressible by the tail and it slips away again just out of reach but I’m on the scent now and I can see the letters almost forming into words and the words into sentences but then I see a cup of tea floating between me and the screen and my body is already half out of the chair when I remember again what I’m sitting here in search of and I fall in, I fall in and the words come bubbling up from below onto the line and I can’t stop now nothing can stop what wants to take shape and all this despite myself.

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Lord, please protect us from the wrath of typhoon Maring. Please remind us always not to lose faith and hope in times of calamity like this. You are our hope and our strength. Guide us and embrace us as we go through another day. May we see the sunshine despite the rains.

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What a lazy, lazy Sunday! I braved the drizzle early this morning to attend the 5am mass  at Our Lady of Light Parish in our town. Since my son works on Sundays, I usually wake up early too and we left the house together. I don’t normally go to mass this early but  mom can’t make it (she’s not feeling well yet) and opted to hear mass on TV. Despite the rain (and the cold), the church was full.  I dropped by the nearby wet market on my way home and bought Saba bananas.  Catching fresh produce early, how nice!

I am sure most of you don’t eat ampalaya or bitter melon  for the simple reason that yes, it tastes bitter. Most of us know too  that it is a healthy vegetable that has now been proven to be an effective herbal medicine for many aliments. I won’t go into details  as to its rich nutrients but I want to share with you another experiment that I did in the kitchen. A friend was supposed to come over yesterday to get some  but didn’t show up so I have to harvest more than a kilo of ampalaya this morning and cooked some for lunch. IMG_5091This is the bonito variety, a hybrid and  every three days, I make a harvest. There are so many ways to cook ampalaya, you can make ampalaya con carne, pinakbet,  mixed with eggs, fresh ampalaya salad or you can mix it with some other vegetables like monggo, the possibilities are endless. Anyway, sauteing it but presenting it differently made mom think that it is a small plate of pizza. Can you imagine? I was laughing when I put a slice on her plate and she tasted the mild flavor of bitterness there.  Mom sometimes could be funny :)


That’s right, I call it ampalaya frittata. As we all know frittata is an egg-based recipe that you can cook on top of a stove or bake in an oven. It’s perfect for any vegetable or meat that you happen to have around. I put cheese in it for that extra flavor and mom likes  it.  Paired with some left-over longganisa (our local version of sausage), it’s a perfect lunch on a rainy Sunday.

It’s that kind of rain  that would make you want to go back to bed and just idle your time reading or listening to some old music that they usually play on the radio during Sundays. Life is simple. And it feels good.

Gosh, the rain hasn’t let up. It’s a downpour. I hope it won’t last long to create flash floods.

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Caught between the early morning light and the fading dawn

I sit and watch the stillness of the moment

Waiting for the sun to show its face

And I find  peace….

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And I must say, it’s been a while. And it’s hard to start blogging again after a week of hibernation. Anyway, I promised I’ll be back. The last week has been full of thoughts and dreadful news that I buried myself reading a series of eight books ( I  actually read six) in a little town of  Virginia.  Reading historical novels and getting acquainted with years of survival and living in a  world when horses were the only means of transport in an undiscovered territory  is sometimes a great change from the noise of daily living.  As I read the last book though, cellphones, e-mails and social networking became ordinary means of communication in a modern world where horseback riding was no longer a necessity but something only the rich populace could afford.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t spent all of one week reading because in between resting my eyes, I was busy preparing simple meals and trimming our carabao grass.  Gardening has its rewards, it lets your mind wander  and form words in your head and you think of how blessed you are. When nature shows itself,  you can’t help but think  that there is something miraculous  in the way it rewards you with lovely blooms despite the rains. My Mokara and Hoya Orchids are in bloom again. I saw four new spikes of Mokara showing gentle buds of orange. And all the Hoyas are blooming too.  Gardening may sometimes be a pain  because it does not thrive on neglect but  the joy and the quiet times you spend pulling off weeds, pruning and watering are more than enough to make your day complete.

Last Monday, we have experienced the worst typhoon so far this year.  Typhoon Labuyo (internationally named Utor) caused massive floods and landslides all over central and northern Luzon and wreaked havoc to so many homes, crops and properties particularly in Aurora province.  I know the feeling of losing what you have  to typhoons and finding your home submerged in water. Four years ago, we experienced exactly that and it took us a month to repair our cabinets  and replace some of our appliances and personal effects  that were destroyed by  the typhoon. We lost most of our books too. But still we were lucky because we had a house to come back to unlike those typhoon victims in Aurora where their houses were destroyed. I  always dread the thought of storms and typhoons. And it sad to think that every year, we experience  at least twenty or more weather disturbances .

Just started on a new book by a Turkish author entitled My Name is Red. It’s sixteenth-century Istanbul and the author Orhan Pamuk is a recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.

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