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Archive for November, 2013


Hello everyone! Finally got my order of t-shirts from ABS CBN.  Josef and I ordered three but there is no size yet for the third one. A shirt costs P250.00 and all proceeds will go to the survivors of typhoon Yolanda. Another way of sharing aside from donating goods and sending cash.

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Loosely translated, it means “let’s help” or “let’s be one  in helping”, extending our hands and making our kababayans  cope and rebuild and bring back life to normalcy again.  And with God’s grace and determination, we can do it.

Tulong na. Tabang na. Tayo na.

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Got sick again.  Been so busy the past few days that I had fever last night accompanied by muscle pains, sore throat and that feeling of being so helpless and sleepy. Son reported for work early this morning and I went back to bed when he left. I was surprised when he came back  two hours later carrying a large bag of Pan de Manila   pandesal, two soup pack and some medicines for headache and fever. He said he filed a leave of absence so he could take care of me. So sweet, I was touched. We did our groceries for Christmas the other day after which he  asked me to accompany him to the appliance section of the store. Gosh, he bought me additional birthday gift,  an AC/DC rechargeable AM/FM radio with LED  light.  He said I could use it for gardening since it is so handy to carry around. We had a good laugh while he pointed out the advantage of having one (although I have an old radio that I still use to listen to news).  We repainted our gates and did some minor works at the house with the help of a neighbor.

And it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it’s actually 29 days to go. Who’s counting? I am. I took shots of our street a few minutes ago with the Christmas lights on, it is so beautiful. It is the only street in our village that has uniform Christmas decoration. We have permanent lamp posts in every house here and our street coordinator had them all decorated with lights and lanterns.

IMG_5410Violet St. at night.

IMG_5404In front of our house

IMG_5409A corner street light

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bangon pilipinas

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Elisabeth Kubler Ross

I am thinking of  a nice title for this blog but all I can remember are the faces of those survivors , fellow Filipinos who were directly affected by typhoon Yolanda. We get to see several countries pitching in, embracing us  and helping not just financially but their presence in the devastated areas are like beacons of light and hope for  everyone. We get to see that the bayanihan spirit is still alive. We get to see people from all walks of life, from all areas in the Philippines doing their share of helping, making their presence felt, trying to reach out to  our unfortunate kababayans.  And the silent majority  are there quietly doing their share of repacking, donating goods and extending their hands and praying  that this tragedy would somehow make us realize that life is short but it is never too late to do our bit of kindness. We are in mourning – mourning for  the  loss of thousands and thousands of people from the Visayas, we are in mourning seeing the devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda, we are mourning for those little children whose lives were suddenly cut short.

Some observers say they admire the resilience of every Filipino, the ability that one could still smile despite everything, the desire to rise again from the rubbles  and  rebuild one’s life despite all the odds. They admire the way we handle grief, weeping in earnest for what happened but life has to go on and we pick up the pieces  slowly but with determination that we could do it.

Earlier on, I was one of those who asked, “but where are the local officials and where is the national government?”  I would have ranted like the rest of the netizens in the social media whose way of coping was criticizing every move of our government officials, help is slow in coming and it’s a matter of life and death –  save our people from extreme hunger and thirst. The former are doing their best to bring sanity to such chaos but it still seems lacking and they need to move fast.  I posted this earlier at Facebook  and some of my friends had different reactions to it. Short of cursing the government for their slow move, they won’t take it sitting down. The government must know that they lack the push to do what needs to be done.

Rant all you want, criticize all you want but are you doing something? ARE WE DOING OUR SHARE in helping the government make life easier for the typhoon victims?  Sec. Dinky Soliman said that this is a collective effort so let us join hands and be one. It does not help that all we do is post negative comments and act as if we know better.

So I told them: I respect all your opinions here. All of us are affected in one way or another by this massive, destructive, enormous and devastating calamity. All I’m saying is that we must not negatively react “lock, stock and barrel” to all the news we read online.  And while we all know that it is the government’s duty and responsibility to help our people, let us do our share. Sometimes, ACTIONS ARE  BETTER THAN WORDS.

I was surprised to receive this wonderful letter from my niece who is a student at Oklahoma Christian University. She said and I quote:

Hi Tita Arlene! I just wanted to say a quick hello and see how you guys are doing. I also wanted to let you know that even though I know you guys weren’t affected directly by the typhoon recently, my school has sent a lot of love and prayers to the Philippines this past week and a half. We have a Filipino alumna  from here who spoke to us today about it and we also had a special prayer time specifically for the Philippines last Tuesday. So if you know anyone who was directly affected, please let them know we’re thinking about them! I definitely think about you guys a lot because it’s been so many years since I’ve seen all of you. I’m glad that you all are okay, and I hope you’re doing well. Please give Nate a hug for me on his birthday this week. I can’t wait for the day until I finally meet him. I always take joy in seeing the pictures that you and Ate Nissa post of him  – he’s definitely growing up fast! Anyway, I miss you all and please send everyone my love. Take care always!

Mae 🙂

Everyone is praying for the Philippines.  Our faith is bigger than any storm that comes into our lives. Bangon Pilipinas!

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Our Precious Bundle of Joy

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HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY darling baby Nate. Yeay, and you are counting 🙂 How time flies, now you can walk on your own even if they’re just baby steps. It’s  time to see the world from a higher place and discover many, many things dear to your heart.

I can’t believe it, was it only a year ago when your Dad and I patiently waited for you to see the world and hear your first cry? Was it only a year ago when your mom excitedly showed us your pictures while she was in the delivery room  even if she was groggy from anesthesia? And I promised myself I would write about your growing up years. You’re one year old now and we’ll have more days, months and years to discover the world through your eyes. And may you grow to be  strong, smart, healthy  and loving and  may you continue…

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Giving is more meaningful when it comes from the heart.

Be a cheerful giver.

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Nonna is of course excited 🙂

Our Precious Bundle of Joy

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Our little one is turning one in four days  and we are looking forward to this momentous event, another stage in his young life. Does that make him a toddler now?

We are all excited  to celebrate his first birthday this coming Saturday. Nissa planned and prepared for it for the last two months or so.  I love the simple but cute invite  for his birthday. His actual birthday is on  Friday but since most of their invited guests have work, they scheduled it for Saturday, Nov. 23.

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They came over last Saturday to distribute their invitations to some of our neighbors. I am truly amazed how he has learned a lot in the three weeks that I haven’t seen him. Though his language are mostly garbled words  and sounds and one or two  that he can pronounce correctly, he responds to everything that you tell him. And did I…

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Two days ago, Josef and I did our twice a month marketing at our wet market here in Cainta. And look what I found inside the stall of my “suki” (favorite vendor), some fresh produce that are old-time favorites. I seldom see these in other stalls in the area, something as fresh as they look.

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I love zucchini but they are not regular fares in our household because I seldom see them in the wet  market and the ones they sell in supermarkets no longer look fresh. Do you eat fiddlehead fern? We call it locally as paku or pako. And boy, it really tastes good made into salad.  Those new slim and long green ones are called French beans,my suki said, and they are now locally grown in the uplands in Baguio.  How nice, can’t wait to taste this with a few drops of oyster sauce.

 

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