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Archive for October, 2014


I noticed it a few days ago, just a bud and  I was curious if it would turn out to be an orange-red bloom just like the rest. I waited years to see if it would produce flowers just like my other orchids. This morning was a nice surprise. I looked out of the window and there it was, my pretty pink Mokara orchids. Can’t really wait to see the petals open one by one.  It was a joy seeing this at last 🙂

Pretty in pink

I would definitely take more shots and add them to my Colors album.

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Turning 58 at last!

I had a good eight hours of sleep last night and I thought when I woke up this morning, “so this is how it feels to be 58”.  Three weeks ago, one of my close friends came home for a short vacation and she insisted that we celebrate my birthday early since she was only given two weeks by her boss.  After deliberating on where to spend lunch and getting in touch with a few more friends, we finally settled at Vikings, Megamall, a luxury buffet restaurant that serves lunch and dinner but you need to  reserve seats  at least three or two days before going there. It was my second time to eat at Vikings but it was my first time to visit their Megamall branch. Last year, my daughter treated me to lunch in one of their branches in Marikina City. Vikings serves sumptuous feasts of delectable European, American, Japanese, Chinese and Filipino dishes. It is always a joy to discover something new that you haven’t tasted before. Birthday celebrators during the month are free of charge and they even have  this  singing duo to greet you happy birthday with a small cake to wish on. It was fun. The food was good and the company even better, priceless moments of togetherness with friends. Thank you sis Odette for the lovely treat.

At Vikings - SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall

At Vikings – SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall

I attended the 6am mass at Our Lady of Light Parish and when I reached home, my son was laboring over the hot stove preparing pasta.  He seldom cooks and this was his first time to cook spaghetti. Imagine, having pasta for breakfast with some slices of embutido as side dish.  He asked what my birthday wish was. Nothing tangible I said, just good health and happy moments with the family. Isn’t that what we always wish for? An appreciation of life and what it brings and the many small treasures that we collect as we traverse our journeys, we long for simple things that make  the heart happy.

After breakfast, it was a busy morning going back to the town proper with some neighbors to visit the mayor’s office, had coffee at McDo then went home exhausted to prepare lunch. I cooked  pancit habhab though and had some fresh veggie salad for dinner.  I missed some calls on my cellphone, answered  a lot of private messages on Facebook.  I don’t allow postings by others on my timeline except when they tag me and I have to approve it.  I am grateful for all their birthday wishes and prayers.

Desserts - rice cakes from Cainta

Desserts – rice cakes from Cainta

Who needs a birthday cake when you have this, the best kakanin  in town. Cainta is known as the bibingka capital of the Philippines.  Take your pick, they have it all.

My day ended with Nate’s shouts of “Love you Nonna” and “happy bet-day”. Thank You Lord for the gift of life, thank You for another year of blessings.

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With Atty. Kit Nieto , Mayor of Cainta, Rizal

With Atty. Kit Nieto , Mayor of Cainta, Rizal

I admired him from day one, rather from the day he introduced  himself and laid his agenda if he wins in our town.  He did with overwhelming support. Yesterday was the third time I met Mayor Kit Nieto but it was yesterday that I personally witnessed how he deals with his constituents – no fanfare, no fuss, just immediate actions on the problems at hand. We are so lucky to have someone who looks after the welfare of all the people of Cainta, be it personal problems, garbage collections in our area, improvements on the entire town, and such other important concerns that his constituents have.

It was my birthday and he gamely posed with me in a photo-op at his office when some of  my neighbors and I visited him yesterday. I told him in jest that if he becomes President someday, I would have this photo enlarged and framed.  He laughed.

Hats off to you Mayor Kit. We are so blessed  to have you around 🙂

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Sunset scene at Calayan

Sunset scene at Calayan

Lovell sent me this picture a while ago, a dramatic shot of a sunset in Calayan. He said it is his birthday gift to me.  Calayan, when will I see your shore?

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Yesterday was another busy day for me –   doing  never-ending household chores, preparing meals for the day and tending my small garden. I had to trim the carabao grass because I could no longer  use the stepping-stones, they were almost covered with the fast-growing ground cover.  I think I sweated a pint (this is no exaggeration) when I finished trimming the front of the garden.  It was that kind of perfect weather, blue sky and a gentle breeze blowing softly  and the dogs were happy because they had company. Then I looked up and saw these clouds rolling by as if they were late for a rendezvous. I couldn’t run fast  enough to get my camera and take a few shots. See how quickly they move and change course.

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I am a cloud-watcher. Since I was a child I have always been fascinated by clouds.  I could not count the times I took shots of clouds and blogged about them. Next to my macro photos on flowers, clouds are my favorite subject.

Rabindranath Tagore described clouds beautifully when he said  “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”

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You’ll probably laugh at this. In the first place I don’t claim to be a grammar police. Sometimes, I just have that deep frown permanently pasted on my face when I see words used wrongly or misspelled  or simply added to a sentence without even checking their  meaning.  When I started blogging here at WordPress more than four years ago, I  wrote this post because I got tired of reading  some blogs from another site  with wrong grammar and sentence construction. We learned even from grade school how to build a simple sentence with the subject and predicate  put together as they should be. I also read in one Facebook  meme that our generation is lucky because back then, we didn’t rely on Mr. Wiki or Ms. Google. We learned the hard way, didn’t we?

Watch That Grammar

In between learning how Twitter works and experimenting on  how to use Twhirl, I’ve read some blogs on USTe.tv posted by some alumni and students.  One thing I noticed was, most of them could not even distinguish if they are, an alumni, alumnus, alumna or alumnae.  Alumni is usually used as a general term for graduates of an educational institution while alumnus refers to a male graduate. Alumna is a female counterpart of an alumnus and alumnae is the plural of alumna.  Some of course post blogs without even checking if there are typo errors or  if the sentences are grammatically correct.  One could get away with errors while typing but having a sentence mangled just because one is not aware of how to use the proper words is quite disappointing to read.

We often talk about how young people speak and write nowadays. Shortened and abbreviated words in texting did that.  They seem to be lost without the help of a spell-checker.  As I’ve said before in my previous blog, English seems to look like a mangled language too. Outside of academic and professional contexts, writing is something you make in your own personal style and sometimes you get away with words that would make it easy for your readers to understand.  And it’s not about being perfect because nobody is, it’s about respecting your readers and making sure that they don’t have to reread a sentence before they could understand it.  Bad sentence construction? Take a look at these phrases and tell me what’s wrong with them:

do not overact to the things that you have thought have hurted you
This comes from someone who claims to be a writer and a blogger.  There is no such word as hurted  in any dictionary that I encountered. Hurt is already a past tense.  You can say, I was hurt or I am hurting but never use the word hurted.  Hurt is a word where the present tense, past tense and past participle are the same.

-do not start or make fights most prolly… Prolly is  a web-slang  on the internet which means “probably” but you don’t normally use that in sentence construction just to be “in” or something.  It still has no exact meaning in the dictionary.

past failures and disappointments kept hunting me.  Wow, hunting, she probably means haunting, right?

I am worried about the future for I do not know what it will offer to me.. …. Hmm..it should have been, what it will offer me.

She was angry because she don’t know also……   Remember, don’t is used  in plural nouns so it should have been, she doesn’t know also….

While we are at the main building, it started raining…..  It should have been, “while we were at the main building, it started to rain.  Past tense and present tense should not be used in one sentence.

I am  just hoping it will be notice…. It should have been , it will be noticed with a d.

I don’t mean to sound like a perfect grammar teacher here but it just makes me cringe to read how certain words are used incorrectly.  And here are some commonly mistaken words used:

a.  Your and You’re – Your is a possessive pronoun while  You’re is a shortened version of You are, so you must say, “you’re welcome”.

b.  Loose and Lose – Loose means not firmly fastened or not tight or not precise while lose means removal of a thing or unable to find

c. Me and I – You start your sentence with I, not me.

d. the use  of i.e. and e.g.  These are Latin phrases,id east means “that is”. It is a way of saying “in other words”. exempli  gratia means “for example”.

e. Its and It’s – It’s is short for it is and is a contraction while its is a possessive pronoun.

f.  There and Their – There is used as a pronoun or reference to a place while their is a plural possessive adjective.

g.  Unless and Not unless – the use of  unless is conditional and it means “if not” or “except that” so it can stand on its own without adding not as a prefix.

h.  Do and Did – Do is an irregular verb and Did is a past tense of Do.  The infinitive here is Do so when you use Did in a sentence, it should always be followed by a present tense.  The correct usage would be:  I did visit the place instead of I did visited the place.  This is a common mistake we make when using the word “did”.

I particularly remember an actress who usually tries hard to answer in English even without understanding the questions asked of her and the conversation goes like this:

Tv host: Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage!

Actress: No, it’s not my fourth, it’s my first…
Can you guess who said that?  I rest my case.

(P.S. Watch my grammar, I might have missed something here. WordPress says this is my 1,520th post)

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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

Was it only a few days ago when I blogged about finding happiness in simple things? I found these wonderful words from Henri Nouwen (another favorite author) which exactly echo my own thoughts. Time and again, I’ve quoted the same words when I blog about friendship.Sometimes, you are lucky to be inspired by how other people see things, how they look at life from their end, how in one way or another, you feel that you are exactly at that same place and you smile because you are blessed.

My youngest brother and I love to talk about our younger years. Early this morning he asked me how I am going to celebrate my birthday. Will there be a party? At my age, you don’t call it a party but a gathering of friends  you are close to. You laugh out loud at some silly jokes but no one would really mind because they laugh at the same things. You shed a tear or two and they also get teary-eyed while sharing their own unique journeys.  Kindred souls…that’s who we are.  They lift you up when things seem to be not right in your world and they are not blind to your faults.  I look forward to seeing them again soon.

I found this lovely meme from one of my friends’ timeline.  How true!  It’s from lessonslearnedinlife.com.

from lessonslearnedinlife.com

lessonslearnedinlife.com

You’re lucky when you find a friend who celebrates with you at your best and be there for you at your worst.

 

 

 

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I am lost.

I am lost in a sea of words that  will never get to be  seen in print. I struggle with the thought on how  I will string the words and make  a beautiful line or two.  Not inspired? But I am. Busy? Not so much now. Lazy? Most likely. Come to think of it, I visit WordPress every day just to be updated with posts from online friends that I follow.  I sometimes make comments but I still could not find the “like button” inside a post,  not just mine  but all posts that I visit. It is forever “loading”.  You can’t see me liking your posts, rest assured though that I read them and I do sometimes get inspired by your words.

It’s a peaceful night.

I watched  YouTube last night but it took so long  to load (hopeless internet connection) so my son suggested that I sleep early and  wake up early too to catch up on everything. I wonder why I had this sudden craving for cheese pimiento spread paired with a crunchy slice of Vienna bread.  Since I don’t know how to make one, I have to find it on YouTube. Such a simple thing to do but I never tried it before. Talk about simple things that make  one smile.

I hear the music.

Gosh, this is even crazier than before, it’s 1:55am and I should be in deep slumber but I am wide awake. The quarter moon and a sprinkling of stars are clearly visible from my window.  It’s a beautiful sight and I am transported to another world while I listen to Richard Clayderman’s instrumental music.  I have several CDs of Richard but it is nice to listen on YouTube when the internet connection is good. Another favorite is Kenny G. I could listen all morning to their music and not get bored.  Listening to Kenny G. always reminds me of the movie Dying Young and as always I can relate to the whole story, from the point of view of someone who has to struggle with health issues.  I was lucky enough to find the book on a sale bin at Diplomat.  The book  was written by  Marti Leimbach.  I love the movie adaptation better though. Sorry Marti, you made me cry but not as much as Victor and Hillary did.

Oh, it’s John Green!

Last weekend,  Nissa brought her  boxed set of John Green books which her sis-in-law gave her on her birthday last month.   I am not a fan of YA books.  So far, the only John Green book that I read was The Fault In Our Stars  and even wrote a short review at Goodreads.  I am giving these a go as soon as I find time to buy a plastic cover at NBS.  Nissa never goes without covering her books first before reading.  Here are the titles included in the set:

  1.  Looking for Alaska
  2. An Abundance of Katherines
  3. Paper Towns
  4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson
  5. The Fault In Our Stars

Are you a John Green fan? Join me in another reading marathon. By the way, Richard is playing the song Feelings now.

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Sharing Love


Our Precious Bundle of Joy

Oh...oh.....happy moments with Dad! Oh…oh…..happy moments with Dad!

Love speaks in simple ways!

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Mornings are definitely getting colder. Officially, we’re now at the start of the Amihan season, dominated by trade winds which means cooler temperature.  Hopefully, gone are the days of flash flood, thunderstorms and endless rain showers.  On second thoughts, it is during the months of November  and December that the Philippines experiences stronger typhoons when the southwest monsoon meets the northeast winds. I like this lovely season best of all, a  clear sign that  Christmas is near. Oh, I am not counting, I’m just excited about it all 🙂

Imagine yourself going to bed at an ungodly hour of 7pm and waking up at an even crazier time of 3am. I like it though, when you feel the palpable quiet all around, no motorcycles and motor cars to disturb the peace, just those silent moments of introspection and soul-searching.  It’s an additional bonus to write a blog with an uninterrupted and faster internet connection.

Gosh, I’ll be turning 58 in ten days, a certified  and indulgent “lola”.  Life is good and I am grateful. When I think of the times I went through in the past I could not help but wonder how I was able to stay standing still. Those are my favorite words nowadays, standing still.  Standing still amidst the vicissitudes of life, standing still amidst the trying times that you have no control of, standing still despite and in spite of every bend on the road that you encounter.  I am grateful though for the endless blessings that God bestows on me and my family.  Believe me, the trying times make  one stronger and braver  because they make you realize that you possess that inner strength and courage to face it all.  I remember what Nissa told me yesterday about what Nate recently learned. I smile at the thought that my almost two-year old grandson  is learning positive attitude  at such a tender age. When you say “God is good“, he would answer in a clear voice with two hands raised, “all the time”.

A friend once told me that as you get older, you tend to reminisce about the good old days and the times that made you really, really smile. Isn’t that what life is all about?  The past carries with it lessons that would help us in our present journey. I do remember. We ought to be growing wiser with age and welcoming getting older with grace.

Joy is shaped by simple pleasures.

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