Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2016


I know, I know, you would probably say, life is not simple. Maybe, just like those Facebook profiles that say, “it’s complicated”,  it means a lot of things to different people.

You can be happy with a lot of things (that’s temporary) but it’s the simplicity of it which sometimes put a smile on your face. Yesterday was one such day that made me pause for a while and just  savor the hours that passed. My son is on a two-day team-building trip somewhere in Cavite and the house was so quiet except for the occasional barking of our three rambunctious dogs. They think they own the garden and one of them doesn’t know what to do every time he sees some passersby close to the fence, he probably thinks they are a threat to the peace and quiet of the afternoon.

I love that corner of the garden where I could put my feet up and read or sip a hot cup of afternoon coffee giving half of the bread to our dogs.  Every Sunday afternoon, there is this program in the AM band where they play old songs from the 60’s and 70’s but mostly from the 60’s. Yesterday, it was a two-hour feature of the Beatles. This group has been a part of my growing-up years and when my son was in grade school, we used to watch a test broadcast of Beatles songs and movies.  Sometimes I am surprised to listen to some downloaded songs on his MP3 with several Beatles songs. I smile and he laughs and we would begin to reminisce about those days.  The joys of a simple life.

I got myself engrossed reading a book with a different setting and a one-of-a-kind story. It’s my first encounter with the author Marilynne Robinson. 20575411

Lila is a fascinating tale of a homeless child,  “story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder.”  A limited vocabulary but full of thoughts and wonders about life  and  existence, such is Lila.  It’s a wonderful story of redemption, full of Biblical quotes that seem so essential in the story and in Lila’s quest on the meaning of grief and happiness. I understand this a trilogy, I haven’t read the first two books but this is a stand-alone story.  By the way, it’s my 21st book on Goodread’s 2016 reading challenge.

“If you think about a human face, it can be something you don’t want to look at,so sad or so hard or so kind. It can be something you want to hide, because it pretty well shows where you’ve been and what you can expect. And anybody at all can see it, but you can’t. It just floats out there in front of you. It might as well be your soul, for all you can do to protect it.”

Yes, I have started collecting quotes again, copying them on my little notebook. Back when I was in college, I have filled up three journals just on quotes alone. The beauty of a simple life.

18666006I have just started a new book, another new author in my list. Based on the summary it says,” Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless teen living in an igloo made of ice and trash bags filled with frozen leaves.”

“A story of loss, adventure, and the search for friendship in the wake of catastrophe, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is one of Chris Bohjalian’s finest novels to date – breathtaking, wise, and utterly transporting.”

I wonder if this would deliver, I am just on the first few pages. Seventy nine more books to go, this one included.  Such is the beauty of reading, you are sometimes transported in a world completely unknown to you.

Did a say, it is a simple life? But it is a life that is happy.

 

 

Read Full Post »


It’s February 26 now but I know when I publish this short post, it would still appear as February 25.

Yesterday, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution. Yes, it was long ago  but I am wondering if most of us Filipinos still remember the significance  of what the Filipinos sacrificed for in the name of freedom, freedom from a twenty-year rule by a dictator. Martial law was declared on September 21, 1972 (Proclamation 1081) and we witnessed the unrest that followed, many people died in the hands of the dictator and so many political arrest was made.   Long years of siphoning off the wealth of a country by greedy hands in the government, long years of wondering when it would end. What finally triggered the historic EDSA revolution was when Ninoy Aquino was killed in the tarmac of the airport back in 1983.

The youth of today would probably remember Ninoy as just a face on our five hundred peso bill or just a few lines maybe in their history textbooks. But for me, Ninoy represents a dream that never came true, a future for the Filipinos that never was.  I have my own memories of Ninoy. I was in third year high school (or was it my senior year?) when Martial Law was declared. Back then, we would always see demonstrations by the Kabataang Makabayan. There was even a time when they entered the UST campus and paraded empty kabaongs – the turbulent times of the Martial Law years. We learned to live with it for more than a decade until the time Ninoy was shot at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport on August 21, 1983.

What followed were the struggles we have to go through just to oust a dictator. Rallies were held almost every day on main streets of the country. Ayala Avenue was always the hub of afternoon marches on the street and we were part of it. Yesterday, my  former boss at Bank of the Philippine Islands posted so many photos he took of those days when we did our own share of our fight for democracy the BPI way –  nostalgic replay of events that finally lead to a bloodless revolution thirty years ago.  Yeay, those were the days – making yellow flowers out of crepe paper, making banners and banderitas ,  throwing confetti, braving to sit at the third floor window ledge of BPI so we could get close to a concert right in front of our building. We even experienced being tear gassed while we were in the middle of  watching rallies from our floor.

Those in power thirty years ago are still in power now and we are even threatened by another Marcos win in the vice-presidential race. Have we not learned what EDSA stood for?  The youth of today would not know of its significance unless their parents and relative who were part of it tell them in details what happened. It’s a good thing the organizers of the commemoration of the EDSA revolution put up an Experiential Museum recreating the experiences  that awakened Filipinos to stand up and be counted. I hope they would find a place to make it a permanent exhibit for all of us  to visit because it is only open until today and you have to reserve a slot for  viewing.

DSC_7393DSC_7378

 

 

 

All three photos courtesy of the official Gazette of the Rep. of the Phils.

All three photos courtesy of the official Gazette of the Rep. of the Phils.

12744482_1139504252756773_1748444906806991342_n

And this is one of our old photos at the office while we prepared paper flowers and banderitas for an afternoon rally.  We always had sacks and sacks of confetti just waiting to be thrown outside the bank’s windows. This was shared by Clod Saquido, my former boss at BPI.

Never again.

 

Read Full Post »


That’s the funny thing about writing your life story. You start out trying to remember dates and times and names. You think it’s about facts, your life; that what you’ll look back on and remember are the successes and failures, the timeline of your youth and middle age, but that isn’t it at all.

Love.

Family.

Laughter.

That’s what I remember when all is said and done. For so much of my life, I thought I didn’t do enough or want enough. I guess I can be forgiven my stupidity. I was young. I want my children to know how proud I am of them, and how proud I am of me. We were everything we needed – you and Daddy and I.  I have everything I ever wanted.

Love.

That’s what we remember.

When a book makes me cry, I give it five stars. Yes I know, the quotes sound cheesy, it’s a YA book after all.  Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah in one such lovely read. It’s my 17th book on Goodreads’ 2016 Reading Challenge. When I review a book, I don’t summarize it for other people to read, it’s more like sharing what it made me feel. Was I inspired with the story? Was it interesting enough to recommend to other readers who love stories on life-long friendship and family and how  genuine love plays through it all?

You can always read the summary and some book reviews on Goodreads, some maybe disappointed, some find it wonderful.  The story line is such that it made me cry. When I started college life, I worked in the university library for almost three years and there I found true friendship with some of my colleagues. We’ve been friends since I was seventeen and the three of them are still my friends until now. We don’t normally get to see each other but we get in touch despite the distance.  Thea is now a Franciscan nun, Grace has migrated to another country and Precy is a successful businesswoman.  Except for Grace, the three of us experienced life-threatening ailments that made us closer together. Precy once said that we had to undergo the same kind of pain that cancer brings.

Near the end, Firefly Lane delivers such painful reality of losing a mum, a close friend, a daughter and a wife. It pains me to remember the agony of being not 100% fit,  and I do remember vividly what it was like going thru chemotherapy .  Sometimes though, life let us experience something that makes us stronger, ready to accept the ugly realities and grateful for the blessings in between.

Really, when a book makes me cry, I give it five stars.

 

Read Full Post »


I was quite surprised to see my stats today. For two consecutive days, I received notifications from WordPress that said, “Your stats are booming! DREAMS AND ESCAPES is getting lots of traffic.”  You feel elated when you see something like this and thankful that people read what you write about.  There was an  upswing  on my previous posts as far back as 2011. I don’t know why. Back then, likes and comments were a rarity.  I don’t remember if there were “like” features several years ago but I used to get around 300 to 400 visits a day  back then. Have things changed? I don’t know because lately, that was cut in half but still a sizable figure for an unknown blogger like me. I would still blog even without those likes and comments but then I have to admit that one becomes inspired when fellow bloggers follow your posts and leave wonderful comments in the process.

You might laugh at this but I still use the old format when adding a post. I am not making excuses but it is easier to write and edit your post in the old  format. Don’t make the mistake of re-editing though because it will revert back to the new one.  Maybe, I am really getting old, comfortable with what I am used to. It’s like those rituals that makes life easier – you have perfected waking up early, playing with the dogs at 6am, watering the plants and cleaning the garden of leaves and debris brought about by hanging amihan (northeast monsoons that bring cold dry air from icy Siberia), finding new blooms and wanting to capture them with your camera freezing the images forever, a snip of unwanted branches here and there and yes, getting hold of a good book when the chores are done.  Life is simple and I find joy and happiness in simple things. Even  listening to early morning news or a music program on my transistor radio while I am out in the garden is a bliss. More reasons to smile 🙂

There is an advantage of writing a post every day. You won’t feel that dry spell or what others conveniently calls  writer’s block.  You have all the ideas and words running riot in your head but you can’t seem to create a sentence that would fill the blank page in front of you.  You want to write about this and that but you don’t know where to start.  When you do it every  day, it seems easier though. I don’t think I could duplicate writing  daily. It really is a challenge for me now.

Writing out loud, hearing your voice in cyberspace, making friends, discovering new places, reading interesting blog posts and seeing those meaningful, lovely and beautiful captures shared by other bloggers – these make blogging worthwhile. It’s like writing a book of short stories on different subjects (sometimes emotions are played to the hilt) and sharing how life is in your corner of the world.

Did I say that this is my 1,762nd post?

Read Full Post »


Waking up early  to a cold morning

Feeling the dawn’s kiss on your cheeks

And the stars make the darkness bright

What a blessing!

Read Full Post »


Original Pilipino Music.

There is this new show on ABS CBN channel called I Love OPM which started over the weekend.  It only airs during Saturdays and Sundays. As the airtime was a bit late, I  was not able to watch the initial showing but Josef did and he said it was  lovely, the concept is new and interesting. I don’t really watch television every day but sometimes there are programs worth waiting for.  They feature Pilipino music composed by talented Filipino musicians/artists and what  makes it all the more interesting is that all participants of the show are foreigners. They sure know how to speak Tagalog.

Last night, we watched the Sunday edition – it’s entertainment at its best.  There were three  featured individual contestants and a group from Korea – one is an Arab guy who is fluent in Tagalog, another one is a shy Indian who has a big crush on Anne Curtis. The third one is a Russian lady who is married to a Filipino guy and said that she loves the Philippines. The  group from Korea  sang and danced.  The Russian lady did a rap. They really went out of their way to learn the Pilipino language and speak it like a native.  It’s kind of amazing when you see a foreign face singing a Tagalog song.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” – Aldous Huxley

Read Full Post »


After several days of hibernation (hibernation indeed) I found myself staring at my PC monitor thinking what I will share today. This is one of those days when I could finally sit down and write. The Lenten season has started so I was a little busy with some updates on our Catholic page on FB. Ash Wednesday found us attending an early morning mass at St. Jude Parish.  I look forward to the next forty days of a blessed and fruitful season of Lent. Abstinence from meat on all Fridays of Lent, fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  I prefer though to cut meat on some days too during the week as a form of sacrifice.

Oh yes, I’ve been busy scrutinizing the political platforms of various candidates vying for the presidency, aspiring to be the next vice-president and those senator wannabes who’ll be serving us for the next six years. The official campaign period has just started  and I see the same faces – the corrupt ones who don’t have the nerve to face the public and own up to what they did the past several years, the hopefuls who think that the future of all Filipinos rest on their shoulders, the neophytes in politics who believe that they could make a difference once they are chosen,  the candidates we call trapos (that’s traditional politics for you), the voters who don’t discern enough on who to vote for  (we have plenty of that here), a popular name of the candidate is enough for them. It’s name recall instead of choosing who could deliver. Believe me, I seldom write political blogs, I get a headache just thinking of who would win come May 9.  Who is sincere, who is bogus, who is fake?  I am hoping all of us Filipinos would learn from the lessons of the past.  Words are easy enough but doing what they promised to do has always been wanting.

Last night, I spent an hour reading articles from two of my favorite writers, Lucy Torres-Gomez and Barbara Gonzales. I have blogged about them before, how they inspire me with their writings.  Lucy is a  congresswoman from Ormoc and she shares about day-to-day life in her weekly column Love Lucy at Philippine Star, a national daily. Barbara is a seventy something who writes, teaches writing, crochets and creates fashion jewelries which she sells or give as gifts to friends.  Barbara lives alone (she always emphasizes that almost in every article that she writes) but she is not lonely.  Growing old has given her a new lease of life that not all people her age experience.  Growing old, having the grace to do things that one could be proud of.  What a life!

How have you been?

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »