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Archive for May, 2017


What is happening to the world? Yesterday, it was the news on the Manchester bombing. This morning I woke up to the news that last night, the president has declared martial law in the whole area of Mindanao.  Yes, Mindanao is under Martial law. News reports  say that Marawi  City in under siege. The  Maute group which is reported as  a sympathetic arm of ISIS, is  also known as the Islamic State of  Lanao.    It is a radical Islamist  group composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front  guerrillas and some foreign fighters.

Let us pray for peace worldwide.  Our Muslim brothers are peace-loving people.  Islam should not be used by extremists and fundamentalists to promote their own agenda.

Pray, pray for peace.

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Maybe those old songs that I played on YouTube triggered it. I don’t know but those times when we were kids seemed so vivid in my memory.

My two brothers and I lived in the province when we were growing up until we graduated in grade school when Dad decided to transfer us to the University of Sto. Tomas where we finished high school and  college.   During our younger  days, Mom used to go to Metro Manila to be with Dad and we were left in the care of my maternal grandmother and my unmarried aunt.  We lived in their old ancestral house with two older cousins.   My aunt just visited our house every day to water the plants and to feed  the chickens in our yard. Those were the days, I could recall them now.

I wonder what’s with Royal True Orange and crackers. I remember that when we get sick, we would have a bottle of Royal True Orange and  crackers by our bedside.  Back then,  the doctor in our town makes home visits.   I wonder how he managed to divide his time between those home visits and caring for other sick people who visits the Municipal Health Center.  There is always a ready tube of Liberol Ointment when we get colds. I wonder if it is still in the market until now but it was very effective for chest and back rub for us.  It’s been decades since I saw a tube of that liniment.

My oldest aunt (Mom’s side) had a sari-sari store in the barrio where we lived before.  Fancy having those Vicks candies with free plastic rings inside. My girl cousin and I would collect different colors and put them on our fingers. The world of kids. I also remember those crunchy but hard biscuits  my aunt used to sell per piece. They were shaped like bracelets.

I also remember this – madre  cacao. My dad used them as perimeter fence in our property there in the province. They produce lovely flowers  during  the summer months and we would use the young stems to curl our hair and make them wavy.   We had annatto seeds  to color our lips even if the fresh seeds are pungent.  Back then I didn’t even know that the dried seeds and extracted annatto oil  were used as food color.  I only knew of their use when Dad introduced me in the kitchen.

When we were kids, my oldest brother and I were fond of climbing trees in our backyard. We had guava trees, star apples and tamarind trees.  We would gather  ripe cashews and  save the seeds which contain the nuts inside.   We would roast them and eat the hot nuts.  We sometimes eat the ripe yellow fruit, slice it thinly and put a little salt on top.   Duhat fruits or Java plums are plenty during the summer months.  There will always be a duhat tree in the backyard or at our neighbor’s which we used to climb back then. Locally, the fruits  are called lomboy.

Ah, the times we enjoyed those early years and I am right here reminiscing.

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A friend once said, “time does not walk, it runs”.

Yes, time flies! And before we know it, the month of May will be gone.  Time does not tarry, it just goes on. Yesterday was another lovely day of celebrating. We opted to eat out for lunch to celebrate Mother’s Day a week after. It was the only time Nissa’s family was available.  How nice to dine at Savory Restaurant after almost three decades of  going in one of their branches.  They have a new branch at SM East Ortigas Mall so we tried it. The price of  the food is still reasonable after all these years.

I discovered this lovely quaint shop called Miniso, a Japanese store. It’s one of Nissa’s favorite stores.  It has been there since SM Ortigas opened last December but I didn’t notice or maybe it’s because I  seldom go window shopping. They have skin care and beauty products, food and drinks, kikay kits, hair accessories, jewelries, head phones, phone holders, keyboards, clothing etc. You name those small things dear to a woman’s heart and they are all displayed there. They have more than a thousand branches worldwide since they opened back in 2013. I told Nissa that one of these days, I would go back. I bought a face mask, so different from the ones I usually buy at Mercury drug stores. You can even choose a design to your  liking.  I don’t go out without face mask on. The air in Metro Manila is not safe and healthy. Pollution from cars, buses, jeepneys and what have you are things you encounter if you are a daily commuter.

It was also one of those weekends that I was inspired again to bake cookies. I made a whole lot of chocolate raisin cookies. Nate said it was yummy. I reduced the sugar by half since the raisins and chocolate baking bits are  already sweet.  We still have some left, just perfect for those cups of tea or coffee.

The joy of discovery, the joy of baking, the joy of bonding with family….another priceless weekend.

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I am in the middle of reading a book,  my second book of  Amanda Prowse called Will You Remember Me? This is actually my 94th book which I committed to read on my 2017 Goodreads Reading challenge. I didn’t purposely choose this but I could totally relate to the subject because it’s one topic that was so close to me a few years ago.

How do you say goodbye to your beloved family? How do you say goodbye to your close friends? How do you say goodbye to everyone?  This is about having that much-dreaded cancer.  When your days are numbered, how will you react?

I could totally relate to the story because almost eight years ago, I was in the same predicament.  The journey of knowing that you were not that well, the journey of accepting the truth that you have to undergo treatments to get well. I was in a quandary before if I must have that chemotherapy or not. Imagine being afraid that you were not 100% fit and your life may never be the same after the chemo but then you have to decide right there and then before everything is too late.  I am in remission now, thank  God. At times,  I am afraid when my immunity goes low and I have that cold which take a long time to heal. I haven’t totally  recaptured total wellness since I got sick. There are always times when  I feel weak and lethargic. I never let it defeat me though, I am claiming that those day are gone now.

There is no use crying over spilled  milk so people always say but the memory lingers. You remember those days when you can’t almost get up for a day or two after every session of chemotherapy. You remember those days when you can’t even hold a spoon properly because your hands ache  in the process. You remember those days when your arms don’t feel anything and they’re like heavy stones attached to your shoulder.

Being healthy is the best gift one could ever have but as we grow older we feel those aches and pains that go with old age.  Just enjoy these moments, moments of togetherness and bonding, joyful moments to remember. Deep in one’s heart, one could be happy  despite and in spite of.

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Last Saturday, Josef and I chanced upon fresh guavas in the market.  They were a bit costly though because I think guavas are not really in season now. But I was longing for sometime, Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas.  You may call sinigang fish stew or soup which may be flavored with sour ingredients like tomatoes, tamarind, vinegar or what have you.  You add green pepper for the taste. Bayabas is guava in Tagalog. Wow, it tasted simply wonderful.

I paired it with  crunchy fried zucchini as appetizer. What a lovely Saturday lunch we had.

I heard  Nate  shout over the phone “Happy Mother’s Day Nonna, Happy Birthday” early morning yesterday I laughed.  Maybe he equates mother’s day with celebrating birthdays too. We were not able to see  each other yesterday because Nissa’s family had lunch with her in-laws. That’s okay though because we will have a late family  celebration  Saturday next. Nate just finished his one-week kiddy training workshop at McDo last Friday and he was awarded a certificate being The Best of the Best. I had it on a separate blog post here. So proud o him. He did it on his own.

I so love weekends.  Family bonding is still the best.

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He repeatedly said during his homily, “for every success of a man, there is a mother behind”.  It was the essence of Fr. JP’s homily early this morning.  He gave  special blessings to all mothers who attended the mass today.

There was this boy who came home crying. At the gate, his mother asked what happened.  He said that he didn’t want to go to school anymore. His mother assured him that she’ll teach him at home. He was principally educated at home by his mom who was a teacher.  He became a world-famous figure. He was the most prolific inventor in American  history and amassed a record of more than 1,000 patents  in different fields. He is Thomas  Alba Edison.

For every success of a man, there is a mother behind. May I repeat that? For every success of a man, there is a loving mother behind.  She is the one who motivates a child to become someone, she patiently teaches values  and instill those good manners to her children. We seldom see a mom who is not that concerned with her growing up kids. Once you embrace motherhood, I think that’s a given.

Over the years, the celebration of Mother’s Day, just like Christmas has been commercialized. Fancy those department stores brandishing their wares to vulnerable shoppers  during Mother’s Day. Gifts are lovely but of course but it is not only during Mother’s Day that we should show our love for our mothers.  Every day, we have the opportunity to love them and think of them always. We are lucky if we still have our moms around. We are blessed if we could still talk to each other and share important events in our lives. No matter how commercialized the occasion has become, I think most mothers would still want to celebrate it and be recognized in their efforts to care, teach and love their children well.

Greet your moms, it’s their special day today.

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For some time now, it has been playing in my head. Am I an old soul? So I took this test  at playbuzz.com and the results seem to be true.

You’re what we call an ancient soul… too old to even be defined as- well, old! Ancient souls were born hundreds of thousands of years ago, and have seen hundred of centuries and millenniums pass by! Your soul is extremely unique and rare to find these days, as rapid advances in technology have forced a lot of people to “move on”. But you still cling in the past- the VERY past- and you’re content and accepting of who you are. You are so mature and wise beyond your years that it is indescribable! Being an ancient soul may make you feel very weary, and it may even feel difficult at times, but don’t forget… ancient souls form very special and rewarding relationships with other people. It is a bond that is so true, so faithful, and so giving beyond any other soul could imagine… So next time you talk to a close friend, just think about how lucky they are to have met a special soul like you!

I am an old soul.

Maybe so. There was a question there if you enjoy being alone. I do. Being alone does not necessarily mean that you are lonely. Being alone  gives you that “me” times that other people don’t seem to find in this crazy world. Being alone, doing what you want to do, enjoying your own company and thinking sometimes of those days long ago.

Mature? Yes, At my age, that goes with the territory. I think I am that kind who think not just twice but several times the repercussions of what I do in life.  There are people who have  aged biologically but are still immature in their decisions and the way they act.  There are people  who like to stay that way – happy-go-lucky, carefree.  Life sometimes gets to us in a way we never expect. Life sometimes is just that, hard. Who says it is easy?

Unique? I’d like to think so but each one of us is unique in this world. Maybe the difference lies in one’s attitude and how one does things. Or maybe attitude spells the difference.

Wise? That I agree.  We acquire wisdom with age. We tend to be more realistic about things as we grow older.   Sometimes, we don’t only accept but we question too.  what is wisdom? It is the soundness of our actions and decisions. It is common sense, good judgment.

I am an old soul. Are you?

I am always touched by this quote from Langston Hughes:

“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.”

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