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Archive for May, 2017


We are officially at the start of the rainy season. PAGASA declared it yesterday. They measure rainfall all over the country and when it meets their requirements, they change the season. Thunderstorms are a daily occurrence nowadays. I do hope this season won’t be hard on us compared to the previous ones. I hope we won’t  have so much  destructive typhoons in the process. I always have this inner fear when it rains hard.  My thoughts always go back to the flood back in September 2009.  I am keeping my fingers crossed it won’t happen again. When nature takes its course, we feel so helpless.  It is still hot though until noon. Thunderstorms and lightning occur in the early afternoon until late evening. As usual,  heavy traffic  is always inevitable.

A friend who occasionally read my blog posts asked me how I could read  all those books every year. My answer was simple. I enjoy reading. It’s one thing that I could not give up. There is so much joy when you are transported to another world. There is so much happiness holding a book in your hands and turning the pages. There is that anticipation and your own conclusion on what will happen next.  I don’t always find good books that I enjoy. Sometimes I just get carried away by good reviews. A story might touch you  at one time even if it is fiction. A memoir makes you long to experience days of discovery and adventure but what seems a good story to others may not be as good when you read it or  vice versa. I guess it depends on how you see it unfolds, how the plot affects you.  Some books give you lessons but some are just there, forgotten after you have read them. There are so many choices nowadays. You might delve into literary pieces or choose to read chick lit, YA books, fiction, memoirs and the whole lot. And yes, a lot of new authors are just there for you to discover.  There are writers and there are really good ones. Do you love reading?

Gosh, it’s month-end again. Time flies. June is coming.

 

 

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I lost my muse.  No creative excitement whatsoever. Or maybe I was just too lazy to blog. It’s exactly a week since my last entry here.  Come to think of it, I haven’t visited  WordPress the past days. There are times when blogging takes a back seat and reading takes precedence.   Got so engrossed finding new books and new authors lately.

I noticed new followers to my site. thank you so much. For a while I haven’t ventured reading other blog posts yet. Maybe one of these days, when I get around to visiting your sites, I will follow you too. It is so nice to have new friends in cyberspace. New  perspective, new thoughts to read, new blogs to discover.  Having all of 1,997 posts seems to be too much. I’ve covered  many subjects for the past eight years but  I have forgotten some posts I had earlier.  One of these days, I’ll go back and re-read them.

The rains have set in. We have thunderstorms almost every afternoon. Sometimes, it drizzles, at other days, it rains good enough for me not to water the plants for two days. I need to trim the grass again. Whoa, the agony of maintaining a small garden but the rewards of having new blooms and greens all around.  I’ve finally planted the Celosia seeds and Zinnias. some have sprouted lately. Can’t wait to see them flower.  My pink, white and purple Ruellia are in bloom. Fancy seeing those white and pink flowers after having just purple blooms for a long time.

Went back to my internist yesterday only to learn that he does not hold  clinic on Mondays. I just assumed he is always there every day except weekends. Gosh, I have to go back again probably in two weeks. Quite lazy to beat the morning heat. The sun is up as early as 6am now.  The days are really longer during the summer months.

How have you  been? I hope  everything is running smoothly in your world.

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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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