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Archive for February, 2019


via Nate’s Tree Top Adventure

And it must be nice to feel the cool breeze and  the scent of pines up there.

 

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via A Four-Day Weekend In Baguio

Can’t help but smile at these photos.

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Just updated my other blog and posted several shots of our garden in the province. It’s a one hectare lot planted with some fruit-bearing trees and ornamental plants. If you have time, you may visit my other blog, Gardens and Empty Spaces.

Before we left Pangasinan, my brother treated us to lunch at Maxine Restaurant and Inn By the Bay at Lucap, Alaminos City where the famous Hundred Islands is located. The last time I came here was also the last time  Nissa, Obet and I went home before they got married. We had a lovely lunch of  Alaminos longganisa, Sinigang Bangus Belly, Kare-Kare, Calamares and Chop Suey with Banana Boat Ice Cream for dessert. Took shots of the boats ferrying passengers to Hundred Islands.

An enlarged picture of the Lucap wharf fronting Hundred Islands. From the Maxine by the Sea website.

I guess this is all for that overnight  stay in our province.

 

 

 

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I woke up early yesterday morning despite having lack of sleep the previous night attending the wake of my aunt.

I hate seeing the fallen leaves in front of the house, atop  the  two parked cars of my brother and ours so I have to sweep while drinking a hot cup of coffee. Wandered around the place and took several shots of the flowers growing there together with the coconut trees and mahogany trees planted years ago by my Dad.  I will update how our garden looks now after several years of not seeing it (in my other blog of course).

An old well. We used to fetch water here when we were kids and until potable water was provided by the town several years ago.

 

Mahogany trees

 

Our coconut trees. We had fresh buko during breakfast. Fresh from the tree of course.

 

A pile of old and dried coconut leaves which one can make into brooms. I told my brother to hire someone to clean it.

Honestly, it is nice to go back there and commune with nature again even for a short time. I brought home some jackfruit.

Since we are in a higher place, it is cold at night and in the early morning.

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Thinking about it today, it just made me smile but last night was so stressful for Josef, Jovy and me. I think even Oreo was worried about me waiting for a long time inside the car.

So I said, “why didn’t you bark so I could have heard you?”. He just looked at me with those adoring eyes and put himself to sleep the rest of the way.

It was an  uneventful trip from Pangasinan until we reached and traversed  SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway). Continuing our trip via NLEX  North Luzon Expressway), we stopped by Shell Select Gas Station just to use their comfort rooms. My gosh, the line was a mile long and the cars  were almost touching each other. The place has several restaurants and fast food chain and  they were all full. There were two centralized comfort rooms at the place. I even saw my daughter briefly when she kissed and greeted me and said they just had dinner. They came from a four-day trip in Baguio City up north. We decided to stop by another gas station at San Fernando, Pampanga, Caltex  Mega Station. Josef and Jovy only use Caltex gas for the car. There was also a long line of cars having their gas refilled. In my haste, I left my bag inside the car and not even thought of bringing a cellphone with me.

When I came back from the comfort room, I could no longer see our car. From a sea of humanity, eating and buying something for their dinner and the cars parked in every available space, I searched for them. I had nothing with me, not even a few cents in my pocket.  At the same time, the two were also looking for me. After about thirty minutes and engaging the help of the car barkers at the area, Josef saw me. All along they were parked closed to  the gas station.

That was a very stressful and laughable experience for me. We reached home a little late because of the traffic.

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It was an unexpected trip last Sunday night. It was a long six hours  along the road going back to our town in Pangasinan.

We have to accompany Mom  in going home because her sister (my aunt) died. Had to be at the wake right after we had dinner at 11pm. Stayed until 3am and my cousins and I had a nice but sad reunion. I haven’t seen some of them for almost a decade.

Mom was hysterical when she saw my aunt’s coffin repeatedly saying, “bakit di mo ako inantay?” (Why did you not wait for me”?).

An uncle twice removed said that we only get to see each other during such happenings.  When you have your own family and relatives live far away from you, it is not always a possibility to see each other regularly.

It was another long trip going back to Manila. Gridlock at NLEX because of the large volume of cars traversing the expressway. When there is  a holiday close  to the weekend, expect those long lines of cars going North and back.

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A few days ago (I think last Tuesday to be exact), Josef and I looked at the moon when he went out of the gate to go to work.

“It’s so big. Take a photo”, he said.

I just gazed at it and remembered those days when my brothers and I were still staying in the province. When it is full moon and the surroundings are brighter at night, we would visit some relatives near our place usually after dinner. I was always in awe of the bright moon above, how it shone clearly. I always  wondered though lots of times why it seemed to move and travelled with us. Where we were, it was right there above us. And except for a few clouds that hid it somehow and the dark shadows of trees along the rough road, it kept lighting our way.  You won’t really need a flash light nor a torch to guide you.

There seems to be something mysterious while you are gazing at a full moon. You think of so many things and remember those moments of the past when playing tug of war or hide and seek with friends and cousins was the order of the night. Back in the province, the silence was  broken with shouts of laughter and joy.

Nissa’s family is spending a few days in Baguio City. They went there yesterday since Obet has a one-day teaching engagement/guesting with some employees of Bank  of PI where they both work. Monday is a holiday here so it would be an extended road trip for them.  Going to  Baguio is not complete without taking  souvenir shots of this lion’s head, an entrance to Baguio City.

 

At Lion’s Head, Kennon Road, Baguio City

I was talking to Nate a while ago. He asked me what I want for pasalubong. I told him to bring home “walis tambo” and veggies. It’s cold out there  (around 13 C°) but they are planning to swim at the pool later today. Anyway, it is heated.

 

A typical Nate pose.

Oh yes, the cold mornings are back but it is definitely colder in Baguio.

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She watches –

Those little black ants crawling

along a rotten piece of wood in the garden.

They’re busy

greeting each other along the way.

And each one carries something on its back.

Food, glorious food

Preparing for the rainy days.

Sometimes you wish, you were as

resourceful and industrious

No opportunity wasted

No frittering away with time.

Loving each moment

Looking forward to each day that comes.

Life’s lessons are learned

the simplest way sometimes.

 

 

 

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Thoughts


The words keep coming

Forming sentences and paragraphs

in my mind.

I should have minded the sharp tip

of the knife.

Red trickles and mixes with the words.

Maybe I could write some lines

out of this.

My finger throbs.

And the words get lost somewhere,

between the band-aid and slab of meat.

Dinner would be late.

 

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When you accidentally find another book that takes you back to places and events that you never get tired of reading about, it is truly a joy to read it.

At first, it was the cover of the book that I noticed. I have always loved reading about World War II. Yes, historical novels fascinate me. And since Amy Harmon is a new author in my list, I was not expecting that I will enjoy this book.

From Sand  And Ash, a touching, beautiful and heart-wrenching story of an Italian Jew and a Catholic priest and their families. The setting was in 1943 at the height of WWII in war-torn Italy. They were childhood friends, raised like family, of different faith and religion. The male protagonist Angelo, chose to become a priest while Eva grew up in the company of Angelo’s grandparents. The author says most of the events that happened in the book were factual. Italy’s Jews were hidden by members of the Catholic clergy. One thing that I’ve always read about in similar stories were how the Jews were killed in concentration camps in Poland and Germany. Although Italy was mentioned, it was never this detailed.

If you happen to love such stories with a little romance in between, you would enjoy reading this. It was a beautiful read from start to finish. A story of faith, love and war, a mesmerizing combination that grips you till the end.

I am giving this five-stars on Goodreads, one of the best books I read this year so far. I never include summaries when I review a book, it’s for you to find out if you are interested to read it.  I jotted down some worth-reading quotes though.

“Fear is strange. It settles on chests and seeps through skin, through layers of tissue, muscle, and bone and collects in a soul-sized black hole, sucking the joy out of life, the pleasure, the beauty. But not the hope. Somehow, the hope is the only thing resistant to the fear, and it is that hope that makes the next breath possible, the next step, the next tiny act of rebellion, even if that rebellion is simply staying alive.”

“Life is like a long note; it persists without variance, without wavering. There is no cessation in sound or pause in tempo. It continues on, and we must master it or it will master us.”

“Time doesn’t stop or give warning. It simply ticks along, marking time, ignoring humanity.” 

Done with 26% of my book challenge this year.

 

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