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Archive for August, 2019


The truth is I felt so lazy to blog or even make comments on posts on my reader feed. So sorry for that blogging friends. I just got engrossed reading, updating our  Catholic page on FB since I won’t be around for three days probably to visit Nissa at the UST Hospital for her surgery next week.

Nissa’s  family, Josef and I had lunch at T.G.I Fridays at Robinson’s Galleria this afternoon. It was so nice bonding with the family again.  I was amazed at how Nate looks now. He is not exactly fat but in Tagalog, you call it “bumilog”. Nissa took care of taking some photos of us.

Nate coloring some pics provided by the restaurant while waiting for our food.

Typical Nate post.

They call this flat bread but it tasted  and cooked like pizza.

Their platter consisting of sausage, chicken, garlic fried rice, coleslaw, baked ribs and mac and cheese with French bread on the side.

Pasta with shrimps

We also ordered a vegetable salad topped with calamare, a big burger for Obet and bottomless ice tea for all of us. It was all so sumptuous and yummy.

Two peas in a pod?

And the family photo. Look at those smiles.

Nissa is finally scheduled to check in at the hospital on Monday. This is a little late celebration of her promotion as Manager of the bank where they both work.

I love weekends  and I love Saturdays.

 

 

 

 

 

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Spent a few minutes deleting spam comments. Come to think of it, most of them are porn sites being promoted by these  spammers.

Just to update you on things. Nissa finally found a surgical oncologist  who was referred by her endocrinologist.  He is Dr. Gerald Alcid, chairman of the Surgery program of the Univ. of Santo Tomas Hospital.  She said the doctor is so kind and she is complacent with how he  explained everything. She could go back to work a week after surgery. The doctor even told her that thyroid cancer is the most treatable cancer of all and assured Nissa that thyroidectomy is a safe procedure. She decided to have that surgical operation after all.  I remember my own surgical oncologist ten years ago, he is also a graduate of UST. The university produces the best medical professionals in our country.  Thank God for those kind  doctors who put the welfare of their patients first.

Hoping for the best with God’s help.

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Good morning everyone!

It’s a dark Tuesday morning. There is another storm brewing in the North and heavy rains are predicted this afternoon and that include  most provinces and towns in Luzon, including Metro Manila.  The students are happy, most of them have no classes.

Have you ever thought how much you have shared in your blog in all the years that you have been blogging? Come to think of it, your blog becomes your online diary, the difference between having a journal is that in a blog you share what you write publicly while in a journal you probably keep it under lock and key.

We’ve talked about the weather (the easiest one to do I think), our family, hobbies, books we have read and will read in the future, politics (occasionally), we even talk about what we had for dinner or breakfast, places we’ve been to, we post lots and lots of photos we took with our high-end cameras or those convenient built-in cameras in our cell phones and tabs. We talk about the daily happenings in our lives.

Sometimes you think you have shared too much and after more than a thousand blog posts you have published, you think you have covered every subject there is to blog about. Maybe some of us even dream of publishing books out of those writings we’ve done over the years. That’s great of course but not all of us are brave enough and talented enough to pull it through.

I remember my first foray into having published  something in a national daily. Years ago, I was invited to join a contest at Philippine Star sharing about how it was being an OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers) family. I didn’t win, there were so many writers whose works were more meaty and interesting than what I wrote but I was paid in cash for my efforts. That was a thirty-minute of writing. The newspaper had saved them  somewhere but I could no longer find the articles now. About a year after, I was again invited to share my thoughts about our former President Cory Aquino when she died, how she affected my life as an individual  and as a citizen of our country. Then came the newspaper’s anniversary and I again contributed a few lines to congratulate them. I no longer subscribe to the newspaper now since I could always take a look online, some fresher news to read.

There are still bylines that I read regularly online at Philippine Star. I love how Barbara Gonzales writes her articles weekly. She’s married now (again), she’s in her mid-seventies when she got married for the second time. Her kids have grown and she enjoys her moments teaching writing at home and doing beadworks.

How do you spend your free time aside from blogging of course? How do you make those moments memorable?

 

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But you can’t.

You can only remember and reminisce. The memories may sometimes be hazy but there are events in your past that stand out and you smile….remembering.

Last night I had a brief journey listening to some music (instrumental at that) and songs of yesteryears posted by a journalist friend who also grew up in the 60’s. A nice way to spend a few moments listening to the sound of Sergio Mendes, Malo (Latin jazz), the mellow voice of Karen Carpenter, the dancy tunes of Carlos Santana’s music, the singing guitars of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  Yes, YouTube is the best when it comes to those old, old music.

If you could turn back time –

You’ll probably remember those days when happiness means playing under the heat of the sun or watching the moon on a clear night, no television, no phones and other gadgets to distract you. Those were the days when you get fascinated by dragonflies and butterflies freely hopping from flower to flower, bloom to another bloom. Those were the days when climbing a guava tree and eating those crunchy fruits while you were perched on a swinging branch like a monkey was heaven. Those were the days when having pancit was a celebration of birthdays and special occasions. They are noodles cooked with different vegetables and slices of pork, a bit of shrimp or diced cooked chicken.

Ah, I  remember those days collecting marbles and rubber bands and playing with my brothers, who had the longest braid of rubber bands at the end of the game? And those cards we used to call tex. They were collectibles which we put in shoe boxes.

We called them tex.

Marbles. Locally we call them holen or jolen.

Now the use of rubber bands has evolved. A couple of years ago, I made bracelets out of them.

I’d like to think that growing up, we were the lucky ones not needing expensive gadgets and toys to have fun.

 

 

 

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Today I learned another sad news. Nissa messaged me earlier today that she already went to her doctor with the result of  her biopsy a week ago.  There is an 80% possibility that it is thyroid cancer, stage 1. I told her to seek second opinion and go the to one of the clinics where my brother is having his treatment. I am confident she does not need that costly surgical operation which one of her doctors suggested. They have a clinic near  our place. I contacted one of their doctors this afternoon and he said to just drop by. One thing that I also learned from research is that thyroid cancer is slow-growing and treatable.  Still praying for the best.

My brother has twice visited the clinic of Kaibigan sa Kalusugan in San Fernando, Pampanga and had his latest laboratory tests last Friday, check-up last Monday. Except for  his blood sugar  and uric acid, everything is quite normal. Even his CEA marker is below borderline. I was amazed. He was given additional medication though for his uric acid and sugar and was also advised to have SGOT and SGPT tests for his liver before his next check-up first week of September. His medications and diet are working, thank God. I still call him every day.

Gosh, when you think of what is happening around, you’d be very careful about your health. Until now, ten years after, I still could feel the effect of chemotherapy –  low immune system. I am always afraid to catch cold since it takes too long to heal. Sometimes, skin allergy shows.

I am hopeful though. God is good and God is great.

 

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I am sure some of us regularly check our dashboards for those unwanted spam comments that appear every now and then, checking if we have missed acknowledging comments on our posts, sometimes looking at where our viewers are coming from or maybe checking our stats for the day.

I am particularly concerned about the storage space since I am using a free format for my blog. For bloggers like us who don’t want to convert our blogs to premium accounts, we are only allowed 3,072 megabytes in one single blog. I’ve used up 75% of it as of the moment. Back when I started blogging ten years ago, I didn’t know much about how photos would eat up a lot of space allowed specially when you are posting hi-resolution shots like I did before.  My free space rapidly filled up. Three or two years ago, I finally learned that I can reduce my photos to sizable ones in my library before adding them to my posts. I should have learned that long ago when I was still participating in the daily WordPress Photography Challenge in which you will interpret a word through your photographs.  That was when I joined a more difficult challenge of writing and posting everyday back in 2011.

Yesterday, I finally reached my 2,700th post for this blog alone and I think that’s a lot of writing. That’s averaging 300 to 500 words per post.  Add that to my four other somewhat inactive blogs and you’ll get the figure.  There was a time I when I felt the day was not complete when I can’t blog. There was also a few months when WordPress introduced commenting on each post writing such feedbacks like wonderful, amazing, beautiful etc. I miss those yearly reviews they did before on how your blog fared throughout the year. They even introduced words everyday that you can use to write about something related to it. Though I still visit my dashboard regularly, I no longer read WordPress events and news.

I am glad of my ever looming stats. It has greatly increased through the years. Right now, I have about 586,697 total. My followers haven’t reached 4,000 yet but I am nearing there. Most of them don’t engage anyway except for a few friends who regularly visit and make comments. Some follow through e-mails only and around 90 from Twitter. I seldom link my posts at Facebook except when the topic is about politics.

I am still enamored with blogging. It’s one activity that I enjoy doing though at times I seem to lose my muse.  It is a journey that I want to continue. Would love to explore and discover more blogs in the future.

What about you? How’s you blogging journey?

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My gosh, I got so engrossed reading another book about Korea that I only opened my WordPress blog for a few minutes this morning.

It’s North  Korea this time. It’s entitled Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives In North Korea by Barbara Demick.

Nothing To Envy follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population. 

By the way, Kim Jong-un became the supreme leader of North Korea in 2011, succeeding his father Kim Jong-il.

The book speaks from the eyes of defectors who are now living in South Korea or China.  Getting a look inside this closed country, seeing the outside world though the eyes of those who escaped. If Pachinko was a riveting tale of how Korea was before the country’s division and during the Japanese Occupation, in this book you get to see how  people lived in North Korea when it was finally divided. It’s like a continuation of where Pachinko left off.

Here’s how the author described a world of those who were indoctrinated since birth.

“North Korea invites parody. We laugh at the excesses of the propaganda and the gullibility of the people. But consider that their indoctrination began in infancy, during the fourteen-hour days spent in factory day-care centers; that for the subsequent fifty years, every song, film, newspaper article, and billboard was designed to deify Kim Il-sung; that the country was hermetically sealed to keep out anything that might cast doubt on Kim Il-sung’s divinity. Who could possibly resist?”

I haven’t actually finished the book yet but it is even more interesting and riveting than the previous book I read about the country.

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What a nice surprise!

I saw these several photos of my old school posted by a friend from our barangay in our town. They bring back memories although the school now is not what it was like before. Back in our time, in the mid-sixties, we only had two school rooms serving students from grade one to grade four. There were two teachers assigned.  Two grades were combined in one school room. One of our teachers was Mom’s first cousin who used to teach the higher two grades. Looking back, I wonder how we survived but we did. When our grade was doing written works, the teacher used his time to teach subjects in the other grade.  Twice a week, we would uproot weeds in the school yard and every morning, there were students assigned to water the plants usually during summer. Grade five and grade six were spent at the town’s elementary school which was a whole lot bigger than our school in the barangay.

The school has several rooms now equipped with computers, projectors and school chairs and yes, several teachers too. Back in our time, we had those old fashioned desks, two students in each desk. Then when we were in grade three and four, we had those long, long tables and benches for school desks.

I graduated in grade school back in 1969 and Dad who was then working at the high school department of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila enrolled us there during our high school years. The four of us siblings all graduated in high school there and two of us, my youngest brother and I spent our college years in the same university. My two brothers transferred to other schools.

It’s been decades  and it feels quite nostalgic.

 

 

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Bida Daw O


via Bida Daw O

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This afternoon, Josef, Jovy and I went to SM Ortigas East to buy ingredients for baking and some groceries. We brought Oreo along so he could exercise after almost two weeks of having colds. He is okay now though. He also had to take medications for colds and cough and  eucalyptus oil as inhalant (a few drops mixed with hot water).

I bought a tempered glass screen protector for my tab. It is a little costly but I  just want to protect it from scratches because of daily use. They don’t have available cover yet because the tab model is just recent in the market.  I’ll have to come back again in a week or two….sigh.

I am excited. Added nine e-books to my collection, all of different genres – historical, memoirs and yes YA books too. I am done with 95, 25 more books to go before I finish the challenge for this year.  Haven’t been reading much lately but I am beginning to miss it again. Sometimes  I feel so sleepy I could not even finish a chapter.

Could you recommend more books for reading? What are your favorites? Any author in your list?

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