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Archive for July, 2020


Remember a child wanting to have a lollipop and she/he won’t stop whining until she/he gets one?

It started last election 2016. People said it was because of the seven-hour glitch that the twelve senators of the administration won. No one from the opposition made it when they had all the best candidates in the Senate. And Comelec had no explanation about that glitch. We Filipinos let it. It was followed by the the removal of a sitting senator. In September 2016, De Lima was removed from her position chairing a Senate Justice and Human Rights committee investigating extrajudicial killings. For three years now she was in jail. “On July 19, 2019, the PNP–Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges against De Lima and other members of the opposition for “sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice”. On February 10, 2020, she was cleared of all charges.” But she is still in jail until now. We let that happen. Then the Supreme Court Justices voted to remove Maria Lourdes Sereno from the court on May 11, 2018, by a vote of 8–6 on a quo warranto petition. Again, we let it happen. A few months ago, Maria Ressa, one of our prominent journalists was found guilty of cyber libel. She is a co-owner and CEO of Rappler, Inc. There were several criticisms from human right groups but we Filipinos just stood by.

I try to avoid writing political blog. Nowadays, I only have those one or two liners that I add to my posts now and then. Yesterday though, my heart bled for what happened. Seventy congressmen opposed the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise to operate. It is the Philippines’ largest entertainment and media conglomerate. Only 11 of them voted for its renewal.

People were outraged and took to social media to air their disgust. I was one of them. It’s not only the 11,000 plus employees who will be affected but most of us who rely on news and entertainment from this outfit. Even those artists who are affiliated with them are affected. Even those providing services to the employees like food companies, BPOs handling their accounts and the ordinary citizens who rely daily on its operations. Big taxes will be lost, those commercial ads won’t be aired. I hope they would go digital. They also have foundations that they support like Bantay Bata.

Now I wonder, how much did a NO Vote costs? The government is rich despite its president saying that there is no more money and is thinking of selling government properties. From the start, he has been saying that the franchise won’t be renewed. What was all that thirteen Congress hearings all about? Was it just a moro-moro one? I wonder if they can still sleep at night. Sabi nung mama, vote according to your conscience, instead of saying vote according to law and what is right. In the end, they voted for their own agenda.

It smells and looks like a political agenda. Those hearings just hid the REAL INTENT – to close ABS-CBN. We are slowly dying.

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My brothers and I grew up in the company of my maternal grandmother and a spinster aunt when we were in grade school. (BTW, my auntie  is now 98, the only living sister of mom).  During summer, dad would take his vacation from school works and  he is usually with mom when he comes back to the province. Mom stays with him part of the year  but they always come back during Christmas and school break.

Back then, we were the only one in our barrio who had deep well but we got water manually from it.  Our place is high up the mountain so water supply was scarce during the summer months. Good thing the whole place have an electric pump now and we converted our deep well into a water pump.  Those days, my mom and my aunt would wash our clothes in the river which lies about two kilometers from our place. We would go with them, bringing towels and change of clothing.  What I loved was that we would also bring something for snacks –  biscuits, boiled peanuts or sweet potato and  some lunch of  fried fish or scrambled egg with rice. There used to be a set of mess kit and tin can  from the US army which my grandmother had kept all those years.  It was so practical using them for the “labada” adventures.

There was this shed made of  dried coconut leaves and bamboo as trunks. The water was only knee-deep. It was  nice taking a bath lying in the middle of the river. My oldest brother would sometimes bring goggles so he could stay long in the water. Despite all those summer days of bathing in the river, I never learned how to swim although mom was a good swimmer. Dad taught me how to float in the deeper end of the river but I was always afraid if my toes didn’t touch the ground.   I never took a swim even in our road trips to beaches years ago. I just dip myself and let my hair wet. I’d rather find sea glass or shells  along the beach.

Last night, I dreamed of our old house again and those river visits. There are  those times when you wish you were a child again.

The view from our house.

The river is calm, you can take a morning dip anytime.

Those summer days…..precious!

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They’ve been telling us this for quite a while now but some of those in the government are not following the rules. Do they think they are exempted?

Several MRT (metro rail transit) personnel were found positive of COVID-19, how could they do contact tracing now when they deal with  thousands of metro riders every day?  Unless of course, these passengers would opt voluntarily to be tested? We’ve breached the 50,000 mark and it keeps on rising. To think we had the longest lockdown in history of the Asian nations.

 

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I don’t want to be

the bright and glaring

sunlight on your face.

I’d rather be the moon

that illuminates

your path at the darkest hour

to show you the way.

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For the first time, I prepared two cups of the brew early this morning. I was awake at 5am and was at the garden before 6am. I prepared a cup with just a little sugar to go with it. I put it in a small foot  stool near where I was weeding. Two of our naughty cats played around and the plastic stool toppled on the grass.  Oh my!

I have to go back in the kitchen to prepare another cup and this time, I put it on top of our concrete garden table covered by a glass coaster. I don’t drink coffee every day except when I am in the garden this early and there is a morning breeze that plays with the leaves in the garden making the dry ones fall to the ground. Every day I have to sweep the yard. We have a small compost pit at the farthest corner of the garden and all the leaves that I gather are placed there to rot.  This soil mix is one of the best to use when you are replanting.

Speaking of coffee, mom can’t get by without her early morning fix. Sometimes she doesn’t even eat breakfast as long as she has coffee prepared.  We used to let her prepare her own but in the last few months, either the coffee is too much, the sugar too little and she ends up with an unpalatable cup. So what Josef suggested was for us to buy her three-in-one sachets complete with sugar, cream and of course coffee. These instant coffee packets are flavored in caramel. mocha, hazelnut, brown coffee etc. They come in different brands. Problem solved. All you need is to pour hot water and voila, it’s done.

Are you a coffee drinker or a tea lover? I am one of both. I’ve tried turmeric tea yesterday. They say it is good to boost immunity.

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Oh, done with The Christmas Box Miracle then re-read The Christmas Box and since it is a very short story, I read it just close to two hours. As I’ve said in my previous blog post, the former reads like his autobiography detailing how the latter came to fruition.

I just started with a memoir by an unknown author (at least to me) Tara Westover. When I looked at Goodreads, I was quite surprised that Educated  was 2018 Goodreads Winner in memoir and autobiography. The memoir has spent more than half a year on The New York Times‘ bestsellers list and was heralded by Barack Obama as a “remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.”

Some people say that memoirs are refined edition of one’s life and journey since the authors wrote them but I guess it depends on the approach on how you will tackle it. I remember those books by Frances Mayes more particularly Under the Tuscan Sun and I even had the opportunity to watch the movie adaptation years ago.  It was a warm narration of how life was like in Tuscany. I actually found myself searching Google for those places mentioned in the book.

Tomorrow, I’ll tackle another portion of the garden to prune and weed. It didn’t rain today but the soil is  still soft for weeding.

Here’s one more thought to share:

They call themselves honorable but the way these congressmen  question them is so rude. They are reluctant to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN. It stands to lose around 11,000 employees. Give me a Carlo Katigbak anytime – the quiet, educated, humble, soft-spoken  and intelligent head of this conglomerate. Kulang na lang ibato ang tabo at palanggana sa ulo ng mga taga ABS. Manners please gentlemen.

Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato reminded her colleagues that it is their duty to protect press freedom and freedom of expression at all times during the 12th House hearing on the renewal of franchise of ABS-CBN.

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If there is one author that I truly like and admire the most, it’s Richard Paul Evans. Haha, we are online friends at Facebook. I have been reading his books since I discovered one during a sale at National Bookstore years ago. It was still pricey at P600.00 pesos but I just loved the first few lines in the book. Unfortunately though, I lost that book and four more of his hardbound ones back in 2009 during typhoon Ondoy. I was able to replace most of them through gifts from generous friends. I even have a first edition copy of one of his books sent by a friend. An online friend I met at our Catholic page on Facebook is also so fond of reading and she was thrilled that I recommended RPE’s books to her. From then on, every  time she comes home, she brings me copies of those books I lost in the flood and newly published ones that I haven’t read yet. I have lots of quotes here (a hundred of them) that RPE generously shared on his wall. I am afraid some of them ate up my available space because they were in high resolution format.

I am presently reading a lovely one published last October 2001 entitled The Christmas Box Miracle: My Spiritual Journey of Destiny, Healing and Hope. This book is included in my wish list for so many years until I finally found a copy. Finally reading it. It’s his personal story of how he wrote The Christmas Box, self-published it in 1994  and it became a best-seller. It’s a holiday classic that was  an expression of love for his two daughters never intending for it to be published.  I think this is the best summary of the books he wrote because in each page, there were quotes from those books he published earlier. Faith and determination usually overcome adversity in life. Persistence in believing in a dream helps a lot. This is more like his autobiography written from the time he was a small kid  sharing everything with his sister and six brothers.

Here is one of his previous quotes which I compiled into an album at Facebook.

Here’ what he wrote on his Facebook wall years ago about how he views books.

Books can be such powerful things–they can console us, motivate us, they can unite us with the rest of humanity, to help us understand that we are not so alone in our thoughts, our dreams and our deepest hopes. To read something that feels so peaceful and familiar, as if it was plucked from our own mind and soul, is a powerful experience. I am grateful for the books that have affected me throughout my life. I am pleased that here and there my books reach my readers in this way. God bless.

By the way, I am on my 72nd book at Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020.

 

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credit to project happiness

Lovely ways to spend the day. I am thinking of that hot cup of coffee, the sunlight that passes through the sheer curtains on my window, laughter  and shouts of joy from Nate, listening to old songs that make memories again, the yellow and red wavelengths of light at dusk and the presence of family and friends.

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Only In Pictures


via Only In Pictures

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Nissa surprised me with a new silicone cell phone cover for my phone. It is a Samsung A20 which I bought last year on my birthday. Back then it was just out in the market and a good buy with a 13MP +5MP cameras and an 8MP front camera. I bought a simple rubberized cover, a plain one actually to protect it. Since it’s color is deep green, Nissa also chose this leaf design….haha!

She said I am not a techie because I don’t tend to explore its nice features. Come to think of it, I haven’t even changed its screen saver and its other features so Nissa did it. We laughed together while I was exploring those lovely photos. She chose this green one so even the apps are colored green too. She says I am a green lady because I love nature.

Along with the cover were two large bottles of Nivea Body Milk and a large bag of different breads she bought at BreadTalk. Little surprises like these tickle the heart. Nissa is a very thoughtful daughter.

And for the first time too, I downloaded the Lazada app. Lazada is the number-one online shopping and selling destination in Southeast Asia – present in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. I wanted a bathroom caddy since ours broke a few days ago. Wow, there are so many cheap items which are even delivered for free. I have to create an online account for it, write it down because for sure I won’t remember it when it’s time to use it again. I don’t want to use my Visa card so I opted for COD payment. Nissa told me that once I get the hang of it, I might purchase other items again. I told her I am looking for gifts to give this Christmas. She told me to download Shoppee too, another e-commerce platform based in Singapore. The truth is I am afraid to purchase online but there are things you have to look out for – the reviews, the items they sell compared to other vendors, the quality of the merchandise, the number of buyers and their ratings etc. You can all see them online. The joy of online shopping even if you won’t have to buy an item but your eyes are pretty satisfied.

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