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Archive for the ‘2014’ Category


There is something nostalgic about it –  the changing years – saying goodbye to something old and saying hello to something new. Soon, the passing  days would just be memories that we will hug and remember perhaps with a smile or maybe, just maybe with a touch of pain and sadness. No matter how you look at life, there are days when the pain you feel overshadows the joy you show to the world, that all is well, that everything is just as it is supposed to be – happy.

Pretty soon or exactly three days from now, we’ll be stepping into another year of challenges, journeys to traverse, new friends to meet, things to discover. We will never know what is in store for all of us in the coming days. I’ve always written a year-end post since I started blogging six years ago (seven if you will include my blogs at Multiply). I’ve always written about all the important things that somehow made my heart swell with joy, events that left an indelible mark in my soul.  This time, I would love to acknowledge all those people I met here who made blogging worthwhile. I may not be able to mention all of you but you are in my thoughts. Blogging would not be what it is without your inspiring comments and like.

My gratitude goes to two lovely ladies from the US  (fellow Filipinos) who share their lives and adventures, places they’ve been to, and photographs they have taken. It is such a joy to visit their blogs. You can take a glimpse on what they share here. Wi’s blog is Simply Beautiful.  Take a deep breath and visit Lou’s posts, she is into gardening too and features fresh pick from her garden. I’ve learned a lot of country life from an online friend in England. Pete lives in Beetley and blogs about his dog Ollie. Be sure to read his earlier posts, he is a very good and inspiring writer. Thanks Pete for those lovely comments. You never fail to like and comment on every post I make since we became friends here. I only learned of her name lately but it does not really matter. We’ve been online friends for quite a while now and we both love Padre Pio. Kay, if you are reading this, I’d like to let you know that I am also inspired by your blog.  If there is someone whose blog posts I always look forward to and who also writes inspiring comments to my blog posts, it’s IT. Visit this link and you’ll know why. He always writes inspiring posts and comes from the Philippines although his family has migrated to another country. I’ve been acquainted with Tina for just a short while but I feel I could relate to her as we talk on life, families, journeys and such. Thank you Tina for making my blogging life one such lovely journey. Meet Laura,  another online friend who always visits my blog and shares her writings and food adventures. She goes by the name Sweet Pea To Love.  She calls herself The Dreamer Mom and she takes lovely pics of her daughter Maia. Cel, I hope someday I could meet you too.

Finally, my blog registered almost a 1,000 followers, thank you so much. Visits keep growing every day, a total of 305,550 as of this writing. Thanks again 🙂 I am glad you find something worth-reading here. And before I end this blog, I would like to wish you  all a HAPPY AND BLESSED year ahead. May we all find meaning in life’s dreams and escapes.

“It’s good to take counsel from the past but not to be ruled by it. Otherwise we end up using today to fight yesterday’s battles and miss tomorrow’s promise.”― Richard Paul Evans, Walking on Water

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Let us for a while forget being politically correct and say a sincere greeting to all our friends out there. A BLESSED AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!  Christmas is a celebration of Christ’s birth and not just a holiday so we don’t say happy holidays. It’s that time of the year when we remember old friends, even those  we only see once in a while. It’s that time of year when family togetherness is what counts most in our celebration and I guess Noche Buena would be the loveliest meal of the day when you take time to prepare something for the whole family. There is that feeling of joy in one’s heart , a feeling of hope, a feeling of love.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

It’s a wet Christmas! So unusual that it’s been raining since I woke up and hasn’t stopped until now. PAGASA says it’s the tail end of a cold front (whatever that means) but it is cold and they have issued a yellow rainfall warning in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.  I am sure despite the rain, we’ll have a merry Christmas. Just waiting for daughter’s family  to arrive and son to come home early from work.  Done with preparing some favorite food, baking for my grandson, gifts are waiting to be opened. We only need to cook  something more tonight. We have this tradition in the family that we only open gifts after attending mass, partake of the Noche Buena, that’s only when we sit down and enjoy opening gifts. There will always be hugs, smiles and  shouts of joy because you got something you wished for.  Back when Nissa and Josef were little, they would wait patiently near the tree with that look of anticipation on their faces, trying hard to guess what’s inside those gaily wrapped boxes. My son used to say that he didn’t want something that he needs but something that he wants   🙂 Anyway, now that they are adults, we can tell each other what we want for Christmas and it’s fun. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?

Let me greet you in our language, MALIGAYANG PASKO SA INYONG LAHAT!  Wish you feel the joy, He has come.

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Woke up this  morning to the persistent sound of my son’s cellphone  which he left inside my room last night. Gosh, it was 4am. I tried to sleep a few hours more  but it was a useless exercise. I guess, it is a perfect time to visit this blog, the internet connection is quite fast.  The rest of the world (from our end) must still be asleep.

Wow, a hot cup of coffee with hot pan de sal to boot. A few minutes ago, I braved the five-minute walk to our neighborhood bakery to buy  pan de sal.  It is a bread roll that is a staple in most Filipino families’ breakfast. You can pair it with scrambled eggs, coco jam or what we call matamis na bao,  slivers of cheese or even sautéed   sardines. Take your pick, it goes well with everything. I’ve long wanted to learn to bake pan de sal  but it is more practical  to buy it.

I went back to reading e-books , discovering new titles, excited to acquaint myself with new authors.  Last night, I started  reading Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole. It’s my first encounter with the author. Fancy a different approach to writing a book – conveying a story through letters, no dialogue, a perfect spin of two stories fused together. Since I am still in the middle of reading it, I will reserve my five stars later. I love receiving letters, in any form but there is nothing that beats a real one with stamps attached on the envelope with that pasted smile on your face anticipating what’s written inside. It is even exciting when there is no written address and you guess who suddenly thought of you to send a letter by mail. When I was in college, my friend and I used to write letters to each other every single day although we were together at work as student librarians in our university. It was quite fun to write at the back of date due slips while absorbing the silence that a library setting brings. She is now based abroad and we get in touch through private messages on Facebook. Years ago, my sister-in-law gifted me with a complete set of Griffin and Sabine, a trilogy written by Nick Bantock. It is one of the precious collections I have in my small library.  In every page, you’ll see a facsimile of a postcard or a letter actually enclosed in an envelope, hand-written letters that excite. Imagine reading a book in  real letter format.  Reading the trilogy made me more in love with letter-writing.

The rain last night and the gentle drizzle  this morning made my plants happy. They are dancing in the rain and I love to dance too.

P.S. WordPress says this is my 1,400th blog entry.

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My blog stats say I have 250,038  views right this moment. I can’t believe it. I’ve been blogging for a  little more than four years now, on and off, when I feel like it and have something to share. The only time I blogged religiously every day was when I took up the 2011 WordPress Post A Day challenge. That was when my stats started to climb. For the last three years, I always get a surprise when one particular blog registers an average of 2,600 views in one day and that is during Mama Mary’s birthday every September 08.  I don’t know how it happens but the search engine seems to be busy during Mama Mary’s birthday.

I wonder though which is better, having so many views in any particular day or having a lot of followers. A bit of both probably, I don’t know. I only have 678 followers at the moment  (not that I mind so much if they follow me or not). There must be something they like about my blog so they read it.  I am glad that some readers come back  and read my older posts.  Sharing my plight as a cancer patient/survivor has definitely evolved to some sort of an online diary – some experiments in the kitchen, some shots that I love to share, my garden blooms that get the largest share in my SD card, local places I’ve been to the past few years, books I’ve read and reviewed,  thoughts and prayers. Imagine having a hodgepodge of topics encapsulated in 1,393 posts.

You ask, “Is it worth it?” My answer is a big “YES, definitely”.

 

 

 

 

 

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Once, life was a robust tree that gave us shade in the garden and sacks of avocado fruits when they  were  in season.  As with all things, life comes to an end, it cannot endure forever.

One remembers what it was once  and it brings back  pleasant memories – the times when I used to just sit in the garden under its shade, the times it felt so tranquil and quiet  watching the early morning unfolds, the times I  wrote a few lines while seeping a tepid cup of coffee, the times I used to listen to the  tree sparrows sing  as they hopped from branch to branch, the days in between when dreams seemed within reach.

Life will always be the way you see it through the lens.

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There goes my dream of blogging every day to challenge myself again. For the past three days, I was not feeling so well due to bad colds and occasional cough which tax my strength until now. For two straight nights, I sometimes sleep sitting down with lots of pillows  behind me for support.  I hear these wheezing sounds that seem like mice chasing each other inside my throat and the best way that I could sleep is by lying flat on my back or sitting  down with my feet straight. Oh, the misery of having colds on a cold January. We may not be getting the extreme cold weather just like in other areas/countries but I think cold nights and hot days are not good combinations.  Lately though, the sun peeps through now and then and the weather is mostly cloudy during the day. I feel my achy bones taking it all in, it sometimes zaps one’s strength and I still have to prepare for the lunch party my friends and I have planned for Saturday. Good luck to me. I am praying though that I will be well enough to join the fun and entertain them here.

If my garden could speak, it’s probably complaining of neglect. I haven’t watered it for the past two days but my son promised that he will tend to it when he comes home tonight.  I miss blogging and reading blogs too and my eyes get  easily tired when I check messages on my cellphone. I am not used to small prints and it’s even harder to navigate.

Bad colds, please go away. January, please be gentle to me.

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I decided to make this public since I am proud that I’ve reached this far. For the past three years, I’ve looked forward to the year-end report of WordPress on my four blogs. I am sharing this with you. And I would love to thank all those bloggers who made comments and visited my blog. Thank you all for sharing with me and making everyday something to always look forward to.

Thank you WordPress 🙂

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