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Gosh, my regular readers must be so disappointed seeing the same posts for quite a while now.  Some are looking into old blog posts as far back as 2011 and 2012.  Imagine two pathetic posts for this month. It’s not because I got tired of sharing my world with you but every time I try to compose something here, I always end up going back to the latest result of the vice-presidential race.  More deep breaths, more sighs of relief, more prayers and a gargantuan faith that our Leni will win. She is ahead for  several days now but you’ll never know with a Marcos on the other side of the fence. The latter said the only way that he could lose is when he is cheated.  What arrogance coming from someone whose family has cheated and emptied the coffers of the Philippines thirty years ago.

Opps, sorry, I promised I won’t be talking about politics anymore. My lips are sealed.

There is an ongoing virus among dogs here in our area.  I forgot the exact term used by the  vet  but it’s like a severe flu, always undetected at first until your pet just won’t eat  and it slowly dies. Sad to say, we lost our Japanese Spitz last May 01 and our Aspin the other day.  We have only one dog left, a half Lab, half Spitz  a friend gave us two years ago.  I haven’t  gotten used yet  tending the garden without our small dog always trailing behind.  It really pains me to see them gone.

I was supposed to blog about my seventh year last May 11. It’s not the same as the one that WordPress celebrates with me because it took me a year to actually post something after I created Dreams and Escapes.  I transferred some blog entries culled from my previous Multiply site, those posts that were not current at the time I seriously considered blogging here for good.  I never left since. Though it was a hard start, I am still  here.  Back then, there were no like buttons to speak of but WordPress was so supportive of  suggesting topics when I joined  the 2011 Writing Challenge. I was given a badge but deleted it a few years later.  They gave feedbacks for every post like “amazing, fantastic, wonderful etc.” When I think of all those times that I have to wrack my brain so I could stay updated with the challenge,  I smile at myself and say I have a lot of patience after all.  I am a self-taught blogger constantly looking for themes that would suit my blog, always customizing on the side, editing old posts. Believe me, there will always be some words or two that sometimes  make no sense at all. Well, one learns as one goes along. It is one of the challenges of blogging.

This is my 1,790th post for this blog alone, add that to the four remaining blogs that I maintain and it would probably reach  2,000 entries.  Having  a bigger stats is a bonus of course.  I am hoping though that there would be more interactions/comments on the side because I am curious to know where they are coming from.   My newest blog, Dreams Never End got more likes and comments when I started there. My 2016 Reading Challenge has gone haywire the past days with only one book read in advance.  I hope I’ll be able to catch up in the coming days.

Bye for now, I hope to visit your sites soon. I miss reading  your  blogs.

 

 

 

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Yeay, I have long neglected this blog, same with visiting the posts of those bloggers I follow here.  Eight blog posts for the month of April, make it nine including this one.  Though I haven’t been active here this month and even set aside my reading challenge, April is a good month. I’ve been actively campaigning the last few days  on Facebook. It’s my only way of helping Roxas and Robredo team win without taxing my health.  I have just posted  and shared this at The Silent Majority page and I was surprised of the more than 200 likes an hour after I posted it and tremendous response praying for me and my health.  I felt I really have an online family in their midst.  I was teary-eyed to see and read their comments. Allow me to share it with you too (it’s my last political blog  post maybe until election day which is  nine days from now).  The future of the Philippines is in our hands now.

I have long wanted to go out and campaign for RORO but since I have low immunity (I am a cancer survivor), I try to avoid crowds. This is actually my first time to be actively campaigning for a vice-presidential and a presidential candidate online. I posted some political blogs on my WordPress site since the first political debate was held. This morning, my daughter and her family came over to join us for lunch and they brought with them campaign materials for RORO. Yehey, I finally have my baller. We touched on politics (what else) and we are happy that all of us will be voting for Mar and Leni. I am concerned about the future of my four-year old grandson and the future of my kids and we just can’t ignore what is happening right now in our country. From the start, I have decided to vote for RORO. They are the epitome of good governance and I am sure they have nothing but a sincere desire to truly serve and help in making the Philippines something we could all be proud of.

A happy retired BPI unibanker here. I am proud to have worked in an institution with 165 years of banking leadership.

I am happy to see that I have finally reached more than 401,735 hits as of this writing. This is when blogging gives that kind of happiness  and sense of fulfillment.

April is about to end.  I am very optimistic that the rule of law and the choice of the majority will win.  Come what May (pun intended) I look forward to celebrating with the Filipino people when we finally cast our votes on May  09.  Maybe after  May 09, I could happily go back to reading again and enjoy reading blog entries here and hopefully add more posts.

I always smile every time I hear the song First of  May. It brings back memories. Happy first of May everyone.

 

 

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This morning, I received these greetings with the same familiar logo of WordPress.

Happy Anniversary with WordPress. com. You registered on WordPress. com 8 years ago. Thanks for  flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

Thanks WordPress. Has it really been that long? I know I registered eight years ago but  it took me more than a year to actively start blogging. I didn’t know how to customize a theme. I didn’t even know what to blog about even if  back then, I had separate blogs on Multiply and Friendster. Unofficially, Dreams and Escapes  would be turning seven come May.

It’s been a long journey, finding your own niche in the blogging world using a popular site like WordPress. It’s been a long journey, giving a voice to what’s on your mind, tucking the fragments  of time in one’s memory, stringing words to make a long post, creating poems  and being amazed at the joys of taking photos, experimenting on macro photography. It’s been a long journey of faith and  hope.

The pleasure one gets when you publish something, the delight in reading and answering comments, the luxury of having loyal online friends who look forward to every post and the pleasure of  reading other posts and discovering  new blogs and writers – priceless.

I have five blogs in all with separate and different entries on each one.  Obsessed? Not really. Blogging has become a catharsis for me over the years. When life’s angst glares at  you in the face,  writing heals a little of the hurts and pains that it brings. Sharing the joys and inspirations will always be a priority though.  I have a  total of 1,766 posts excluding this one.1,545 followers and a total of 392,386 views as of this writing.  I don’t follow my stats on my other blogs. A while ago, WordPress informed me that I am getting upward spike on my Garden and  Empty Spaces blog. I haven’t updated the site for a long time.

Eight years! Time flies!

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I was quite surprised to see my stats today. For two consecutive days, I received notifications from WordPress that said, “Your stats are booming! DREAMS AND ESCAPES is getting lots of traffic.”  You feel elated when you see something like this and thankful that people read what you write about.  There was an  upswing  on my previous posts as far back as 2011. I don’t know why. Back then, likes and comments were a rarity.  I don’t remember if there were “like” features several years ago but I used to get around 300 to 400 visits a day  back then. Have things changed? I don’t know because lately, that was cut in half but still a sizable figure for an unknown blogger like me. I would still blog even without those likes and comments but then I have to admit that one becomes inspired when fellow bloggers follow your posts and leave wonderful comments in the process.

You might laugh at this but I still use the old format when adding a post. I am not making excuses but it is easier to write and edit your post in the old  format. Don’t make the mistake of re-editing though because it will revert back to the new one.  Maybe, I am really getting old, comfortable with what I am used to. It’s like those rituals that makes life easier – you have perfected waking up early, playing with the dogs at 6am, watering the plants and cleaning the garden of leaves and debris brought about by hanging amihan (northeast monsoons that bring cold dry air from icy Siberia), finding new blooms and wanting to capture them with your camera freezing the images forever, a snip of unwanted branches here and there and yes, getting hold of a good book when the chores are done.  Life is simple and I find joy and happiness in simple things. Even  listening to early morning news or a music program on my transistor radio while I am out in the garden is a bliss. More reasons to smile:)

There is an advantage of writing a post every day. You won’t feel that dry spell or what others conveniently calls  writer’s block.  You have all the ideas and words running riot in your head but you can’t seem to create a sentence that would fill the blank page in front of you.  You want to write about this and that but you don’t know where to start.  When you do it every  day, it seems easier though. I don’t think I could duplicate writing  daily. It really is a challenge for me now.

Writing out loud, hearing your voice in cyberspace, making friends, discovering new places, reading interesting blog posts and seeing those meaningful, lovely and beautiful captures shared by other bloggers – these make blogging worthwhile. It’s like writing a book of short stories on different subjects (sometimes emotions are played to the hilt) and sharing how life is in your corner of the world.

Did I say that this is my 1,762nd post?

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Gosh, the sudden morning rain prevented me again from finishing my garden chores but I am glad I don’t have to water the plants. Everything looks so green and fresh. Gone are the dusts clinging  to the leaves of the plants.

I’ve focused my time and efforts  just updating this site that I forgot I have to visit and post a thing or two to my other blogs. I must admit it is quite hard to maintain several blogs.  The thing is, years ago I  have decided to separate my gardening blog, photos, my blog posts on Nate and lately a new platform which I could use when I fully consume my allowed limits here. Got 29% more to go before it ends. Hopefully, without posting so many photos, I could still use this in the next year or two.

This morning (finally) I updated my gardening blog called Gardens and Empty Spaces, I really hope you’ll find time to visit it too. My intro page is quite long but you can find it on the widget sidebar, an easier way to know the gardener behind the garden:) I  also included some excerpts on my latest blog posts at my other sites.

Hop in, you are welcome to visit my backyard garden.

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I can’t believe it. January is almost gone and all I have are eleven  blog posts since the start of the month. The past days, I  struggled with using my tab when posting. It really came in handy while my  old computer has finally gone kaput on me, buried for good this time.  I am using a new one which Josef gave me as a late Christmas gift complete with a 17″ monitor and  is wi-fi ready. This is actually my first post using it.  I don’t know, it might be a blessing in disguise since I was able to catch up on my reading  ( I am on my 10th book on the reading challenge on Goodreads).  One thing I’ve missed while using my tab was the proof-reader.  Sometimes you’ll never know that in the course of typing what is running in your head, you misspell a word that never gets corrected even if you edit your post once or twice.  I am not a lover of the auto-correct features of my cellphones and tab. I often have to go back, erase and retype words since the former  inserts  something far from what I have in mind. It’s crazy, more so when I am texting in Tagalog and it does not have an equal word to substitute.

Thank you so much to those fellow bloggers who recently followed my blogs and thank you too to  those visitors who left inspiring comments on my old posts.  I’ve reached more than 385,000 stats a few minutes ago. It’s a milestone for me.  I didn’t really expect that I’ll get to have this number of visitors in my six years of blogging.  There was a time  during the early years when having a 20 to 50 views in a day was enough for me  but then there are loyal followers and online friends here who visit regularly. Added to that are the views I get daily from my posts as a cancer survivor.  My old posts are more popular than the new ones:)

I still get excited publishing a new post. I  am happy seeing new followers and likes.  Of course they add to the joy of writing, getting noticed that is. I try to limit each post from a minimum of 300 words to around 500 words at the most.  It is easier to read a shorter post than a lengthy one.

Where has January gone? February is slowly inching its way. I hope it would bring inspirations for me to blog often and update my other blogs too which I have neglected too long.

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Back in 2015, I committed to read at least  50 books and by July, I successfully finished the reading challenge  at Goodreads. The official count was 79 books but based on my own list, I almost read a hundred. I forgot to  update Goodreads  with some of the titles that I read, some chick lit and Ya books  which one could finish in a day or two. Unaccounted were some book of poems that I don’t need to finish in one  reading. There are books that truly inspire and I usually read them again and again. This year  I am challenging myself to read 100 books, an eclectic mix of poems, historical novels, fiction, memoirs and some classic books that I found last year. I have just finished Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and in the middle of  reading the third book of the century trilogy  by Ken Follett entitled Edge of Eternity. It’s a tome, maybe an equivalent of three romance  books or chick lit. I love the story though, it happened at the time Kennedy was the US president and when Martin Luther King was a revered figure of the black population in America. It happened when East Germany put up a dividing wall preventing its  population to cross West Germany.  I guess this is the best of the three books. It’s really hard to put it down.

If you find some words here that are clearly misspelled, blame it on the autocorrect feature of my tab.I am really finding it hard to publish a new post  and check the blogs I follow here.  Hopefully, everything goes back to normal in  a month or two. Who am I kidding, I wonder if I could last that long without eyestrain.

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