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Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category


I can’t believe April is almost gone.  The lazy bug caught me again and blogging has taken a backseat for a while. Gone are the times when the day is not complete without writing a few words and posting them here.  I feel comfortable now blogging once or twice a week but I still read posts/updates from friends every day.

You won’t believe this, I’ve become so obsessed with books lately that sometimes I laugh at myself how  I’m gonna read these books  that I have collected all these years and some  e-books that I have on my phone. Hugging a book close and the comfort of turning the pages, loving the scent and smell of the printed pages. Yesterday, I took note of the recommendations of Goodreads based on similar subjects that I have read before. Historical fiction, memoirs and contemporary books still top the list. There was even a time that I visited the list of the 1000 books you have to read before you die but I narrowed it down to the top 500 but not necessarily followed it to the letter. If that is not a book obsession, I don’t know what is.  They call it bibliomania 🙂 I haven’t gone that far yet…no….not yet.  I have a long list which I wrote in my notebook about new authors and new books that I want to read. I am trying to discover Asian authors and so far Khaled Husseini is the best although I found more names who are quite new in the field of writing.

I remember reading On Writing by Stephen King a few years ago, a book borrowed by Nissa from their Stress Management Office then found a brand new hardbound copy later  (still with the dust jacket on) in one of my trips to Booksale. Imagine the joy of finally owning a copy.  He said and I quote “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” “Reading in bed can be heaven, assuming you can get just the right amount of light on the page and aren’t prone to spilling your coffee or cognac on the sheets. ” That’s another line from Stephen King’s book and I laughed out loud when I read it before because it happened to me not just once but several times. At least it was just a glass of water and not a hot cup of coffee 🙂

When I encounter people who say that they are not fond of reading, I try to compose my facial expression not to frown and say “you are missing  a lot”.

P.S. Goodreads says I have read 28 books (56%) out of the 50 books that I challenged myself to finish this year. Maybe, I could add 10 more, what do you think?

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Back to the grind. Ah,  I mean back to blogging! It’s been a while.

I got so engrossed finding new books and new authors for Goodreads’ 2015 reading challenge. I’ve finished  twenty-three books out of the fifty that I promised myself to read this year. YA books, Chick Lit, classics, fairy tales, you name it, it’s a random list of them all.  My last read would be the memoirs of course, save the best for last 🙂 Back when I worked as a student librarian at the Humanities Section of the UST Library, I encountered so many classic books but I didn’t have the chance to read them except for a few titles like Gone With The Wind, Crime and Punishment, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and of course some of the  books of the Bronte sisters. Balancing a full load in my Economics course and a six-hour job at the library was quite hard and I missed the chance to read all those classics.  When I started working, my reading genre changed a lot. I found new authors, more books to read and collect. Anna Karenina and Doctor Zhivago remained on my wish list though over the years. Yesterday, I found a copy of the latter and just started reading it a few hours ago. A fellow blogger and a friend at Facebook sent me the link to Lara’s Theme, the soundtrack of the movie adaptation of Doctor Zhivago.  What a lovely idea, I got more inspired. It’s a long read…perfect for the summer days ahead.

This morning, our ISP was changed from SmartBro to HomeBro. HomeBro is owned by the largest telecommunications company here in our country, PLDT. Since SmartBro is now under PLDT we have to switch to  the new one. HomeBro Ultera includes a built-in wi-fi router so we have to set aside our old router. I quizzed the three installers who took care of the installation and they said that this is definitely faster than the old one. We’ll see. I don’t download much, it’s more of internet search and blogging.

I wonder who is more excited, the mommy or the baby. Nissa has enrolled Nate to summer  school and today is his first day in class. She wants Nate  to learn to interact with other kids. I think it is a 12-session class at one hour and a half every other day. Kids nowadays are so smart. Last night he said, “I’m going to school Nonna”. Pretty excited too, I guess.

Are you shy Nate?

Are you shy Nate?

What am I doing here? haha...

What am I doing here? haha…

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That’s  right, I am just borrowing the title from a book I have just read.

Have you ever chosen a book because the title and the book cover make you smile and make you remember something deep, memories that you treasure in your heart? I did just that, three days ago. In between re-reading inspirational and uplifting books for the season of Lent, I managed to find a lovely book by Kelly Moran. It is my first time to read a book from this author. Inspiring romance books are not really my cup of tea but I got curious that it received mostly five stars on Goodreads.  An easy read, amazing and heartwarming tale of  friendship, family relationships,  and getting on with life despite all the setbacks, finding love and meaning  in the end.  I don’t normally post a book review when I blog about a certain book that I’ve enjoyed reading, it’s for you to find out.

A friend once told me that when a book makes you cry then it must really be good. I love the poetic style of the author, the play with words  – I can almost imagine those intense moments, I can almost touch the pages of the family albums and commune with nature  the way it was told in the story. It’s actually one of my best reads so far for my 2015 reading challenge.  And as usual, I had my journal ready to write some quotes that I liked.

Don’t let the past get in the way of the now.

How many times has the past hindered us from making decisions in our life? How many times have we let the past rule our present life?  Learning to let go and learning to move on might not be that easy but sometimes we just have to do it for our peace of mind.

Home is where they love you and care for you. Home is where you go back to when there’s nothing left and you want to find peace again.

What a difference a moment can make.

Speaking of the 50 books I wanted to read this year, with no particular author in mind and no particular book on my list, I have just finished 12. Next in line though are memoirs and the books I have of Mary Oliver.  I want to reread Randy Pausch’ The Last Lecture, it inspired me when I was undergoing chemotherapy. I want to get reacquainted again with Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays With Morrie. My former surgical oncologist saw a copy I read at the hospital when I underwent surgery more than five years ago and he said it was a good book so I gave him a copy. My cardiologist who was a very caring doctor too saw my pile  and told me I had good choices of books to read. I gave him one too. They are both doctors so they could relate to what ALS is all about.

I just love books. The solitary hours are more meaningful when books take you to places you’ve never been, people you’ve never met and a world probably more interesting than your own.

When the leaves stop falling, you find love.

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Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask. I wear a thousand mask
masks that I’m afraid to take off
and none of them are me.
Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me
but don’t be fooled,
for God’s sake, don’t be  fooled.
I give you the impression that I’m secure
That all is sunny and unruffled with me
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name
and coolness my game,
that the water’s calm
and I’m in command,
and that I need no one.
But don’t believe me. Please!

This is just a part of the poem I copied in my journal when I was just starting college life. It’s entitled  The Mask I Wear, the author is unknown. Seeing the news today and the many tweets on the death of Robin Williams made me recall this poem. How much pain do we hide behind the mask? How alone do we feel after all the laughter and smiles? How often do we see ourselves in others? The gaiety becomes a feeling of anguish after a while.

Robin Williams is one of my favorite  actors.  Although I am not much into watching the big screen and television  reruns, he is one of those who could hold  my attention from beginning to end. I loved him in Mork and Mindy, I loved him in Mrs. Doubtfire, I cried  watching Good Will Hunting.  I am sad that he passed on at such an early age.  His legacy lives on.

You made me cry, you made me laugh. Robin Williams, may your soul rest in peace.

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Yay, I didn’t take an afternoon shuteye just to finish  Letters from Skye.  It took me more than two days (on and off reading) to finish the book. Since  it was my first book of Jessica Brockmole, I really didn’t know what to expect, there is  nothing to compare it with previous books she has written . What a nice surprise because I enjoyed it. Pen pals, making friends through letters, finding love in an exchange of words  and thoughts – you would think it is an old-fashioned way to communicate, right? Compared to the modern way of communicating nowadays, you would even say it is boring but it’s 1912 and  1940 fused together and the historical aspect makes it more poignant because letters are the only means one could get through.

I could not remember reading a book without a dialogue except letters. It is an epistolary novel. It must be hard to write something like it without losing the plot of the story and getting the message across to the reader.  LettersThoughts of Mary Oliver’s writings entered my mind while reading it and I was hoping the author would give examples of what Elspeth Dunn wrote about, she was a poet and poets are dear to my heart. Come to think of it, I was tempted to jot down some quotes as I usually do with other books that I read but I didn’t want to lose the momentum, excited enough  on what the answer would be to the last mailed letter. Imagine the thrill and joy of receiving one, the anticipation of  knowing that there is something to look forward to. The story is common enough but the way it was told made it a fascinating read.  I would not attempt to make a real book review here with the story summarized in chronological order. Find it for yourself if you are also fond of writing and receiving letters.  Yes, there  are quotes that comes to mind.

“You’re my breath, my light, the one my heart flies towards.”

“A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”

“… that a letter isn’t always just a letter. Words on page can drench the soul.”

It was worth the two cups of coffee I consumed just so I could finish the book. There is that feeling that reading a love story once in a while is  an afternoon delight.

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It seldom happens now because they are always busy at work, yesterday though, Josef and his girlfriend Jovy took me to Mont Albo in Timog Avenue in Quezon City, a spa and massage facility that offers several massage therapies including body scrub. The three of us availed of the Hilot, a Filipino healing method practiced for  thousands of years. It is a total body massage characterized by slow deliberate strokes to remove blockages by using virgin coconut oil.  It was a very relaxing one hour therapy. The three of us also availed of the additional  Bentosa, a therapy used by placing suction glass cups at one’s back to remove energy blockages. Josef practically went to sleep when  the therapist did that because we could hear his gentle snore while waiting for ten minutes before they remove the suction glasses and resume massage of the arms  and legs. I used to have foot massages  before (another way to unwind and relax) in the nearby beauty salon but it has become quite expensive so I only go there when I need to rest and enjoy the quiet times.

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We had an early dinner at Papa John’s  in  Tomas Morato before going home. I told Josef that we used to live in that area back when he wasn’t born yet. The quiet neighborhood in the early eighties has now become a busy avenue of several high-end restaurants and eateries.  It was my first time to sample Papa John’s cheese and bacon pizza and its crispy onion rings, better than what we usually order at Burgoo’s. Such  a lovely day to spend  it  with them. I wish that next time we do this, my daughter and son-in-law and of course my darling baby Nate  could join us.

The weather here for the past  two or three weeks was a good 20 degrees Celsius.  It is colder at night and windy in the early morning and late noon.  The coldest morning so far in Metro Manila was at   17.5 degrees Celsius early Saturday  while Baguio City was at its coldest at 8.1 degrees Celsius last Sunday. Most days it’s cloudy, a perfect time to catch up on gardening and do a little weeding too.  It’s  a lovely time too to read. I’ve done six books since the start of the year and I planned to read around 50 books till the end of December. I really hope I could do it since I neglected reading last year, read a measly 20 titles, I guess.

I am listening to Richard Clayderman  and Ernesto Cortazar  while writing this blog. It’s a lovely day 🙂

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Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
–  Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

I’ve been a lazy bug lately. No, don’t get me wrong. I am just resting my weary body from fatigue. The last few days, I was so busy that I was not able to check my blog and post something.  Finally, I found time to sit here for a while  and update my blog. When you haven’t been blogging for a week, it seems as if you’re starting all over again.

It’s all worth it though because our little potluck  lunch party was a success – lots of food, laughter and sharing. Those precious and priceless moments that only friends can enjoy together, something worth-reminiscing and the thought of it makes me smile.  We were joined by two priest friends, Fr. Tacky, a Franciscan and Fr. Boy, a Dominican. Not that it matters that they belong to different congregations because  they both studied in Rome and met there.  We took lots of pictures of course, what’s a party without those wacky poses and shots that make us laugh. We even have to use a tripod so we could all fit into the frame. There is this picture window  at our house that never fails to attract our friends and visitors to have their pictures taken there. Believe me, it has become some sort of trademark for the members  of our Catholic community  who drop by when they are on vacation.

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We had an exchange of gifts just for fun. Imagine the laughter we had when we simultaneously opened them and found things like a roll of tissue paper which Darlene said she will take with her on her trip back to Abu Dhabi, a small bottle of efficascent oil from Reena  which Matt got, packs of marshmallows  and so many more. What do you think, the gift should only be worth P30 and what can you buy with P30?  Reymon, aside from bringing three whole roast chicken gave us individual bags of gifts from Bench.

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They were surprised to learn that eating green mango with the skin on is the best way to eat one. I asked Joan to bring me some and when they saw me eating a slice, they all tried it  except Matt 🙂  Endless laughter!

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We can’t get enough so the party extended on to early dinner with ice cream, Fuji apples  and suman na pinipig (the best  suman I’ve tasted) for desserts. And they all said, “sa uulitin”.  Until next time guys.

One of the best gifts that we could ever have is the gift of friendship.

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♫♪♫♪Was it something on a dream
That touch my memory
Or a picture I didn’t know I’ve seen
That made me stop and stare♪♫♪♫

There is this radio station in the AM band that I listen to every Sunday  night that plays purely 70’s music for three straight solid hours unhampered by radio ads except for an occasional station ID. The music of the 70’s is really something I really could relate to, the best kind of music, mellow touch and such. Back in the mid 70’s, I was a teenager finding her place under the sun and falling in love for the first time (did I just say that?) Oh well, there is always something that makes us a little sentimental, going back to old dreams and letting your mind wander on the might-have-beens. No regrets though because that was a part of my life that I truly enjoy reminiscing from time to time. I became a strong person because of it.

Don’t you just love listening to old favorite songs that remind you of how brave you were  in facing life’s challenges? Do you remember? Do you smile at yourself  while listening to the lovely melodies and meaningful lyrics?  Back in the 70’s, we had this phonograph and old 45 discs that you get to play over and over again until the record sounded scratchy in your ear because the needle needed changing due to constant use. Those were the days when you get to memorize  (by heart) every lyric of songs that you hear. And those were the days when keeping a journal was the “in” thing to do because you get to write all your secrets there. Ah, the joys of teenage life, the bittersweet experience of a heartbreak. And you believed that you could write tons of poems and hide  them somewhere in an old shoebox lined with a pretty gift-wrapping paper.

They’re playing Dan Fogelberg’s  Leader of the Band now. Back then, I was fascinated by someone who could really play the guitar so well,  James Taylor was a favorite too.  I attempted to learn to play the guitar  and bought every issue  of those Jingle chordbook  magazines by saving some of my meager allowance. The pin-up feature of various artists was something to look forward to.

Reminiscing and  finding joy in it. And the years are like a slide show of events that pass through a screen and you laugh and smile or even shed a tear or two. Such is life, an unending road of discoveries. Gosh, I will celebrate my birthday in exactly a week from now.  Growing old, remembering the passing years and keeping in one’s memory the joys and bliss that life brings. And always  reminding  yourself  that the life-changing events were part of the growing up years.

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The moment I woke up, a lovely song was humming in my head. I always love the month of  April despite the heat because it brings back memories of long ago. April 1st, April dream. Then I think of Dionne Warwick belting out the song  April Fools. Yes, I particularly love her version of it. It’s pure happiness in a song.

In an April dream
Once she came to me
When you smiled I looked into your eyes
And I knew I’d be loving you
and then you touched my hand
And I learned April dreams can come true

Oh are we just April fools
Who can’t see all the danger around us
If we’re just April fools
I don’t care, true love has found us now

Little did we know
Where the road would lead
Here we are a million miles away from the past
Travelin’ so fast now
There’s no turning back
If our sweet April dream doesn’t last

Are we just April fools
Who can’t see all the danger around us
If we’re just April fools
I don’t care, we’ll find our way somehow
No need to be afraid
True love has found us now.

So here I am borrowing the tune from YouTube.  Hello April, what have you got in store for me?

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I watched Kris.tv this morning, one of those rare times that I get to sit in front of the television for an early morning show. I am glad I did because I liked her guests, Janice de Belen and her kids with ex-hubby John Estrada. It was a thrill to watch them, three lovely girls and her bunso, a John Estrada look-alike but he has a charm of his own. We all know that Janice de  Belen has gone through so much in life but watching her and her lovely kids during the interview,  you would surmise that she is a very strong woman and I admire her for that. She said that it was only last year that she found herself again without her kids knowing that she cries when they are asleep. She cooks and it is so obvious that she is so proud of her kids.

Motherhood! What a sweet word and yet it entails a lot of responsibilities  but still you embrace it with love. Time and again, I’ve shared some blogs on being a mother but now I relish the thought of being a grandma ….in less than two months. It is quite exciting to see your kids finally having one of their own. How you brought them up would reflect on how they will tackle the responsibilities of married life and all.  I am also looking forward to having baby Nate to play with, and to pamper (just a little, maybe).

“It takes a Mother’s love to make a house a home, a place to be remembered, no matter where we roam.”  That’s a quote from Helen Steiner Rice.

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