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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


Maybe those old songs that I played on YouTube triggered it. I don’t know but those times when we were kids seemed so vivid in my memory.

My two brothers and I lived in the province when we were growing up until we graduated in grade school when Dad decided to transfer us to the University of Sto. Tomas where we finished high school and  college.   During our younger  days, Mom used to go to Metro Manila to be with Dad and we were left in the care of my maternal grandmother and my unmarried aunt.  We lived in their old ancestral house with two older cousins.   My aunt just visited our house every day to water the plants and to feed  the chickens in our yard. Those were the days, I could recall them now.

I wonder what’s with Royal True Orange and crackers. I remember that when we get sick, we would have a bottle of Royal True Orange and  crackers by our bedside.  Back then,  the doctor in our town makes home visits.   I wonder how he managed to divide his time between those home visits and caring for other sick people who visits the Municipal Health Center.  There is always a ready tube of Liberol Ointment when we get colds. I wonder if it is still in the market until now but it was very effective for chest and back rub for us.  It’s been decades since I saw a tube of that liniment.

My oldest aunt (Mom’s side) had a sari-sari store in the barrio where we lived before.  Fancy having those Vicks candies with free plastic rings inside. My girl cousin and I would collect different colors and put them on our fingers. The world of kids. I also remember those crunchy but hard biscuits  my aunt used to sell per piece. They were shaped like bracelets.

I also remember this – madre  cacao. My dad used them as perimeter fence in our property there in the province. They produce lovely flowers  during  the summer months and we would use the young stems to curl our hair and make them wavy.   We had annatto seeds  to color our lips even if the fresh seeds are pungent.  Back then I didn’t even know that the dried seeds and extracted annatto oil  were used as food color.  I only knew of their use when Dad introduced me in the kitchen.

When we were kids, my oldest brother and I were fond of climbing trees in our backyard. We had guava trees, star apples and tamarind trees.  We would gather  ripe cashews and  save the seeds which contain the nuts inside.   We would roast them and eat the hot nuts.  We sometimes eat the ripe yellow fruit, slice it thinly and put a little salt on top.   Duhat fruits or Java plums are plenty during the summer months.  There will always be a duhat tree in the backyard or at our neighbor’s which we used to climb back then. Locally, the fruits  are called lomboy.

Ah, the times we enjoyed those early years and I am right here reminiscing.

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A friend once said, “time does not walk, it runs”.

Yes, time flies! And before we know it, the month of May will be gone.  Time does not tarry, it just goes on. Yesterday was another lovely day of celebrating. We opted to eat out for lunch to celebrate Mother’s Day a week after. It was the only time Nissa’s family was available.  How nice to dine at Savory Restaurant after almost three decades of  going in one of their branches.  They have a new branch at SM East Ortigas Mall so we tried it. The price of  the food is still reasonable after all these years.

I discovered this lovely quaint shop called Miniso, a Japanese store. It’s one of Nissa’s favorite stores.  It has been there since SM Ortigas opened last December but I didn’t notice or maybe it’s because I  seldom go window shopping. They have skin care and beauty products, food and drinks, kikay kits, hair accessories, jewelries, head phones, phone holders, keyboards, clothing etc. You name those small things dear to a woman’s heart and they are all displayed there. They have more than a thousand branches worldwide since they opened back in 2013. I told Nissa that one of these days, I would go back. I bought a face mask, so different from the ones I usually buy at Mercury drug stores. You can even choose a design to your  liking.  I don’t go out without face mask on. The air in Metro Manila is not safe and healthy. Pollution from cars, buses, jeepneys and what have you are things you encounter if you are a daily commuter.

It was also one of those weekends that I was inspired again to bake cookies. I made a whole lot of chocolate raisin cookies. Nate said it was yummy. I reduced the sugar by half since the raisins and chocolate baking bits are  already sweet.  We still have some left, just perfect for those cups of tea or coffee.

The joy of discovery, the joy of baking, the joy of bonding with family….another priceless weekend.

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Last Saturday, Josef and I chanced upon fresh guavas in the market.  They were a bit costly though because I think guavas are not really in season now. But I was longing for sometime, Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas.  You may call sinigang fish stew or soup which may be flavored with sour ingredients like tomatoes, tamarind, vinegar or what have you.  You add green pepper for the taste. Bayabas is guava in Tagalog. Wow, it tasted simply wonderful.

I paired it with  crunchy fried zucchini as appetizer. What a lovely Saturday lunch we had.

I heard  Nate  shout over the phone “Happy Mother’s Day Nonna, Happy Birthday” early morning yesterday I laughed.  Maybe he equates mother’s day with celebrating birthdays too. We were not able to see  each other yesterday because Nissa’s family had lunch with her in-laws. That’s okay though because we will have a late family  celebration  Saturday next. Nate just finished his one-week kiddy training workshop at McDo last Friday and he was awarded a certificate being The Best of the Best. I had it on a separate blog post here. So proud o him. He did it on his own.

I so love weekends.  Family bonding is still the best.

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He repeatedly said during his homily, “for every success of a man, there is a mother behind”.  It was the essence of Fr. JP’s homily early this morning.  He gave  special blessings to all mothers who attended the mass today.

There was this boy who came home crying. At the gate, his mother asked what happened.  He said that he didn’t want to go to school anymore. His mother assured him that she’ll teach him at home. He was principally educated at home by his mom who was a teacher.  He became a world-famous figure. He was the most prolific inventor in American  history and amassed a record of more than 1,000 patents  in different fields. He is Thomas  Alba Edison.

For every success of a man, there is a mother behind. May I repeat that? For every success of a man, there is a loving mother behind.  She is the one who motivates a child to become someone, she patiently teaches values  and instill those good manners to her children. We seldom see a mom who is not that concerned with her growing up kids. Once you embrace motherhood, I think that’s a given.

Over the years, the celebration of Mother’s Day, just like Christmas has been commercialized. Fancy those department stores brandishing their wares to vulnerable shoppers  during Mother’s Day. Gifts are lovely but of course but it is not only during Mother’s Day that we should show our love for our mothers.  Every day, we have the opportunity to love them and think of them always. We are lucky if we still have our moms around. We are blessed if we could still talk to each other and share important events in our lives. No matter how commercialized the occasion has become, I think most mothers would still want to celebrate it and be recognized in their efforts to care, teach and love their children well.

Greet your moms, it’s their special day today.

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I spent the early part of the morning going over my several albums at Photobucket.  It’s where I keep most of the pictures I took several years ago with my previous cameras  and some photos Nissa sent me over at Viber and those taken on my tab.  I have a hard drive which I keep as backup for all our photos since I learned how to manipulate a camera.

Since Nate was born, we took thousands of photos of his growing years. I like those when he was still a baby particularly always holding a baby milk bottle in his hands. I like those shots when he learned to appreciate children’s books. I love those photos where he learned to explore and some of them were captured on simple one or two-minute videos. Caught him dancing and singing at the same time.  Kids could make  a melody on their own and put some awkward lyrics in the process. It is so easy for them to do so.  There were videos of him attending other kids’ birthday parties dancing with so much gusto.

Last Saturday, we played together as usual. He has toys here which we always take out when they are around. He counted his blocks while we tried matching and identifying the colors. He will be in kindergarten this coming school year. “Are you now going  to a big school?“I asked him.  He shook his head and answered, ” I don’t want to go to a big school, I like teacher Kaye”.  He was referring to one of his teachers in nursery.  Kids do know how to return favors with loving and  kind teachers.  He had a phobia when the summer last year, Nissa tried to enroll him  for about a week in a school near their place. He didn’t like the teacher.  He said the teacher shouted at her students. Young as he is, he is observant.

Memories in photographs, the art of frozen time, the ability to keep those moments alive and real.  Savoring life with thousands of photographs. Don’t you just love them?

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It seems like it was only yesterday  and yet it is Sunday again. Time travels so fast.

I miss reading  the Sunday papers,  I used to subscribe when dad was alive. Early Sunday mornings would always be a cup of instant coffee and Philippine Star. I don’t subscribe anymore since I always don’t get to read it anyway. Besides, when you eat an early breakfast at Jollibee, the morning paper comes free.  For so many Sundays now, we always attend the 6:30 am masses in town.  There are always online sites for national dailies if one wants to be updated with the headlines which almost always deals with extra-judicial killings. It’s not really good to be reading those news reports that only make you feel that the present government is doing nothing.  I pity my country, in nine months since their president occupied Malacanang, it’s one big ride downwards.

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day in the Catholic Church.  It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. I will always remember my former boss at the bank, she was the one who initiated that we pray the 3 O’clock Prayer to the  Divine Mercy every day. I’ve come to memorize the prayer. This hour of Great Mercy  promises tremendous grace in our lives.

So yesterday was a  family celebration  of Mom’s birthday.  It’s one of those day worth-remembering again not so much of the food (though we have plenty of it) but more of the camaraderie and the laughter when our baby Nate is around. I think he will always be the life of a party.  I have some food magazines here and Nate pointed at one of the covers and told his dad that he wanted something similar to eat soon. It’s a colorful array of veggies and meat on the side. We laughed while he pointed at the photo.  Sometimes kids are taken by colors  although they are the first to figure out that a certain taste is not to their liking.  I am glad that Nate eat his vegetables more than her daddy does 🙂

Have I told you that I finally changed my Aldiko e-reader to Moonreader?  Moonreader seems the better option for my e-books, it is easier to navigate  and to follow.  Since I started reading e-books a few years ago, it has always been Aldiko but I guess it is no longer that user-friendly on my tab. I wonder sometimes that despite an outer device with a 10 gb to boot, I still get the message, the space it not enough to upgrade apps. The only apps I installed earlier when I didn’t have  my computer before was the BPI and WordPress. The tab comes with all those pre-installed apps that you cannot delete but are upgraded from time to time Facebook included.  never mind, I only ever use it for reading and for paying household bills online. I want to buy a camera first before changing my tab.  One of these days, maybe.

 

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Had to wake up early to go to the supermarket to buy ingredients for the  birthday celebration we are planning for Mom tomorrow. SM East Ortigas Supermarket opens early at 7am every day. So convenient for early shopping. When it comes to a simple celebration, we always prefer home-cooked meals.  Sirloin steak, chicken lollipop, barbecue, baked potato marble and Filipino style spaghetti.  When we celebrate birthdays at home, there is always Chines bihon  (pansit) or spaghetti on the side. Yesterday, I cooked pansit  for mom, for the two of us actually, had it for lunch and merienda.

I wanted to bake some cookies since I have those M & M baking bits given by a friend last week but I feel so lazy to jot down what to buy, maybe when Mom goes home, I will.  We’ll just have store-bought cake for dessert.  I haven’t done any baking lately, trying to avoid sugar and too much carb. I have been to my internist for my month follow-up check-up the other day. No more lab tests, thank God but my medicine for BP was changed to a higher dose. Though the doctor’s fee is free because of my JP Morgan health card, the cost of medicines is sky-high.  I have to take four kinds of medications every day for I don’t know how long but I feel good.  Gone are the earlier days of always making a mistake when I am in front of the computer blogging. My fingers are quite steady now.

I talked to Nate last night. He was shouting that we will see them again soon. Yes, they are coming over for lunch tomorrow. Nissa offered to cook spaghetti.  When we cook spaghetti, it is not just from a can, we make sure that we buy fresh ingredients to go with it.

Looking forward to another family bonding.

 

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