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Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


I was about to start gardening but there was this sudden drizzle enough to wet the grass but not enough to water the plants. It made  me quite lazy to garden and played with our three dogs instead.  I haven’t taken any picture with the three of them together since they run around when I am in the garden.  I tried my tab’s camera to take a few shots though.

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Haha, they are camera-shy.  I often read in the garden  using my tab and sometimes they are curious enough to see what I am doing, short of wanting to take a sip of my coffee or tea. Sometimes I feed them a day-old pandesal and they like it.

Most of my garden blooms now are my orange and pink-striped lilies. I replanted some plants early this morning and trimmed my overgrown bleeding hearts.

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They are not as clear as those I take with my Canon camera  and it is not so easy to focus the subject when you would like to take macro shots. Such is the limit of a lower  megapixel.

My blackberries are thriving nicely. I planted five of them in  a row behind the house. Oh, and the spicy and sweet aroma of the oregano mixed with  minty  smell of basil  which I planted in a pot – heaven. Add  the lemony scent of my Calamansi flowers and you’ll get the feel of a small garden where you can stay for a while, write a few lines or two or just watch the world go by.

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Yesterday was Sto. Nino’s Feast Day. It’s a very important celebration for all Catholics in our country. Josef and I went to Tondo, Manila to visit Nissa’s family and her in-laws. I am amazed of my daughter’s familiarity with the place since  she got married more than four years ago. Whereas before I only heard of Tondo, slowly I am getting to know the place now. We met Nissa in front of the Tutuban Center. She  takes jogging to heart and regularly frequents the place on Sunday mornings  to take Zumba class and jog. It was quite lovely to see joggers with their pets in tow. I also discovered that going via that route is easier than taking a connecting train ride.  We had a hearty breakfast at Jollibee before proceeding to their place.

The Feast of Sto. Nino is almost a week-long celebration in most areas where the image of the child Jesus is their patron. Dawn processions, masses held in His honor,  lots of food, programs and dancing at the town plaza and having so many balikbayans from all over the world add to the festive spirit of celebrating.  Yesterday was also our town fiesta where I was born.

In Tondo, almost all streets were filled with people and it was quite hard to take a commute going back to Tutuban  Center  to take another LRT ride home to our place. Josef and I walked from Tutuban To Recto, my first long exercise since the start of the year.

I finally got my two copies of Richard Paul Evan’s books left by a friend with Nissa before going back to the USA after a two-week vacation.  Got two more key rings , with the  Statue of Liberty depicted beautifully in them. It is my first time to have key rings in New York.

Seeing Nate again was the  highlight of our visit. He was afraid of the dragon dancers in the streets but he was so happy showing off that he is a werewolf with matching sounds to boot.

Such a happy occasion for the family. How was your Sunday?

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Nate is such a funny guy. He was so happy seeing all those gifts that he had to open last Christmas eve and was very excited to taste the  simple spread we prepared for our Noche Buena. Nothing fancy but just a simple meal shared  with the family.  It was a ‘Special Day’  after all.

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Reminiscing  Christmas  Eve 2015.

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Gosh, where have I been the past few days?

I don’t want to whine since it is the beginning of the Christmas season but apart from the endless shocking news in our part of the world, our internet connection has become oh so slow, slower than an aging turtle on the move. I could not even see those photos attached to several blogs that I follow and to think that is not enough, my old PC is acting up again.I am grateful though that I haven’t lost all those people who visit my blog. I have now reached a total of 375,260 hits as of this writing. I know, for some bloggers, this would not matter much but it’s okay, at least I know that even if most of them are not my followers, they visit my blog and read what I write. For a blogger, that means you’re not alone in cyberspace ranting or sharing your dreams. I treasure so many online friends here who also share their thoughts with me, they are the reason why this blog still exists.

Life has become such that a day won’t be complete without visiting at least one social media or reading news online.  It makes me a little sad that for some people, texting is more acceptable than actual conversation and updating your wall on Facebook about the daily happenings in your life is more the “in” thing to do than calling or conversing with your loved ones. I know, I know, you would say, it can’t be helped because getting in touch  with them through this medium is faster and easier too. We are enslaved by time and that’s a fact. We worry that a day won’t be enough to do all the things we want to do. I know, sometimes I am guilty of this.

Josef and I usually linger at the dining table updating each other about anything under the sun. We talk about politics and he keeps asking me why I don’t blog about it.  I told him I might not be able to control myself and say things I’ll regret later. We talk about sports, basketball especially since we are both excited for the championship win between our alma mater, University of  Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University. We talk about his training at JP Morgan Chase and how different it is from his previous work. Oh yes, we talk about Christmas past and how we will celebrate it this year. With Nate around, it would surely be a blast no matter how simple it is.

I welcome December with so much anticipation and hope for better days ahead. My little sparrows are back, greeting me each morning with their lovely songs. What more could I ask for?

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♫♪And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart♪♪♫

Yes, my favorite time of the year is almost here.  Next Sunday is the start of the Advent season, the beginning of another liturgical calendar, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus.  I love the ritual of praying and watching the lighting of the first Advent candle, it signals the official start of the most joyous season of the year.

I am glad there is always YouTube to provide the music, I won’t have to take out all the Christmas CDs  which are usually mixed with other DVDs the kids have accumulated through the years. Listening to Christmas carols all day long, singing  along and belting out those familiar tunes and inspiring words. Truly, it warms the heart. I love the Christmas album of the Günter Kallman Choir, the cool voice of Johnny Mathis, the romantic way our very own  Jose Marie Chan sings his Christmas compositions, Jason Mraz’ version of Winter Wonderland and the Pilipino Christmas songs from way back which speak of how we Filipinos celebrate Christmas. The latter would make you dance, stomp your feet and sing the familiar Tagalog lyrics.  Talk of tinolang manok, lechon, salabat, bibingka, puto bungbong, hot tsokolate and such recipes and delicacies that you can only find here. The joys of meeting friends and relatives, the fun of watching little kids singing their versions of Christmas carols and shouts of “namamasko po” and your shouts of “patawad” because there are no more loose coins in your pocket.

Gifts are wrapped finally but I think I would have to make another trip to the mall for those I haven’t marked on my list yet. We have put up some Christmas decorations but don’t have the lights yet anywhere outside the house. And it is this time of year that I am sure Nate would love to celebrate with us. He is three years old now and can appreciate even small gifts that he receives. I love how his eyes light up and his whole face transforms into a smile while uttering a single word “wow”.

Hmmm….now I’m counting! Did I say there are twenty-nine days to go before Christmas?

 

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I thought it would be easy to buy a gift for Nate now that he is turning three (next Sunday) but I was in a quandary what to buy for him, a choice between books, toys or something he can wear. I was like a top toy on a slow spin while choosing what to buy for him that I know he would like. He loves toys but those race cars would only stay good for a few days then it would just be the remote control that is functioning. He loves caps and bonnets and face mask toys for kids. Make them all represent his favorite characters this side of the planet.  Last year, his favorite was Mickey Mouse, he even had a Mickey Mouse designed cake on his second birthday then Nissa bought him a big  Micky Mouse stuff toy (bigger than he was) for Christmas. Next thing I learned he loved Spider Man then  it was Minion toys.  He has two favorites though,  two small plastic robots that he plays with when he is here. No harm with breaking except perhaps an arm twisted too much because he makes them fight each other. Next thing you know, he will probably be asking for an astronaut suit because being an astronaut is his dream at the moment. He was happy with the F1 racer suit that Nissa bought for him to wear last Halloween.

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Sorry, I got lost there somewhere. After a few rounds of going here and there inside the children’s section of the department store, I finally found it.  I know he would love this , he can use it when they travel. It’s unfortunate though that he can’t  use it  yet when they go up to Baguio tomorrow for a three-day trip. Maybe, he would be able to experience pony-riding again and enjoy  a boat ride at Burnham Park. The cool weather there is just perfect for activities outdoors.

I was supposed to buy some Christmas gifts too for the family but I can’t stand Sunday when there are so many shoppers in all corners of the mall. I ended up buying  a birthday gift and a Christmas gift just for him. It’s one item off my list.

Celebrating birthdays and Christmas, the heart is glad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ah, to remember those days of old. They make you smile  and nostalgic of course. Taking a trip  down memory lane to the max :)

Nissa called me up early this morning looking for a box where she put some CDs, a copy of their wedding invites and baby pictures which their official photographer used during their wedding reception. All of our photo albums were flooded six years ago when typhoon Ondoy hit Metro Manila. My son painstakingly wiped dry all our photos and collated those which can still be saved.  I looked at the photos she chose for the video, some are frayed at the edges but they evoked memories.

Nissa was around five or six here and Josef was 3.

Nissa was around five or six here and Josef was 3.

Then I found this too, mixed with their baby pictures.  A former office mate took this shot years ago when I was still with BPI.

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“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
– ansel adams

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