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Archive for the ‘family’ Category


The very first time I blogged about you, I wrote this

 “I’m just so proud of you baby. You make my heart swell with love. So what they say is true, having a grandson is one of the best things that can ever happen in one’s life. The joys of seeing you at last – unconditional love, immeasurable happiness”

On your first birthday, I wrote this letter to you:

“HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY darling baby Nate. Yeay, and you are counting 🙂 How time flies, now you can walk on your own even if they’re just baby steps. It’s time to see the world from a higher place and discover many, many things dear to your heart.

I can’t believe it, was it only a year ago when your Dad and I patiently waited for you to see the world and hear your first cry? Was it only a year ago when your mom excitedly showed us your pictures while she was in the delivery room even if she was groggy from anesthesia? And I promised myself I would write about your growing up years. You’re one year old now and we’ll have more days, months and years to discover the world through your eyes. And may you grow to be strong, smart, healthy and loving and may you continue to possess that innocence so endearing to see in a lovable child that you are. And I wish you all the precious things that a loving Nonna could wish for”.

I love you baby, you are God’s greatest gift to us. We are indeed blessed having you in our lives. Again, happy birthday!

In between, we celebrated your birthdays  in different settings. You have your first airplane ride when you were two. It’s now your seventh year and you have made us proud being a smart, kind, warm, loving and lovable kid,

 

I remember you telling me when we went out during my birthday last month that you won’t have a party since your trip to Singapore and Legoland Malaysia was your gift from your mom and dad. You even said that you have no more money since you bought Lego toys there.  Did you enjoy the trip? It was a big “yes” shout from you.

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So proud of my  nephew.

I talked to my youngest brother a while ago and we talked of the kids. They live in Tulsa. My nephew is graduating in Architecture at the end of December. It took him only four and a half years to complete a five-year course. He usually take summer jobs and two of them offered him a job right after graduation.  Two job offers…wow!

I am so proud of him. He was offered a salary even higher than what my brother is getting.  Wow! When he qualifies after his training and apprenticeship, that might even be doubled.  Right now, he is doing some rendering and teaching autocad at the university where he is studying.

Ah, the pleasure one gets when you see your kids finish their schooling and be successful.  My niece, the oldest of the three kids is a full-pledged nurse and the youngest is studying Astronomy. According to my brother, he wants to become a scientist.

“You’re blessed and lucky“, I said. His kids are really doing well. My niece together with some of her friends in the medical field visit Haiti regularly.  She finds it fulfilling to do those missions and render help to the kids there.

My brother and I were joking. He was asking about my birthday. I told him in jest, “Don’t send me  a gift, send dollars instead”. He laughed and we were laughing over the phone like crazy. He wants to go home and take a vacation here.  I hope he does. We haven’t seen each other since Dad died.

The joys of getting in touch with family…..priceless 🙂

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I can’t contain my joy. Nissa messaged me  a while ago and said she has been promoted to being a Manager at Bank of the Phil. Islands effective July 01, 2019.  She’s been waiting for this for quite a while since she’s been an Asst. Manager for a number of years.

CONGRATULATIONS NISSA!

Today is also the 168th anniversary of Bank of the Philippine Islands. I remember the early morning masses every year that BPI celebrates during its anniversary, the free key chains…haha (have lots of those). I miss your portals.

Bank of PI was founded in 1851, hence we used to have the 1851 Club. They are in the process of building a new head office at the same site where we used to have the old building.  It is the fourth largest bank in terms of assets, the second largest bank in terms of market capitalization, It is the fourth largest bank in terms of assets, the second largest bank in terms of market capitalization. The bank has a network of over 900 branches in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Europe, and more than 3,000 ATMs and CDMs (cash deposit machines).

Proud to be a unibanker here. I worked at the bank for more than twenty one years. Nissa’s hubby Obet also works as Senior Manager at the bank. Unibankers all 🙂

Going back to Nissa’s promotion, it’s so timely. Maybe in due time, they could now transfer to their new home in another area. There are so many things to do yet but the house is well-built and have a lovely facade. They still need divisions for bedrooms and another additional room.

I am proud of my kids. Josef has been recently promoted to a managerial position too. Their achievements are also mine.

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Hello friends. I’m back….finally. Seems like I’ve forgotten how to blog. Everything seems new to my eyes.

I spent a week with my brother who is still at the hospital until now. He is scheduled for a CT scan procedure tomorrow morning. I read the result of of his ultrasound but the lingo is foreign to my ears. They found cysts in his liver. Hoping and praying everything would be okay and the nodules are not malignant. It is still a long journey for him getting well and all. He has become too thin for my liking and he looks older than his real age. Besides,  his blood sugar is a bit not on the normal level. So glad though that he has a little appetite now compared to the first two weeks of his illness.

To think that I am older than him by almost five years. I gave him a brown scapular. He was teary-eyed when I placed it on his neck.

With a niece, Josef, Nissa, another niece and a cousin. Taken when we arrived at the hospital. Nissa, Josef and I went straight there when we arrived. They stayed overnight.

I remember my own ordeal ten years ago. IVs has been non-stop, his arms are full of needle marks, antibiotics and other medications are injected into the IV.

Once again I want to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for my brother.  May you all be blessed.

 

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I was boiling water for afternoon tea, contemplating on what life is all about and looking at the robust orange bulb plants I planted in pots outside  our grill door. when two airplanes passed by. One was going north and the other one was going south to where our airports are located. Our place is on the east side of  Metro Manila so their path is always this way. It made me think of those people inside those two planes. The one going north made me ask myself, “where are they going? Are they leaving their families behind seeking greener pastures abroad? Are they tourists out to discover new places?” And  I can’t help thinking too, the family of those going to the airport must be so happy that they’ll be seeing their kins again or maybe they come from other places and would love to visit the Philippines.

I was busy this morning catching up with my two brothers and sis-in-law online and through calls and texts. My brother next to me has been sick for almost two weeks now, on and off fever, acute UTI and raised blood sugar. I was alarmed.  They’ve been to the doctor thrice with labs and medications. My youngest brother whose family lives in Tulsa called me up through Viber and we had a long chat about life, our family, my other brother’s illness and life here in the Philippines compared to the US where they have been living for more than twenty years now.

He bragged about making Tupig, our favorite kakanin  (sweet delicacies) back in the province.  He said he hasn’t tasted one for so many years now so he made his own. I borrowed the photos he posted earlier.

We call this tupig in our dialect.

It’s made of sticky rice powder, coconut cream, fresh grated young coconut or what we call buko locally, a little sugar and margarine to wipe the banana leaves before wrapping the mixture so it won’t stick when it’s cooked.

Then you have to grill them until they are cooked.

 

There, it is nicely done and he said it tasted better than the commercial ones we used to buy when we go back home to the province. I have never attempted preparing this but I will try it one of these days.

My brother is a great cook. He also experiments on other desserts native to our country. Maybe he misses  his land of birth. It’s another afternoon of reminiscing.

 

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Oh my, all I  did this morning was to cook breakfast and to hear mass. A Blessed Solemnity of Holy Trinity Sunday to all.

Josef and Jovy left early for their weekend visits to Jovy’s  grandma. I really feel so lazy. My computer was open since 6am but I was not even wont to check my posts.

We were not able to see Nate yesterday. They went to the doctor because he had fever and cough. We just talked over the phone. This weather makes everyone sick with  colds and flu. Josef had just had his flu vaccine the other day. He also had severe cough but is somehow okay now.

I ended up cooking chop suey for lunch instead of fried chicken and baked marble potatoes. I made  a pitcher of sago’t gulaman instead of having soft drinks which is full of sugar. Then we had this for appetizer, fresh ararosep from the market. Sometimes they call it sea grapes or lato in Tagalog.

In Pangasinan, we call this ararosep.

Mixed with fresh cut tomatoes, diced onion and diced fresh ginger, it’s perfect for appetizer.  I used to feature my regular seaweed finds in the market.

Have a pleasant week ahead guys.

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It’s Nate’s first day as a grade schooler. Another milestone for our baby. He is really so tall for his age.

Compare the above photo when he started in nursery class when he was just around three and a half.

Three years of schooling before reaching grade school.  My gosh, and there are twelve years before one graduates in high school or Grade 12. Four or five years further on to college.

 

 

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Yes, it is another family day with just Nissa, Nate and Oreo for company. Josef has an overtime work today.

I am simply amazed by  Nate’s appetite nowadays. He is a little chubby compared to the last time we saw each other during his graduation in kindergarten.

I cooked fried chicken wings and spaghetti for lunch.  He ate three fried chicken wings, a little rice and a plate of spaghetti. Shared a bar of chocolate with Nissa later,  then King Crab crackers plus  two bottles of Mogo Mogo. Then a few hours  ago, he said he was hungry again. Nissa cooked some eggs and hot dog...kain ulit siya with fried rice. WOW.  He even finished the bowl of fried garlic rice a little later.

Nissa said, “tumaba siya ano Ma?” He does not want that word “mataba” (fat), he frowned at both of us.

Ah, I said, “malusog”.

Malusog is mataba din”, he told us.

“No“, I said. Malusog means healthy.

We weren’t able to take pictures because both of us were busy talking while Nissa took a nap. I told him about the snake I saw a few days ago and he told me about the big snake he saw at the zoo. He even remembers that time he soiled his Pampers while they were in the car. We were laughing while he was making “kwento”.

Nissa is really so thoughtful. Got more “pasalubong” from her – two bottles of Nivea Body Milk, Jeju Aloe Ice Soothing Gel and Novena pamphlet to St. Camillus de Lellis (Patron of the sick, nurses and hospitals) with a handkerchief prayer attached. They are so lucky, they always get to see visiting relics at the Manila Cathedral.

Thank you Sang, love them all!

And Saturday is always a thrill when Nate is here.

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I remember the event we had last Saturday,  Nate’s graduation from kindergarten.

We had our lunch at Dampa Seaside in Pasay City, a more than an hour trip from our place. We were fifteen in all including Obet’s parents, brothers, sister and in-laws plus the grandkids.  Obet and Nissa rented a private room in one of the restaurants complete with videoke. This is the second time that I ate in this place. The idea is you have to buy fresh produce from the nearby wet market and the staff of the restaurant would cook them for you anyway you want. Most of it of course are fresh seafood and meat too. If you love seafood, this is the place for you. Dampa Seaside is perhaps the largest seaside market in Metro Manila. One good thing is, the place is very  near hotels and shopping malls.

 Seaside Dampa Macapagal in Manila, Philippines. Photo culled from the net

We brought Oreo along.  Nate and the other kids had a grand time playing with him.

“What’s his name?” Hermie asked.

“Oreo”, Josef said.

“Oreo  parang yung biscuits na Oreo?” Hermie asked further.

“Yap”, Josef answered.

We all laughed.

Josef and I tried the videoke too while Nate was busy playing with his toys, gifts from his mom and dad and Nissa’s sis-in-law. More Lego toys….haha!

cousins

Funny moments, precious hours bonding together. Lovely  time with family.

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Can’t wait to share this. Josef, members  of Obet’s immediate family and I attended Nate’s graduation blow-out after a two-hour ceremony where he garnered  almost all the awards given this school year for Kindergarten 2.  Nonna is so proud of this little guy. He led the prayers of the graduates earlier.  Nissa took lots of pictures and videos but I just love these two. Will post some of the pictures later on my blog about Nate. Next school year, he’ll be in Grade one.

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