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I had a good chat with a former officemate from the bank and also a schoolmate from wayback high school. She was ahead of me by two years but I knew her because she was very popular back then.

I haven’t seen her for twenty years (since I left the bank) but we recently found each other on Facebook.  What do two good friends talk about after all these years? Several, we touched on our faith, our kids, our hobbies at the moment and the happenings in the government that we both hate. There seems to be a common denominator when it comes to our views on how this country is being run.

For the first time, I watched our Vice-President  Leni Robredo attend the Congress hearing for the budget next year. Recognizing her  inspiring role as VP since she was elected back in 2016, her achievements and projects during this pandemic to help Filipinos, both the opposition and the pro-administration legislators are seeking higher budget for the Office of the Vice-President (OVP).  She received the highest audit rating from the Commission on Audit in 2019. The OVP has the lowest budget appropriation for the last two years. The Vice President said the OVP initially proposed a P720-million budget for 2021, but the Department of Budget and Management set a budget ceiling at P679.74 million.  She was helped by the private sector in all her projects. They’d rather extend their hands to her than to…. you know who. Whatever they come up with and approve is okay with  VP Leni.

“We make do with what we have. That has always been the case with the Office of the Vice President… Of course we will be able to help more people if we are given more. But whatever is given to us, we work with that budget,” VP Leni said. She is a frontliner, not a politician.  We have this notion that VPs are only the spare wheels of the president, right? But VP Leni is doing her job well. Some call her Busy President.

 

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Today


culled from the net

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne

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Fr. Louie, the chief administrator of our page, Filipino Catholic is so fond of having those games online which he posts every day for his friends to answer. Sometimes, he just posts photos of sellers whose products are named and misspelled incorrectly and we just laugh. A few minutes ago, he posted some photos of our native fruits which are now seldom seen in the market nowadays. It reminds me of those days some years ago, when most members of our page enjoyed our group called Tambayan. We had those hot seats where most members are allowed to question one particular member – anything goes. It was fun.

Our page, the Filipino Catholic has been in existence for ten years now and I was appointed by Fr. Louie as one of the admins a few months after he created it. Back then, he was still studying for his doctorate degree in Rome. We are still at it until now and we have added another admin a few months ago. We are four in all taking care and running the site at Facebook. It’s one reason why I could not give up Facebook because I have to update daily Bible readings for our members. One good thing about it is that we have loyal followers.

Some of them have become my friends over the years and those who are residing abroad who are OFWs sometimes contact me and I invite them to visit me here. We always have those nice and lovely chats about their works and our families, serious discussions about our Catholic faith, food and many more. We had two previous gatherings at Santo Domingo Church – the joy of seeing each other personally and sharing our meager talents in making the events successful. What bliss!

I met a friend who used to work in the US but she has come back home and retired here. Odette is the one who regularly supplies me with those lovely favorite books over the years. She is a member of our page.

I miss seeing them personally, not just through messages on FB. I miss those days of laughter and sharing our lives with each other. Come to think of it, I haven’t ventured out of our gate for almost three months now. The number of those found positive of COVID-19 is still rising every day. May we be all spared from this pandemic.

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I found this on my newsfeed a few moments ago. Too good not to share it.

from dailynet.co

Friendship, that one word that makes the world go round.  I have my share of friends for almost half a century now and I love it that we still get in touch after all these years. And yes, my high friends are still there too. We have regular reunions every three years but I don’t always get to attend.

Doesn’t it feel wonderful when you find someone who is attuned with what happens in your life? Don’t you find it beautiful when they are by your side through thick and thin ?  Isn’t it lovely when someone laughs and cries with  you?  We are one big family.

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Odette, a friend, surprised me with a visit and gave me a brand new hardbound copy of Richard Paul Evans’ latest book entitled Noel Street. She is so thoughtful when it comes to providing me with books by my favorite authors. She gave me several books and blank journals in the past years. I introduced Richard Paul Evans’ works to her and since then she had provided me with copies that are not sold here. And she likes the works of RPE too. It’s always a “one copy for me, one copy for her”. Her kids who are based abroad know this 🌝🥰☺

I enjoyed our chats while we had dinner at KFC near our place. We both wanted to avoid the traffic so KFC was our best choice. She even bought a barrel of chicken and side dishes to bring home to Josef.

I love unexpected meetings. They are priceless moments that a friendship brings.

When friends meet, hearts warm👭🌺🍻

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What a lovely way to spend Monday morning attending mass online. St. Paul  Media have daily masses now. Fr. Pao, who is a friend on Facebook was the mass presider. What a lovely homily. He said and I quote:

For those who believe, no sign is necessary,

For those who do not believe, no sign is possible.

Good news are always welcome. I learned this morning that our family friend Fr. Aly is transferring as parish priest to our town, Our Lady of Light Parish. Years ago, that was back in 1995, he was an assistant vicar at the said parish and he was the one who was assigned to bless our home. He was just about two years into the priesthood. He became our friend, the kids loved his stories about seminary life when  he  visited us in several occasions in the past.  He was then transferred to three more parishes in other cities and towns in our province. He was the one who officiated at Nissa’s wedding eight years ago. I messaged him a while ago and he said he will be here in Cainta by November 11. What a blessing! It is always nice to get in touch with old friends. Looking forward to meeting him again soon.

Yesterday was quite a busy one for me. I spent the afternoon weeding and trimming our snake plants outside our fence. My goodness, these people who pass by our place (it is a corner lot  very near one of our inner gates in the subdivision) are so careless with their trash – cigarette butts, candy wrappers, plastic with straws  from soft drinks they buy in nearby sari-sari stores. Did you know that cigarette butts are the most common form of plastic litter in the world? Our place has the same problem. They just throw their litter haphazardly about the place and our outside garden is not spared from it. I wonder when they’ll be disciplined enough to dispose of their trash properly.

I’ve always said that those trash that you throw with not a care about the environment would eventually come back. When the rainy season sets in and the streets get flooded, they are carried away and they clog the drains and water outlets causing flash floods.

Let’s protect our environment. Let’s protect our world.

 

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The last few days were spent sharing with Nissa and some of our friends over the phone. It was so nice to get in touch with friends again and lovely to know they were praying for Nissa’s quick recovery. I got to see her sis-in law and brother-in-law at the hospital. Haven’t seen them since Nate’s kinder graduation last March.

Talking about anything under the sun from our pet dogs to our health and getting old. Yes, growing and getting old is one of our favorite topics. Sometimes you can’t help but think about it when you feel those aches and pains that suddenly manifest themselves and they catch you unaware. Last Thursday, I had a long trip (close to three hours going home from the hospital because of traffic. I almost could not walk when I alighted from the jeepney because of muscle pains. My legs were aching like crazy. Add that to the weight of my travelling bag 😦

I saw again that ice cream vendor at the university campus on my way home. He is the same man I used to see when Nissa was still studying there. Talk about the rituals of our lives. He seems comfortable selling ice cream inside the campus. There are lots of fast food chains and a couple of high-end restaurants inside the campus fronting the UST hospital, they cater mostly to students. You won’t need to go outside the perimeter of the university to alleviate your hunger pangs.

One of Nissa’s doctors asked me if I am her mom. I told him in passing that I am a survivor for ten years now under the care of Dr. Samuel Ang, a  surgical oncologist recommended by my OB GYN. He said that Dr. Ang is also practising in UST and that his son, a doctor too  was his schoolmate.  Oh to meet people who are caring enough to know a little about you….what a blessing.

Haha, Nissa and I talked about our doctors one night at the hospital and we were laughing when she said that most of them are so handsome in their white medical attire. So agree 🙂

Meeting friends all over again, meeting new ones, we are doubly blessed.

 

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I still can’t figure out how I feel at the moment – I  am so sad about what is happening to our family members. Nissa is scheduled for biopsy of her left throat on Thursday before they decide on any operation.

My brother does not want to be operated on. He’d rather adhere to alternative cure. I contacted Kaibigan sa Kalusugan this morning in their clinic in San Fernando, Pampanga, a three-hour ride by car from our place in the province. It is nearer than spending a six-hour ride to Manila. They said to bring all his laboratory results, ultrasound and CT scan.  I hope it’ll be a better choice for him.

Fr. Lovell called me up early this morning and I was so grateful for the words of comfort, spiritual advices and words of wisdom. He told me to take things one at a time so my health won’t be compromised. I also had a long chat with a friend from our Catholic page. Talking about life, health and  daily happenings in our lives, our own journeys, how we deal of those unexpected things that come  and go. It was a lovely chat. As usual my unli call hours on my phone were well spent.

Ou Shih Poo Oreo has this habit of sitting on my lap while I am reading. I took shot of him this afternoon, a close-up one.

Look at his eyes. I love that pensive look. His expression is like that when you are talking to him or he wants your attention wagging his tail at the same time.

My shoutout today: Your prayers mean a lot to our family. Thank you very much.

 

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Yes, it’s been almost forty- six years. We met for the first time back in 1973 when I reported to work as student librarian at the University of Santo Tomas. We both worked at the university library until I was in my third year as Economics major and she finished her Library Science degree.

The friendship has come to a point when we would write each other daily on date due slips of the library.  She was Nissa’s godmother during her baptism and again one of the principal sponsors during Nissa’s wedding. She migrated to Canada sometime in 2001.

The last time we saw each other was almost eight years ago until yesterday. A happy reunion between friends, a lovely tête-à-tête updating each other on what’s happening in our lives, non-stop smiles and laughter. Her husband showed me their photos when they were in Japan before coming to Manila a week ago.

And a happy reunion would not be complete without some photos, right? Although Mark took photos of Grace and me, I had a couple of shots in my phone taken by one employee of the hotel where they stayed.

Mark, Grace and I

She gave me two books, a copy of Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain and a trade paperback of Maya  Angelou’s The Heart of A Woman. We developed our love for books when we were both assigned at the Humanities Section of the UST Main Library. Can’t wait to read these two.

Grace and me2

Friendship is a lovely thing. When you find true friends, being apart for so many years doesn’t really matter. It feels as if you’ve seen each other only yesterday.

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Yesterday, I saw several pictures on Facebook posted by my youngest brother. He was looking for photos  that he could make into a video as a tribute to Dad’s 97th birthday on January 16. Yes, if he were alive today, he will be turning 97.

He saw some photos of us and his godfather, our family friend Mama Julian and he posted them. That began our long conversation and exchange of  comments, reminiscing about the past and those days we were growing up. Mama Julian was our neighbor and dad’s best friend.  His children who are now living abroad noticed his post and they also joined in our chats.

Dad is the one in white shirt. This was taken almost fifteen years ago, April 2004 if I am not mistaken.

We reminisced on how they spent their days when we were in high school. Dad played the guitar and Mama Julian with his ukulele. They would compose music together and play to us kids. We talked about those days when they would play cards together with mom and Nana Mina (his wife) called Entre 7.  We remember those days when  in every fiesta in our place in the province, both of them would always act as emcees of the night’s programs. There was really no dull moment when they were around together.

One of Mama Julian’s daughters said that she would copy all those photos and would show them to him being sure that he would be glad to see them.  He is also in his nineties now and living in Brisbane with some members of the family. Dad and Nana Mina are now with the Lord.

It is nice to get in touch with friends and neighbors again after so many years. Back then, when we were growing up, they were like our extended family. Most of them including my brother are now living abroad and have their own families. One daughter  is married to my first cousin.

When friends meet, hearts warm.

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