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Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category


It started with their liking our Catholic page on Facebook back in 2010.  The following year, we had our first gathering, our first time to see each other personally. It was a lovely affair exchanging thoughts and ideas, participating  in group games and eating lunch together.  There were other events that we attended together and most of the time, they come to the house to visit me.

The smiles would always be there, the “kuwentuhans” would always  be hilarious affairs. The laughter is a given thing when we are together.

 

Their favorite activity is picking kalamansi (Philippine lime) from the two trees we have at the garden. Yesterday, they got more than a kilo of kalamansi. Reymon made a glass of freshly squeezed kalamansi juice.

 

Next week would be Apol’s 48th birthday so we celebrated it early by having that small Chocolate Rainbow cake and Mango Dark Chocolate ice cream from Red Ribbon.  She’s the one in the orange  t-shirt.

Though it was only the four of us, we had a blast. Apol is presently undergoing treatment for lupus. I admire the way she handles everything, still jolly and happy despite it all. Lupus is a chronic, complex and prevalent autoimmune  disease that attacks healthy tissues of the body. It is a progressive  disease.

What makes friendship? How does it bloom? It’s that being yourself with people who have similar ideals and beliefs  like you. It’s having those moments of laughter and tears and yet you don’t judge each other.  It’s celebrating those little triumphs and successes in life, being there for each other in times of trials.  As they say, it’s looking together in the same direction.

Reymon calls me Mommy, Lilet is easy with calling me tita  while Apol who is twelve years younger than I am calls me ate. Being together, enjoying those precious moments, celebrating the beauty of friendship. What more could I ask for?

 

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Out of the blue, a friend who arrived home from San Antonio about a month ago called me up and said she is coming over for a chat.  Of course,I was elated.  Who wouldn’t be? The last time we saw each other was sometime in October 2014. she said her package has arrived and she brought all these gifts for the family. She even gave some cash to Mommy when she found out that Mom is having her birthday on Wednesday.

Two hours of updating on each other’s lives although we always chat on  Messenger in between.  She brought with her a dozen pocketbooks, baking chocolates, Spam, Skittles and M & M for Nate, a box of Pringles and two hardbound copies of two of my favorite authors Mary Oliver and Richard Paul Evans. Upstream is Mary Oliver’s latest book while The Mistletoe Secret was published last November.  To own such copies, priceless. This is my third book  of Mary Oliver, the first two are books of poems while this one are essays she wrote.  I’ve collected several books  of Richard Evans.  His latest will be out in the market in May.

Celebrating friendship – the smiles, the laughter, the serious talk about life itself, the many, many things that make friendship beautiful. This is the only time that she is free because she has come home for good and has many things to do.  Who says online friends are not real?  We used to be online friends at the Catholic site on Facebook where I am one of the admins. it started with just a few chats in  a group which my priest friend, our chief administrator created. We saw each other several times in the past. Every time she comes home, we make it a point to see each other. This is one of those blessed days to renew friendship. Just so happy.

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The wonder of seeing  a familiar writing

the beauty of the  “How are you?”

the lovely words caught  in the frame

breathtaking, inspirational, full of hope.

It reminds you of the happier days,

moments of togetherness

moments treasured

captured in a few words.

 

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That’s the funny thing about writing your life story. You start out trying to remember dates and times and names. You think it’s about facts, your life; that what you’ll look back on and remember are the successes and failures, the timeline of your youth and middle age, but that isn’t it at all.

Love.

Family.

Laughter.

That’s what I remember when all is said and done. For so much of my life, I thought I didn’t do enough or want enough. I guess I can be forgiven my stupidity. I was young. I want my children to know how proud I am of them, and how proud I am of me. We were everything we needed – you and Daddy and I.  I have everything I ever wanted.

Love.

That’s what we remember.

When a book makes me cry, I give it five stars. Yes I know, the quotes sound cheesy, it’s a YA book after all.  Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah in one such lovely read. It’s my 17th book on Goodreads’ 2016 Reading Challenge. When I review a book, I don’t summarize it for other people to read, it’s more like sharing what it made me feel. Was I inspired with the story? Was it interesting enough to recommend to other readers who love stories on life-long friendship and family and how  genuine love plays through it all?

You can always read the summary and some book reviews on Goodreads, some maybe disappointed, some find it wonderful.  The story line is such that it made me cry. When I started college life, I worked in the university library for almost three years and there I found true friendship with some of my colleagues. We’ve been friends since I was seventeen and the three of them are still my friends until now. We don’t normally get to see each other but we get in touch despite the distance.  Thea is now a Franciscan nun, Grace has migrated to another country and Precy is a successful businesswoman.  Except for Grace, the three of us experienced life-threatening ailments that made us closer together. Precy once said that we had to undergo the same kind of pain that cancer brings.

Near the end, Firefly Lane delivers such painful reality of losing a mum, a close friend, a daughter and a wife. It pains me to remember the agony of being not 100% fit,  and I do remember vividly what it was like going thru chemotherapy .  Sometimes though, life let us experience something that makes us stronger, ready to accept the ugly realities and grateful for the blessings in between.

Really, when a book makes me cry, I give it five stars.

 

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Rich

They always say that everything happens for a reason.

I believe that too. It’s the same thing with friendship. It goes a long way, a lovely journey of discovery, a truly meaningful sharing with kindred souls. It’s hard to find true friends but when you find them, they are more valuable than gold. I treasure the days that I share with my friends. Some are there to make me laugh and make me realize that it is okay to cry, cleanse our eyes and hearts with all the hurts and pain. Some are there just to listen, no words needed but a ready shoulder and loving arms to make you feel you are truly worthy of being a friend. Some are there to give advice and make you see the truth no matter how painful it is to face. Some are there for a long time,  guiding you, lifting you up, rejoicing with you in your triumphs and  empathizing  with you when you are down. Some are there to make you smile and make the day worthwhile.

What a wonderful thing friendship is. What a wonderful world friendship brings.  And it’s true, “what a difference having a friend makes”.

P.S. For those friends I met through this blog, I could not thank you enough. You made a difference in my life.

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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

I love quoting these lovely words from one of my favorite writers,  Henri Nouwen,  for they exactly describe how friendship should be and what it really means to me, when you could be just as you are with them, when they accept you in their lives and in their hearts, warts and all.

Last Saturday was another lovely celebration of friendship.  A few close friends came over to just celebrate the day with me and mom.  Two of them will be celebrating their birthdays this month and what a fitting way to share laughter, smiles, hugs, serious stuff (you would not believe this  but most of our topics touched on our faith and the beauty of being a Catholic) and food of course. Mom was so amazed to learn that they came from  places outside Metro Manila and she was full of questions like how I met them,  why they are visiting me when we could choose to go out  and spend the day in malls, she asked where they work, things that a typical mom wants to know. When they have left, she said “ang babait nila”. Mabait in English has no exact meaning but it encompasses various traits like being kind, gentle, friendly, generous, amiable, considerate, you name it, it is all in there in that single word.  We had a good laugh of course while we were taking pictures. They brought their cameras  and we took some shots.

That's mom on the extreme right. She was gracious enough to join us in our picture-taking.

That’s mom on the  right. She was gracious enough to join us in our picture-taking.

For WP2

for WP3

Food galore....

Food galore….

Sinful mango cake from Red Ribbon...

Sinful mango cake from Red Ribbon…

IMG_6578

We were all so full  we just snacked on polvoron (yummy powdered milk candy from Red Ribbon), boiled peanuts and adobo peanuts while sharing and discussing so many topics, touching even politics and world affairs.

It was a lovely day to celebrate friendship.

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Some friends are coming over tomorrow, friends I’ve met at my online Apostolate when I was just starting as an admin there. Time flies, it is almost five years now since I met them.  They are definitely younger than I am, some call me Mommy, a lot of them call me tita (an adopted auntie) and I consider them my extended family. They help me grow and in the process, I am learning a lot too. There is no dull moment when they are around because we could talk about anything under the sun, we could share some serious stuff about their lives and their families. Sometimes, I wonder how we have bonded this close considering we don’t see each other often, they are just a text away though. Two of them are celebrating their birthdays this month so we decided to hold an informal gathering here at home. They told me not to stress myself preparing the food as they will just bring it over so I will just probably bake marble potatoes and boil a kilo of fresh peanuts  which I bought from the market this morning. I already prepared a laing dish, a personal favorite. Laing  are dried and shredded taro leaves cooked in coconut cream, diced pork  or shrimp and chili. It need not always be spicy, but  the chili goes well with the coconut cream and that is applicable for some dishes that use the latter.

We chanced upon this fresh alupihang dagat in the wet market today and my son told me that he hasn’t tasted it for more than a decade so we bought a kilo. I have to make research on what it is called in English, it’s mantis shrimps. The only downside is, it is hard to get the meat because of its pointed shell but I think it taste better than shrimps. It was a yummy lunch paired with sautéed ampalaya with eggs.

Bear with me, I am just excited meeting old friends again. Never mind the gargantuan task of preparing and  washing drinking glasses, plates, utensils for us to use tomorrow because I a not a fan of disposable plates and such.

When friends meet, hearts warm. I just love this Scottish proverb. It always holds true.

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