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Archive for the ‘friendship’ Category


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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This is actually a re-blog.  Something I wrote when I was just starting to blog here. I love the idea of what real friendship brings. I don’t  think we really need a test when it comes to real friendship.

Friendship goes a long, long way though, you would somehow feel, deep in your heart if a friend is real or not.  You may lose touch, going separate ways and alleys, embarking on separate journeys, but distance is not a hindrance. That first hello may end up with a goodbye, too soon. That first smile might  be replaced by tears  but it is always at the instance of meeting again that erases all the tears and the longing,  and you feel as if you’ve never been separated after all. You might have grown older, matured enough to face life’s challenges but the essence of friendship remains, because it is as timeless as your memories and as precious as your own.

The actual words are not mine, they were just shared by a friend.

Real Friend Test

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest. A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.

A simple friend has never seen you cry. A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears..

A simple friend doesn’t know your parents’ first names. A real friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party. A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after they’ve gone to bed. A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems. A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history. A real friend could blackmail you with it.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument. A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them. A real friend expects to always be there for you!

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You’ve heard of it before more particularly with this app so popular on Facebook where they remind you of the date you’ve been friends with people in your contact list.

But what exactly is the term”friendversary?” It is a slang word which is a combination of friendship and anniversary. Just like what BFF means to some people, best friends forever.  It simply means friendship anniversary. I don’t really mind it when Facebook posts those reminders. I have been friends with some people in my contact list for so long even before Facebook was created.

For more than four decades now, I’ve been friends with three ladies whom I met at the UST Main Library. We were all  student librarians before and were assigned at the same section of the library  which was the Humanities. Thea is now a professed nun, a Franciscan working for the welfare of the Mangyans in Mindoro province. Precy is a successful businesswoman  while Grace migrated to Canada and married a Canadian. We don’t often see each other now but we still get in touch. Precy,  Thea and I are all cancer survivors.

What makes that friendship so special? Some say that the friendship you formed earlier in life is more enduring and more lasting. You have experienced things together during your younger years. You have shared a lot  and it doesn’t really matter that you don’t get to see one another as often as you want. There is that bond that you cannot just  erase.  That kind of friendship that when you see each other, it seems that nothing has changed, you pick up where you left before.  You have made them part of your family. You can grow separately without growing apart.

I always love these words from Henri Nouwen.  This is what real friendship means.

“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.”

 

 

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For the first time in more than a week, I was able to do a little gardening. Just planted the kadyos seeds  which was sent by a fellow member  of our Gardener’s Tambayan. I have lots more to plant. Maybe tomorrow I could garden some more. The calamansi fruits are ready for harvest, some of them have already ripened and they don’t produce so much juice when they are ripe.

Done going to the doctor, no change sad to say. Another round of medications for two weeks more.  I have to go the the hospital for a few hours so they could observe if I become allergic to the new medicine my doctor gave me. Thank God it is okay. Stubborn infection 😦

I saw Carla on duty again this morning. I told her I blogged about her and she said thank you.  She embraced me  with that wide smile on her face.  That feeling of finding a new friend…super happy. As they say, there is always a room in the heart for one more friend.

 

 

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You allow me to be what I am

I don’t need to hide

I don’t need to pretend

If there are words

That I never get tired of saying,

“I’m glad, you are my friend”.

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Today’s Quote


“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.”

– Rod McKuen

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Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

There are so many inspirational  quotes by Martin Luther King, Jr. but I guess this tops it all.  Today is Martin Luther King Day. It commemorates his life and achievements as civil rights leader.

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I’d like to think we are not that old yet. Most of us have just reached the ripe age of 60 and we call that being  senior citizens  here.

Tuesday afternoon was another day so memorable to me. A small group of high school batch mates came over for a visit.  The batch is having a grand reunion come January 2018 and the core group is busy contacting classmates and batch mates to attend. If I am not mistaken, this will be the 7th grand reunion since 2003.  We left the portals of  the University of Santo Tomas Education High School almost forty-five years ago.  I attended three  reunions in the past and some small get-together in between.  It is always nice to get in touch, renewing friendship and old ties.

Willie took some shots in his cellphone.

 

Of course, the smiles would always be there.

I remember our days in high school.  Coming from the province, it was hard for me to adjust during the first few months of my high school days. I was a shy kid, not really that friendly.  Imagine, immersing your student days in a big university with new  classmates, teachers, environment and all.

Life in high school.

There was a separate entrance for boys and girls. We were in the morning session while the boys were scheduled in the afternoon.  We only get to mingle together during school activities like the different programs, Sunday masses, Christmas celebrations and the like.  Some of my classmates though managed to meet the boys and became boyfriends/girlfriends.  The excitement of youth…haha  🙂

No stress.

We always emphasize that we would just enjoy the camaraderie when we see each other which is not often.  But always, always, there will be laughter. Most of us have our families now, some of us with grown kids and grandchildren.  We enjoy reminiscing about high school days, keeping up to date with news  about other classmates who  have gone ahead of us.

Food.

No get-together would be a success without food, right? I prepared a simple pasta dish for them  and ensaymada.  They brought me a big box of ensaymada too of a different brand. No matter how simple the fare is, what is important  is being together.

Hopefully, we will see each other again one of these days. Elsa, who came alone  ahead of the group said, ” Now that I know your place, I would surely come over to visit you again”.

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Dreams. Curiosity. Exploration. Friendship.

Discovering life’s simple pleasures through the eyes of a child. This is one of my favorite shots which  I  took during our trip to Tanay one  December barely a month after my last chemotherapy.  It was one  of those times that one feels so relaxed just enjoying the cold breeze and exchanging pleasantries with a friend. Nissa brought a book to read while Jane and I were just contented inside the tent looking after the two kids – my six-year-old niece Bobic and her three-year old daughter Jaden. They were looking for spiders and ants. I told my niece that spiders don’t normally stay on the ground and that ants are seldom found on the grass. They were so disappointed. They just watched some crawling insects outside the tent. And before I knew it, I was laden with gifts of dried leaves and wild flowers.

How simple life could be if we let it.

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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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