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Archive for the ‘Happiness’ 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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My daughter Nissa brought my four-year old grandson to her office the other day. He was there the whole day and enjoyed the office atmosphere with Nissa’s office mates.  Yesterday, Nissa came home after work and they had this somewhat innocent conversation:

First thing Nate said when I got home:
You forgot to bring me, Mom!
Me: Where?
Nate: To the office!
haha, nawili ang bata.

I laughed while I read this short post.  Nate is a very friendly kid. He always has that ready “Hi” for everyone.

Nate at Nissa’s office. The only time he was quite behaved was when he watched his favorite cartoon movies.

The joy of being a child. Every day is happiness.

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Had good chats with two of my close friends last night. One of my friends who is a third order Carmelite attends mass daily at Sto. Domingo Church.  He was in doubt but he asked me if Fr. Lovell was the one who officiated the mass. He said the latter’s homily was a breath of fresh air.  So I asked Fr. Lovell later, he said yes. He  even mentioned my plight as a cancer survivor, how  having a grave ailment would someday be an inspiration to others to get well.  We talked about life and survival, we talked about our families and moving on. We talked about how life seems so hard sometimes.

I do agree, there are times when you feel so alone in your struggles.  There are times when you feel like giving up but it is not an option.  There are always instances when  you feel so down. Life is all about our struggles and little victories we gain from being brave and strong.  It’s hard sometimes to show strength when you really feel so weak. It is easier to show how you’ve become saddened and disappointed with what is happening around. Problems are part and  parcel of this thing we call life.  It may get a little  complicated at times  but trying times are not always here to stay. Our attitude towards vicissitudes in life spells the big difference between living and existing. It’s survival of the fittest as people often say. I do believe though that one’s weakness becomes one’s strength  in the long run. We learn, oh how we learn to survive. Staying positive may be hard to do but it is one moving force for us to survive and accept a particular situation not to our liking. I remember one writer (the name escapes me now) who said, “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back”.

 

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She was born premature,  eight months before I was induced by my OB Gynecologist because of pre-eclampsia.  We were worried she would not make it because she didn’t grow to be  a normal baby while she was  in my womb and was born at only 3.9 lbs. She could not even take an ounce of milk during the first few months. She was left in the hospital for about a month before we were able to take her home at 4.1 lbs. So small and tiny.

She is also a mother now. Nate is already four years old. When I look back,  I think of those early days of her life but how lucky and blessed we were that she grew up okay and well.

Last March 7, the whole family attended the garden wedding of my niece. They went  on leave from work so we could attend. We took pictures of course, a lot of Nate and some of us all together.  Here’s our latest picture together. I call it Mother-Daughter Team.

Nissa and me at he wedding…

Weddings are lovely, a promise of love to keep and to hold.

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Whatever else be lost among the years, let us keep Christmas still a shining thing; Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, let us hold close one day, remembering It’s poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again.-grace noll crowell

Remembering this lovely message about Christmas. It’s that time of year again when we get so busy with preparations. There is a much-awaited guest, a little child born in Bethlehem.

The celebration of  Christmas may not be that always  happy for everyone. There are people who spend their  Christmas on the street on a cold winter night. There are people who make use of  cardboard boxes  in some corner for their beds. There are people who never know the twinkle of the tinsel on the  Christmas tree or the bright lights that adorn it. Christmas is just another day  or night of begging on the streets. Not all of us are lucky to  open gifts, prepare a lot of food on the table, exchange warm hugs  or listen to Christmas carols.  The joy that Christmas brings is non-existent in their lives.

What is happiness? People say happiness depends on our outlook in life, the way we experience things and the way we react to them. It is not so much  of the material things in our life but more on peace of mind, contentment, purity of heart, a positive attitude towards life,  a sense of well-being,  or a roof over one’s head and food on the table.

Happiness could be found in the simplest of things in our lives. A smile makes us happy,  more so when it comes from  strangers we meet on the streets. A  simple hello would put a smile on one’s face and is usually answered with another hello.

No matter what the circumstances, remember always to be happy. Celebrating Christmas is one reason to put a smile on your face.

 

 

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There comes a point in one’s life when it all goes down to reminiscing, remembering the past and some golden dreams.

Those times when your kids were just babies and you were learning how to change diapers and make “hele-hele”  while singing out of tune and discovering to your delight that you could compose  a particular tune right there, waiting for them to close their eyes and sleep.

Those times when you went up the stage every end of the school year to accompany your kids to receive recognition awards and medals.  You were so proud that they were so responsible in their studies.

That one particular afternoon when one of your daughter’s professors called you up over the phone just to say that deliberation was over and that your daughter will be graduating Magna Cum Laude.   You cried and jumped in joyful thanksgiving that she made it to that much coveted Latin honors.

The first time they shared their paychecks with you and said “let’s go out and celebrate Ma”.  Music to your ears.  And the following days when they would just say,  “let us do the grocery shopping Ma, just make a list of the things you need”.  Those days when you would watch movies together or just stay at  home doing a marathon of Prison Break until 3am. Those times playing couch potato with your daughter while waiting for her  final interview for  a new job, watching Korean movies on DVD.  Can’t forget the laughter and the crying sessions we had together.

The day that your daughter got married and you were happy and at the same time sad that she’ll be residing in another place and you won’t get to see her every day. Her excited voice  saying “are you ready to be a grandma?” a few months later and you were so excited you can’t wait. You were just as excited seeing a sonogram a few months after.

The joys of finally seeing your grandson and discovering that you like the sound of being a Nonna. The days in between, the happy days of discovery while your grandson  is growing up to be a smart, intelligent and a loving young boy.  The phone calls when you can’t see each other, the hi and hello, the how are you, the I miss you, the shouts of joy saying “I love you Nonna” and you shouting back saying “I love you too baby”.  The excitement in your daughter’s voice while sharing a copy of your grandson’s report card in Nursery school. He is doing pretty well with very good and excellent grades.

The simple joys of family life sharing meals together, eating out together, sharing stories,  fun moments playing with the grandson. They are priceless moments indeed.

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I was thrilled to see my three pots of turmeric sprouting new leaves. The leaves are oblong compared to the narrow green  leaves of ginger.  I read somewhere that turmeric produces lovely flowers too. I can’t wait to see them bloom. Seeing earthworms in the garden reminds me of those days with mom.

During the last days of summer and the onset of the rainy season, I would sometimes go with mom to go fishing in the river. Yes, we use the old-fashioned hook, line and fishing rod made of thin bamboo pole  and  earthworm as baits. Back then, when the ground is soft because of the rain, it is easier to dig large and fat earthworms near our vegetable plot. We would place them on a fine plastic net or a tin can with holes and a small amount of soil on top of the can so they could breathe and would not die.  We would bring boiled banana, sweet potato or rice cakes for snacks and a bottle of water.

Ah, we would normally catch biya, those small fresh-water fish and grill them  in charcoal.  Sauce from fresh green tamarind is the best partner for this and  freshly cooked rice of course.   There were times when crabs would cling to the line. Fishing with mom was such a wonderful memory that I would always cherish.  Those were the days, I think I was in grade school back then.

I remember those head gears which the old folks used to protect themselves from the rain. Believe me, they were even better than your sturdy umbrella. The takoko which is made of  dried palm leaves and woven into a wide umbrella-like  thing was so popular then.  It is not complete without the kalapiaw,  a native raincoat made of the same material, with a cord tied at the neck.  I tried them before but they were always too large for my small frame but believe me, they  were the best things to wear when the rain was hard. They were  so cozy and warm.

I catch myself smiling while  editing this post. Maybe that’s what lovely memories do to you, they become more keenly felt and remembered as you grow older.

I had a similar experience fishing with dad in another blog post which you can find here.

 

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