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Archive for the ‘I love weekends’ Category


I dreamt again of the old house my maternal grandparents had in the province. I remember that in each window, Hoya orchids were always in bloom. One of my aunts (who is now 98 years old) took charge of growing plants while my oldest aunt had a small sari-sari store in our barrio then.

My brothers and I spent the first four years of our elementary school in our barrio except our youngest. When we three older kids were already in high school at the University of Santo Tomas, my youngest brother was transferred to the public school near our place in Quezon City.

I remember those years spending the first six years in a public school. I started in Grade one, no nursery, no kindergarten. It was just a two-room school house with two teachers. Grade one and Grade two were in one room while the upper grades were in the other. One of our teachers was mom’s first cousin.

Being in a public school here is very different from spending in a private school. In the former, we were taught to take care of the plants planted in the school yard. I spent my last two years of grade school in our town proper. My classmates and I were divided into groups because after school hours, we were obliged to clean the room. Since the flooring was wood, we waxed it every Friday and used coconut husk to clean it.

Us girls had this Home Economics subject where we were taught to keep house, cook, embroider, crochet and make a simple budget. I love that separate building where we spent our H.E. class. It was complete with a bedroom, a small comfort room, living and dining rooms where we had our classes and a tiny kitchen where we learned to make fruit preserves.

I got a shock of my life during my first year in high school. I was a probinsiyana and my classmates then came from different schools in Manila and chose University of Santo Tomas to finish high school. Back in our time, it was not even a co-ed institution. We were separate from the boys. They belonged to the afternoon session. We even had separate entrance and exit. I enjoyed my nine-year stay in UST. Took up BSC Economics and worked as a student librarian for three years. Hence the love of books.

Oh, oh, remembering the years, the life of a younger Arlene.

Happy weekend.

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Today is the first Sunday of Lent. We renew our baptismal vows and renounce satan. Our godparents did it for us when we were baptized when we were babies.

My goodness, it seems that blogging has temporarily lost its appeal for me. It’s been a while. I have been catching up on my reading. I found new authors, discovered some awesome books too. For the first time I read Blindness by Jose Saramago, an intriguing and interesting story about people who were struck blind in their community and how they struggled to keep alive. It reminds me of the pandemic we have right now. I also found a copy of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. His poems are like short stories complete with dialogue about ordinary things. I have finished 28 books so far this year.

Been busy too uploading our Catholic page and two more private pages of which I am one of the admins.

I took some photos of my garden blooms and trimmed some plants. It is almost summer and my plants are beginning to bloom again. Sometimes I water the garden twice a day because the last few days have been sunny and hot during the day.

We are all observing Lenten abstinence even if mom and I are already exempted from eating meat because we are seniors. One has to give up something too and alms-giving is also recommended.

Happy and blessed Sunday everyone.

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Today is the first Sunday of Lent. We renew our baptismal vows and renounce satan. Our godparents did it for us when we were baptized when we were babies.

My goodness, it seems that blogging has temporarily lost its appeal for me. It’s been a while. I have been catching up on my reading. I found new authors, discovered some awesome books too. For the first time I read Blindness by Jose Saramago, an intriguing and interesting story about people who were struck blind in their community and how they struggled to keep alive. It reminds me of the pandemic we have right now. I also found a copy of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. His poems are like short stories complete with dialogue about ordinary things. I have finished 28 books so far this year.

Been busy too uploading posts at our Catholic page and to two more private pages of which I am one of the admins.

I took some photos of my garden blooms and trimmed some plants. It is almost summer and my plants are beginning to bloom again. Sometimes I water the garden twice a day because the last few days have been sunny and hot during the day.

We are all observing Lenten abstinence even if mom and I are already exempted from eating meat because we are seniors. One has to give up something too and alms-giving is also recommended.

Happy and blessed Sunday everyone.

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Just had a meeting with our chief admin and another admin at our Catholic page. Fr. Louie laid out his plans for our page in the next days until Holy Week.

I am now beginning to earnestly appreciate Zoom, whereas two months ago, I didn’t know how to use the app. Being active in our Catholic page and another Catholic group which I am admin is a big help in my life. I am learning a lot, gaining new friends in the process.

There are more people you’ll meet along life’s road, some would teach you a lesson, you make beautiful memories with a few, you laugh with many. I met a new friend at Sambuhay Interaktib, a co-admin actually, who have the same taste of books as I do. She has also read most inspirational books that I have read before. It is always fun to reminisce and remember. She writes too. There is no dull moment when we get the chance to talk.

I have been more active reading (done fourteen books) than visiting this blog. Sorry if I am quite slow in responding to your posts.

It’s Friday again, some of us always look forward to weekends. Have a lovely and blessed one.

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Finally done gardening yesterday. A back-breaking job but it has to be done.

I bought five pieces solar garden lights but for the past two days we didn’t have enough sunlight to charge them fully. They need at least eight hours in full sun. Sayang! I am excited seeing the garden illuminated at night.

Jovy told me last night not to cook anymore for lunch because they ordered lechon pork belly. It’s the latest craze now here but we haven’t tried it yet. The belly is tied like a roll and cooked slowly in charcoal. They marinate it first before grilling.

It was only yesterday that we said goodbye to some food we had for New Year. I ordered dried fish online and milkfish from the vendor who passed by yesterday and made them into daing na bangus. Yummy dish paired with sliced tomatoes and boiled sweet potato leaves.

How was your New Year celebration? Do you still make New Year’ resolution. I don’t anymore but I promised myself to read another 100 books this year. Done with four.

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Just a thought: At the rate this pandemic is going, we might be able to reach more than 300,000 before  September ends. So really, really sad. And because it is so expensive to stay in the hospital for treatment, many probably don’t seek medical help anymore. 

Finally, Josef and I were able to prune the Eugenia, Fookien Tea plants and Tagaytay cherries.  The garden is looking good now, bagong gupit….haha!

He helped me pick kalamansi and we were able to harvest those at the top since he used a ladder to pick them. We harvested almost two kilos of ripe ones and gave some to our neighbors. I also made juice out of it. So soothing. Lots of vitamin C there.

I was supposed to end up reading the three books of  Pooh for my year-ender  reading challenge at Goodreads but I only finished one because I got distracted again by another book called  The True Story of Hansel and Gretel  by Louise Murphy. A reimagined fairy tale  and a war story retold.  It happened in the region in Eastern Poland  which was overrun  first by Russians then the  Germans during WWII.

In prose both luminous and enlightening, Murphy explores the power of memory, the necessity of love in times of great trauma, and the redemption that can come about through the refusal to erase one’s own past. This is the tale of two brave children who never give up, of women who refuse to be defined by convention, and of the bitter cost of survival. Over the course of the winter, Hansel and Gretel will come of age. Their mother dead, their father and stepmother in hiding, by necessity forced to alter their own identities, they become survivors.”  (from Penguin Books).

And I agree with the other reviewers, this is a fairy tale rewritten for adults and I can’t put it down.  I’ve always been attracted to reading historical fiction. It is also classified as a literary fiction and fairy tales.

Indeed, it is a heartening  message of hope.

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Yeay, even if the rest of the week are not that busy, weekends I think are still the best. Even if Jovy and Josef work from home, midweeks are quite a little bit toxic than weekends. Time to relax and pamper yourself drinking tea and  applying Jeju Aloe Ice on your skin, savouring the ice cold lotion. It is better applied when it is cold.

I am still reviewing my earlier posts. I am in the middle of 2015  and I am definitely enjoying reading them again –  the days spent with Nate picking calamansi and staying in  the garden, the quiet days  and blissful nights of reading, time spent discovering new books, conversations with  friends, glimpses at Facebook etc.

Last Thursday night, I told Fr. Pao that it was like I had my own segment in their program Interaktib.  I contributed three random excerpts from my blog and they collated it before reading on air. I remember Brother Ed saying “eto na ang quotable quotes”. Haha! I  am also enjoying their show, pampatanggal stress talaga, lots of laughter coupled with news of our Catholic faith.

Previously, I blogged about this. Until now, I am looking for a copy of P. Anciers’ Libertine’s Destiny. I read it when I was in college. The Humanities Section of UST had only one copy and it was always out. Every time a student returns it, there is always another student who would like to borrow it. I should have looked for a copy long ago and bought one too. It is no longer in circulation. Even a reading group at Goodreads is on the lookout for this particular book. All I remember is that it was  set during WWII.   Has anyone of you read it previously? It was serialized long ago in a  women’s magazine here.

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Staying home for more than two months now. I don’t know, since the enhanced community quarantine, I’ve been reluctant to go out even just at the nearby talipapa  two streets away from our house inside our subdivision.  It is where we buy our food, necessities in the kitchen like pork, chicken  and other veggies. I learned to transact online the last two or three weeks and they deliver them here right at the gate.  Eggs are sold by trays (30 pieces). Many homeowners have become small entrepreneurs providing necessities to homeowners who don’t want or cannot go out because of the lockdown.  You can order cooked food for lunch or dinner along with different kind of snacks on the go. Most of them deliver for free but when you order from a different place aside from our town via Grab Food, delivery fees are included in your bill. But that is just to be expected since they spend time outside risking their health to go grocery shopping for you or to buy cooked food from open establishments that only provide take-out, no eating inside their places.  Just have enough cash at home to meet your needs.

I miss going to the church and attending Sunday masses.  Although masses in different churches are held almost every hour online via live streaming, you cannot go to communion and I miss that. There is a talk that they will extend this lockdown for another two weeks, I am all for it but barangay and local town mayors should also be strict in its implementation. So many people are still on the streets. So many people still go out every day.

It’s getting harder to imagine when we start to begin life “normally”  again. Until they find vaccines for this virus, we are left thinking how many days more we have to get through  this “new normal” aspect of our lives.  I want to share with you this photo I took nine years ago when we celebrated Mother’s Day.  It’s of Nissa and Josef, now we have Nate.

Keep safe friends! Be mindful of your health 🙂

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My, my but it is too hot. It is definitely summer now. I am not much into following the weather since this Covid lockdown has started.

We have two workers here at the moment, they’re fixing the locks of our bedroom doors and installing an aircon unit at the other room.  It is just a small .5HP inverter type air con, good enough for a small room. Since Jovy and Josef are working from home now, they need a cooler room for work convenience.  Oreo misses the window to our dirty kitchen, he has no more window to look out to when I am cooking.

I am so lazy to blog again. It’s been two days since I last visited here. Trying to find nice but short fiction books that would tide me over in the next week or two.  So lazy to cook too. We ordered lunch at McDonalds,  placed an online order for snacks and for dinner.

Lockdown was extended for another two weeks until May 15. I hope they would concentrate on testing  possible COVID 19 individuals so they could flatten this curve that they have been reporting now and then.

How are you friends? Keep safe always.

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Early this morning, I went  to the Municipal Hall to pay our land and realty taxes for the year. The clerk there suggested that if we pay by the month of November or December for the following year, there is a 20% discount. I will remember that and will try to settle our 2021 taxes before the year ends. 20% is big enough, don’t you think?

On my way home, I dropped by the Liwasan (our town plaza fronting the Catholic church in our town). I love this idea of Mayor Kit Nieto to invite vendors/sellers from different provinces to sell their produce in our town (from Friday to Sunday) every week. It is cheaper than those sold at the groceries and wet markets. It’s been going on for more than a month now.

I was overjoyed to see different items – veggies, fruits, rice, meat, preserved fruits and veggies, dried fish of different kinds. There was even a vendor selling jars of rice coffee. There was a free taste and it was a nice drink, no caffeine of course. I didn’t buy though cause my shopping bag was already full. I bought white onions, eggplants, a whole squash and dried tilapia. It is Friday today,  every Lent I make it a point to abstain from eating meat on Fridays so we’ll have the dried fish and eggplant fritters or maybe roasted ones with fresh tomatoes for lunch.

Bought this kilo of Guava Java for only P70 pesos. They are fairly large and that jar of roasted peanuts (cooked without oil) is P60 pesos.

Can’t wait to take a bite on those juicy guavas.

 

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