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Archive for the ‘journeys’ Category


Ah finally, internet connection is back.

After several follow ups and repetitive requests to have it back, Globe reconnected our internet access. They said they did maintenance the past three days. Another said, their tower in our area has gone kaput on us. Which is which? At least they were polite enough to say power will be back in three days and that is at around 10 am today. I went online at 9:30 am and the internet¬† is back. Hallelujah ūüôā

When you are used to having internet connection at all hours of the day, it seems so hard without it.¬† The world gets smaller because you are not even updated with the weather reports online.¬† Good thing, there are no¬† low pressure area seen although a typhoon named Soulik (international name) is about 1,890 kms. east-northeast of Luzon but the weather bureau said it won’t enter the Philippine area of responsibility.¬† At the moment, we are having drizzles¬† and thunderstorms would most likely occur again late this afternoon. Hopefully, it won’t bring too much rain.

Would you believe I finished three books in three days that we didn’t have internet connection? Yes, one book a day…haha! I discovered another author.

I thought it was another book by Lincoln Child minus his partner Douglas Preston but Lee Child is a brother of Lincoln Child.  His real name is James Grant, a British author  who writes thriller novels, and is best known for his Jack Reacher novel series.

The Visitor is one such book, fast-paced, deeply satisfying and really hard to put down. I like it better than some of the books I read before by Preston and Child.

It was followed by a feel good romance book. Yes, you read it right, I read romance books too once in¬† a while and this one is pretty good. Another first from the author T.K. Leigh. I am sure this won’t be the first time I will read a book of hers.

“The Other Side Of Someday is a fun, sexy story of looking for Mr. Right in a world full of Mr. Wrongs, when Mr. Right could be just next door”.¬†

As usual I jotted down some quotes from the book:

“May you find beauty in the world that surrounds you, even when things aren’t going your way. May you have a sense of adventure, whether it be dancing in the rain or bungee jumping.

Experience everything the world has to offer. May you find something you love doing and be able to make a life out of that passion because life without passion isn‚Äôt a life worth living. May you confront your fears head-on and not cower in the face of adversity. Most importantly, may you love. Love hard and without abandon. Love with no regrets. Love like there‚Äôs no tomorrow. For so many people, there isn‚Äôt a tomorrow. Don‚Äôt take it for granted.‚Ä̬†

I’d like to say, having no internet was a bit of a blessing to be able to read these wonderful stories.

 

 

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You are often asked time and again by friends, family members and sometimes acquaintances, “How are you”?¬†I guess that is the standard greeting and the standard answer is, “I’m okay”.¬†¬†Physically, we might look good¬† to other people but what if you answer, “I’m not good” or “I’m sick”.¬†¬†What would you think would be the reaction of your¬† friend¬† when you say that? Some would just probably smile awkwardly and just go on¬† while others who have genuine concern for you will ask further what is wrong.

I am guilty of this, saying okay when I am not. You are afraid sometimes that other people would think ill of you if you share your woes to the world in general. Some would just shake their heads and allow you to rant.

Just received so many messages from friends and relatives on Facebook when I posted that flood waters reached our garage. So grateful for all the concerns and regards to us. Yes, of course you are happy when you are remembered this way.

A friend (a former boss actually) posted this response¬† on an opinion page at one of our national dailies which asked, “Is resilience bad for us as a nation”?

“Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. There is no doubt that resilience is a useful trait, especially in the face of traumatic events such as this flooding. But, if we don’t seek solutions to the problems and hold people accountable, then, what we are seeing is the dark side of resiliency”.

I agree. Filipinos are known for being resilient, we have that innate toughness¬† when we encounter difficulties. As long as we can endure a certain situation, we don’t complain. As they say in Tagalog, “inaapakan ka na, pinapabayaan mo lang”.¬†Inaapakan ka na at binabastos ka na, naka ngiti ka pa rin”.¬†

A lot of people are asking on their wall, “Where is the president”? I¬† asked the same question yesterday and my friends responded enthusiastically.¬† I understand he was in Davao when the flood hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces (as of now, some are still under water).¬† Supposedly, he and his cohorts would do an aerial view of the damages but it was postponed.¬† He didn’t show his face and true to their FAKE advocacy, he sent his assistant and a look-alike (an impostor) if you please to visit the evacuation site in Marikina City. This is the only time I observed that the president is a “no-show” in such calamities. Before, the government is always at the scene when calamities strike us, helping, coordinating works for the welfare of the people.¬† Oh my gosh, they elected an impostor, he is just being true to himself.¬† He is against drugs right? But how come an almost P7 billion worth of Shabu entered the Philippines last week through customs and until now, they are silent as a mouse? No condemnation on what happened, no words that he will punish those responsible for the allowed shipment. An irate friend shouted out that maybe he is busy¬† distributing¬† that huge amount of drugs to help those affected by the flood.

Did I say the Philippines is okay? IT IS NOT.

 

 

 

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Not really inclined to read nor blog but I have to do something before I go to sleep. So tired fixing things when we went back home this morning. We had to transfer the car to a higher place and elevate  those things that we feared would be caught by the flood.

I told you in my blog yesterday that I hate it when it rains non-stop. True enough, flood waters reached our garage. We¬† left the house at about 7 pm and spent the night with¬† our neighbors’ house together with Mom, Josef and Jovy and Oreo of course. Since typhoon Ondoy left¬† Metro Manila flooded for days back in 2009, I have become afraid of floods.¬† It used to be when this place was just rice field all around when we had the house built in 1995 but today, it is filled with buildings and houses some of which even have third floors.

Metro Manila and surrounding provinces got flooded again, some even reaching their rooftops.  Some families are still in evacuation centers especially Marikina residents which got the most flooded areas in the metropolis.

Saw this evacuation center in Marikina on Facebook. a wonderful change from the usual crowded places of basketball courts and classrooms  with not so much amenities for the evacuees.

I asked Josef not to report to work tomorrow if this rain continues which PAGASA says until  Tuesday.  It is really alarming when the rain comes. Report says that yesterday poured a half-month amount of rain in the metropolis.  So many  people were stranded. Some malls were open so the shoppers could use their parking spaces and the malls to pass the night.

That fearsome feeling,  watching the night while the flood subsides. I am grateful though that it did not enter our house.

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That early morning thunderstorm drenched the garden, Yahoo, I won’t have to water the plants today. I hate the heavy rain though, it always makes me feel insecure. Good thing it has stopped.

Good morning world.The sun is showing its face again.

I’ve been reading some of my older posts last night and some are uplifting¬† lines that I already forgot. To think¬† all of¬† those introspections which I’ve done a lot in the past.¬† Experience taught me so many, many things – how to take care of my health, how to be always positive in life, how to trust,¬† how to appreciate even the smallest things that give joy and happiness. Yes, I learned to be happy.¬† Experiencing something life-changing helped a lot too.

How could you not be moved by Nate’s smiles, at his shouts of Nonna every time I get to talk to him over the phone, his many stories about his classmates and about school, the way he appreciate¬† the food we have on the table by always saying¬† “yummy” even if even¬† it is just a simple meal of pork sinigang?¬†

How could you not appreciate every sunrise that meets you when it is not raining? How could you not smile at Oreo’s bark of welcome every time he hears the car at 5 pm? How could you not hug him back when he bestows sweet kisses to your face when you say goodbye and he is inside the car? They are little things but they bring joy.

How could you not shout when you find a lovely book or discover a new author that you like?¬† Years ago, I was browsing the books displayed at Booksale and saw a hardbound volume of Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. I thought at first it was some sort of autobiography but the book was full of writing tips and reminders to would-be writers.¬† I have re-read it twice already and still find his words so helpful. It is one of the best books I’ve ever come across.¬† And I wholeheartedly agree when he said:¬†‚ÄúBooks are a uniquely portable magic.‚Ä̬†

How could you not appreciate those blogs written by some friends here and knowing how life is in other lands?¬† How could you not be uplifted by those lovely¬† quotes they share on their wall? How could you not utter “oh” and ‘ah” when you see wonderful and amazing photos that they share?

When you find magic in music too and listen with rapt attention. Sometimes you can’t help but sing along.

Oh, I hear the birds singing outside.

You see, happiness is just that, enjoying simple things in life.

 

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LET GO! How many of us are willing to take the plunge and just let circumstances and events take charge for a change?  Most of us are afraid of the untrodden path, we stick to things familiar.   True, familiarity gives us a sense of well-being, but when we let it rule our lives, it stagnates, and the comfortable feeling turns into unease that only change can alleviate.

I used to be one of those people who cannot survive the day without everything planned.¬† I used to worry a lot when I get sidetracked. Giving in to the ‚Äúwhat if‚ÄĚ won‚Äôt always be a choice and has no reason to be.¬† And knowing¬† that there are certain things which are beyond our control, makes us a little accepting.¬† One finally learns that life is not always to our liking and the set of rules which we allow ourselves to follow¬† won‚Äôt¬† always be acceptable to a few.¬† How are we to enjoy life if we won‚Äôt learn to let go?¬†¬†¬† Let go of the angst, it makes you miserable. Let go of the hatred so you will learn to love.¬† Let go of the anger, don‚Äôt let it consume you.¬† Let go of fear, for God is always here.

When I think of the times that I went through battling with cancer, I could not imagine a life without pain.  It is easy to shed a tear or two but it is more difficult to pretend that nothing is wrong.  Chances are, you seem to forget when you are surrounded by your family and friends but when you are alone, everything is magnified.  The pain is a tight knot surrounding your heart.

I learned to let go and let Him be the central force and figure in my life.  I learned to smile despite the tears.  I learned to share my plight with others despite the fear.  I learned to embrace pain and let it a constant reminder that I am not alone in this battle.  It may take a while, it may take sometime, it may take several or more visits to the doctor or it may take forever, but I am looking forward to the days when I’ll be truly and completely well again, without these nagging thoughts of being too insecure and too vulnerable.

Faith is such a personal thing. And when nothing is left, your faith will carry you through.

Let go!

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We were blessed and lucky, we were not much affected by the floods that hit some parts of Metro Manila and the surrounding provinces.¬† ¬†But my brother and his family together with¬† my cousin¬† were trapped in some¬† parts of Luzon while going home to our town after they brought Mom here again¬† yesterday because she was not feeling so well.¬† A normal five-hour trip turned to twenty-four hours agony on the road. Good thing they brought a van instead of the¬† small car my brother owns.¬† They spent last night in a motel. My gosh, you can’t see the road, they were under water.¬† Typhoon Josie definitely¬† brought so much amount of rainfall.

It’s my third day of having a daily antibiotics injection.¬† I don’t know why the medicine was not covered by my health insurance. The Medical¬† City satellite clinic has a different rule from other¬† outpatient facilities covered by Intellicare.¬† Bought the medicine with closed eyes, it is that expensive.

I met this very friendly nurse yesterday. She was the one who administered my injection.¬† In the course of our conversation, she mentioned that one of her relatives died of cancer six months ago and when she learned that I am a survivor, she kept saying “ang galing niyo ma’am, you endured all that.¬†We talked of so many things while she was preparing and mixing the solution.¬† I told her I blog and she does too but in a different platform. This morning she was again on duty. Exchanging ideas, talking of our pets, talking about books we read. I say we are kindred spirits.¬† Carla was so accommodating, we even exchanged our blog sites addresses. When we parted, she said, “can I hug you ma’am?” I was touched. We hugged each other. We were both teary-eyed.

When you meet people who are kind enough to know what you are going through, you are simply touched by the gestures. Even those small words of saying “sorry po”¬†¬†while she was injecting a one gram ampoule made the difference.¬† I admire those health workers who reach out to make a patient feel welcome.¬† Being shown compassion is one sure way¬† of gaining that much-needed confidence to face your ailment.

Doing your little bit of good to others, showing kindness, these make for a wonderful attitude towards your fellow human beings.

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We are a big clan.

My¬† paternal grandfather had fifteen kids in all and dad was second to the oldest¬† among Tatay’s¬† kids (we called our¬† paternal grandfather Tatay and all the rest of his other siblings except my lone aunt who we called Nanang). The first seven were during the first marriage and the second eight kids with Tatay’s second wife. I never knew my paternal grandmother. She died giving birth to their youngest, their seventh child who grew up with speech defect¬† and cannot speak well.¬† One of them told me that I look like her, speak like her and even got her mannerism. Maybe that was why I was so closed to them when they were alive. Let’s just say I was one of their favorite nieces.¬† They are all gone now except the youngest who is now around eighty years old.

When Tatay married again, they had eight kids and the youngest is now as old as I am. I remember Dad telling me that his only sister used to take care of her half-siblings. My two aunts and an uncle live in Spain with their families and the youngest  is married to a Japanese and has lived in Japan for more than three decades now.

I have close to about fifty first cousins¬† and¬† so many nephews and nieces with their own families now.¬† Imagine having so many grandchildren with cousins. I¬† haven’t met almost half of them except seeing them in pictures. Last February 2011, my aunts and uncles organized a family reunion and it was an amazing attendance with around a hundred family members¬† including their wives and husbands.¬† I was not able to attend though because of health problems.

When my aunts  and I meet, we usually talk about our family tree.  We remember those days when Tatay was still alive and my brothers and I would visit them in their home in another barangay in the province.  We remember those days when Tatay was so active in Church. He was a choir member and  a Legion of Mary member too. And I remember those days when we would visit their farm and before we go home, our bags are laden with fresh veggies and some fruits.

Though we are far from each other, we get by through Facebook messenger and occasional texts and calls.  We are connected. We may not often see each  other but the bond is there.

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