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10401954_924312577592771_2347683313099135030_nIf he were alive today, he could have been 96. He left us ten years ago. Until now, there is still that void that I feel with his passing. Sometimes, I could still  imagine him reading the daily news from cover to cover. It was always his pastime  so when he was alive, I made it a point to have a daily supply of the newspaper in our place.

I miss those days when he would recall how he struggled  in early life so he could find a nice job to support the family. My three siblings and I all  went to his favorite university where he worked for more than thirty years.  I miss those afternoon when we would take coffee and light snack and he would recall the earlier days of his life, the hardship of being a working student, those times he was away from his parents and siblings  while he worked in the city. I don’t remember his mom, my grandmother.  She died giving birth to their youngest. What I only knew  according to my grandfather was that I looked like her.

We could talk about anything under the sun. We could talk about  family members who went away to find good jobs. His two sisters and a brother (through a second marriage of my grandfather) work abroad. Two are in  Spain with their families and one resides in Japan. I am almost as old as my youngest aunt.

I miss those days when I was in high school and it was only the three of us  (my oldest brother, dad and I). My mom stayed in the province with my two younger brothers until  our youngest transferred to Manila to study when he was in grade school.  The days when he would teach me how to cook…..priceless.   He would usually drop by the wet market  after office work and he would teach me how to prepare a simple dinner.  I was not just a bystander when he was in the kitchen because he would  just instruct me what to do and watch me cook.

I miss those days when we would spend lunch together when I was in college  with one of his co-workers.  Every day, he would buy food at the UST resto  before  my class ends at 12 pm then we would share lunch.

When he got sick with ESRD and had to undergo dialysis treatment, my older brother and I accompanied him to the hospital twice a week.  The days he was bedridden after each session of dialysis, the enormous medications he had to take to stay stronger.  the graceless time he had to wear a catheter for many months, I still remember them all. My dad was a fighter. It was so painful though to watch his deteriorating health. For each session of dialysis he lost weight.

We lost him one December night ten years ago.  He may be gone from us but he still lives in my heart and the memories linger.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 

― Elisabeth Kubler Ross (more…)

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Coffee in hand

She watches the sun shows itself

from a cluster of morning clouds.

A little sparrow sits  nearby.

Did it just break into a song?

She listened

Until the little bird flew

Maybe for some food to find.

The dew shimmers on the grass.

Did it rain last night?

The cold morning  bites

She  smiles and shivers.

Remembering, just remembering

Some days  that she was happy.

Some days that she was glad.

The coffee is getting cold

One day is enough.

 

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That’s actually a title of a song from way, way back. We used to sing it at church.

We always say, time is gold, time is precious. time is a gift.

How do you spend your time? Sometimes, we believe there is enough time for everything and we ignore, we procrastinate, we waste it.

When I got sick almost nine years ago, I thought so much of how I will spend my time productively after my treatments.  I used to think that time is really too short for me to do the things I  want to do. It was a bit stressful  just thinking about it.  At the lowest point in my life, I asked myself if I will be able to see my kids have their own  families.  Now we are blessed with Nate.  God is good.

There are moments when time makes slaves of us. Time  spent in the office is longer than the time we spend  at home. My former boss at the bank  used to say that when she leaves the house, she would remind her ailing mother to eat breakfast  and when she goes home she just asks  if her mom has eaten dinner. That  was her routine for so many years and when her mother died, she realized the importance of time with her family. She realized that nothing can compare to the presence of someone important in one’s life.

As we grow older, we relish the days, the free time that we have. I am happy just reading now (after the daily chores of course), I am happy puttering  in the garden, uprooting weeds and trimming the grass.  I  am  happy feeling the  morning sun on my face, playing with our cats and dog and catching up on the daily news on radio or watching some nice programs on television.

We all make time for what is important in our lives.

“How did it get so late so soon?”  – Dr. Seuss

 

 

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Happy Epiphany Sunday.

It’s the last time I  am going to say  “Merry Christmas”, until next December.  Catholics used to celebrate Epiphany during January 6 of the year but it was later changed to the first Sunday which may fall any time from January 2  to January  8.  Why was it changed? After Vatican II, some local episcopal conferences decided that it wasn’t advisable to  mandate people to attend mass every January 6  of the year. Hence, it is now celebrated the  first Sunday of January.

We attended mass at 6:30 am then later gardened for a while after breakfast.  I have to remove the old sweet potato vines and plant new ones. I added some okra beside the  new ones.   We have to trim the bleeding hearts too since they invaded some branches of our jackfruit trees.  Josef removed the African rose altogether since it is so invasive. I love its orange flowers though. I used to grow it in pots but lately, it even broke the  container pot where it was planted.  Gardening at 9 am with the sun on one’s back is  quite difficult but I have to take advantage of Josef’s free time. We were done after two hours.

Found a small guava growing near the perimeter fence.  The old tree is almost dying but Josef picked two guava fruits earlier.  What a nice surprise!

I am into my second book  this year, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.  It’s Goodreads’ Choice Award for Best Fiction  2017.  It’s my first book of Celeste Ng. I am still trying to find copies of more classic books that I haven’t read yet.  I love this quote from the book:

“It came, over and over, down to this: What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone, or was it love?” 

I think motherhood is more about love. It is  a privilege. a glorious blessing.

Happy Sunday everyone.

 

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Once in a while we feel so inspired that we would want to share those inspirations with the world through our blogs.  And it is even better when we find a good content to write about.

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

 

This is a quote from Stephen King from his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.  Back in 2011, Nissa brought home  a copy of this book for me to read which she borrowed from the bank’s  Stress Management office.  I loved it so much that I dreamed of finding my copy every time I visit a book store. I was lucky enough to find one at Booksale, still with the dust jacket on and looked so new.  What a nice surprise. I even blogged about it twice. I thought  at first it was his autobiography but I was mistaken, it was about how to begin writing and going on.

“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”

I know, it is most of the time hard to start but once you have written that first sentence, everything follows.  I mentioned in my previous post that I would like to write everyday again but I don’t know if I will be able to.  Sometimes, laziness sets in, sometimes you can’t think of a nice content to share and to write about. You might think it is kind of stressful to write every day. You’d think you are forcing yourself to write, deep inside though, you have that desire to be heard.

“Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”

Do you agree? I do.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.”

Sometimes the blank pages seem so hard to fill up but there are those inspired moments that you simply have to touch your keyboard or glide your pen across the blank pages and the words flow smoothly along.

From past experience, I noticed that when I don’t blog for about a week, it is so hard to start again. It seems  I am  lost in space  and the words would not come.

I know it would be an ambitious undertaking, writing every day I mean but I’m gonna try.

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Went to bed late but had to wake up early for New Year’s mass.  Gosh, can’t believe it is now 2018. It does not only fly, it rolls fast too.

Christmas is still until Epiphany but we had to clean the house and store all the  Christmas trimmings we took out more than a month ago. Our Christmas tree is back to its old box.  I could not  dismantle everything without Josef and he has to report to work tomorrow hence we have to keep them early. I think it is more difficult to bring them back to their proper places than when we have them taken  out for Christmas. Every year, something is added to the pile.

I changed curtains and bed sheets. The smoke and smog  from the firecrackers lit by some neighbors to welcome the new year  made the house a little dirty. Compared to last year where our place was like a war zone, this time they stopped early. There is actually a firecracker ban in our country. an executive order was signed last June which confines the use of pyrotechnics to  some areas to lessen the risk of injuries.

I laughed when Mom said I should not be washing those curtains and bed sheets on a New Year.  She said further that  we should celebrate New Year by resting.  I actually loaded the first batch of laundry in the washing machine earlier. Can’t help it, I don’t want to be lazy on the first day of the year…haha!

A friend asked me if I keep a New Year resolution. I used to but not anymore. I can’t keep them anyway. I’ll just be thankful for everyday graces and blessings.

For the year that was, thank you. For all that will be, a big YES.

 

 

 

 

 

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In three days, 2017 would just be a memory – you will remember it with  fondness, with a smile or with pain in your heart. Every year, we look forward to the days and the months  in between the old year and the new one. Every year, there is always something that makes us nostalgic and  we are a little wistful about the events in our lives.  Every year, we anticipate  happy days ahead, we dream, we discover.

I know, I know, the days in between will not always be happy. There are unexpected  happenings that make us sad.  There are unfulfilled dreams and expectations that are not met.  There will always be days of challenges  and journeys to go through.

Blogging has been and is still is  the best thing that I look forward  to almost every day. Meeting new friends and  other bloggers, discovering some uplifting  and inspiring blogs in the process.  Somehow it has changed my perspective  and priorities.  After more than eight years of writing and sharing my journey here, it is easier now to relate those family stories, it is easier now to blog about things, to blog about books and reading, some kitchen experiments in between  and blogging itself.

I  am thankful and grateful to everyone  I met here. Blogging wouldn’t have been what it is without your presence. It is always nice knowing how the other half lives. It is always a thrill to see photos of other places too.

I know, blogging is such a gargantuan task when we don’t know how to start and  what to write about but there is always that  inspiration lurking somewhere. There is always  that  desire to inspire and write.

May 2018 be a bright, positive, successful, healthy and a prosperous one for all of us.  New  chances and new chapters are just waiting.

SAFE JOURNEY TO 2018.

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