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Archive for the ‘journeys’ Category


Yes, Saturday is family day.

Saturday is time to relax.

Saturday is  time to read.

This is one of those weekends that there is not much to do at home except read, read and read some more,  browse a little at Facebook and visit my wall at Goodreads.

Yesterday, I finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The first  time I read this book was more than four decades ago. I was in college then. Treated it as one those book reports that one has to summarize as a requirement in an English subject.

Reading it today,  it gave me a little more perspective. Oh yes, it is a love story. Jane Austen  wrote this more than a century ago about the English gentility.

It seems somehow different from when I read it the first time more than forty years ago. The story is a rich-boy-meets-poor girl which has been adapted in so many story lines in recent Tagalog movies. The long conversations, not familiar with it anymore. Overall though, the novel still carries that long ago thrill and excitement in reading again a Jane Austen book.

This is my first classic book read this year. I gave it 4 stars at Goodreads.

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Your words –

make me laugh

make me cry

make me sing.

Your thoughts –

bring me to those places

I’ve never been.

green fields

bubbling brook

dainty wayside flowers.

witnessing the lovely

gifts of nature.

You’ve been a friend

during my sometimes lonesome nights.

You’ve been someone

I have always admired.

Without you

I will get through somehow

It just won’t be that easy.

Your words and your thoughts

I will always treasure

And when things get rough

I will open your poems to comfort me.

Just thankful!

from MO’s page at FB

 

 

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Finally yesterday, we were able to fix mom’s problem regarding her  pension. Have to wait in line for more than two hours before we were interviewed by the  SSS in-charge of senior citizens’ affairs. He asked why it was not honored by the bank. I told him, it is all about her signature. He said, “Nay, I will allow you any type of signature here,  your physical presence is more important”.  He told me further that the bank “is just a go-between SSS and the pensioner, it is your money, not theirs”.  Gosh, I can’t believe it, SSS is more lenient than the bank itself.  The clerk-in-charge did not recommend guardianship since only one would be able to represent mom whereas if we  have those requirements for a  legit representative,  any one of us, her kids would be able to renew her pension. He wrote all those required papers we have to produce. If she could no longer sign and can no longer go to any branch at SSS, she could use a thumb mark with a letter of authority thumb marked too, ID of the representative,a barangay clearance, sketch of the house where she lives, and a latest picture showing her reading a newspaper with the latest date clearly visible. Things that would prove she is still alive.

Some requirements but I think it is better to go directly to  SSS than to suffer such inconvenience with the bank. The  frontliner at the bank even told me that SSS is strict now since she won’t give me an ACOP form to fill up. I was able to acquire two extra sheets at SSS. How’s that BPI? Why can’t you serve your customer in a manner that would not inconvenience them?

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Etna.

A friend and a former office mate at Bank of the Philippine Islands posted some wonderful photos of Etna. The family travels every year to far off places in Europe.

And it’s Etna this time. I felt quite embarrassed to ask where Etna is so I just googled the place. It is where one of the most active volcanoes Vulcano Etna is located. My gosh, the picturesque views are just so awesome.  When you are lucky enough to travel the world, you’ll find wonderful places on the map. Some places you could only dream of visiting.

Italy is lovely. I’ve been  reading memoirs and some fiction books about it. I love how the authors described the place – the vineyards, the rustic chalets, the food, those endless mountains and valleys that arrest the senses. One good thing about books is that you can imagine the place. You can feel like you were there with the characters.

Friday.

Finally it’s Friday and this early I am thinking of what to cook for  Media Noche. Nothing fancy though, just maybe something hot to greet midnight and 2019.  This time of the year, some people are too busy buying fruits even if some are not in season just to complete the tradition of having 12 or 13 kinds of fruits on your dining table. I don’t plan to buy that much though. We still have some left over ones that we haven’t touched last Christmas.  Last year, I went on a frenzy and bought so many round fruits  and we ended  up eating fruits every day for almost a week.  Anyway, it is part of our traditions to serve something sweet and sticky come New Year.

2019.

Are you looking forward to it too? I don’t want to touch on politics this side of town but we’ll have another mid year election next year. Twelve candidates for senators down to the lowest barangay captains and councilors. I just wish people would stop electing those who are just too easy with words but not in deeds. Experience did not teach us anything, people continue to choose corrupt candidates who empty the country’s coffers for their own ambition.

Wish you well. Today is the fifth day of Christmas. In the Christian concept, the twelve days of Christmas  have their meanings.

2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments

3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues

4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists

5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the “Pentateuch,” which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.

6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation

7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments

8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes

9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit

10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments

11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles

12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed

The partridge in the pear tree, naturally, represents Jesus Christ.

May you always be blessed. It’ll be 2019 in a few winks.

Wishing you a pleasant Friday.

 

 

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It was a quiet year. I know I should go out more often but then again family obligations take precedence over everything.

Mom is here with me and you can’t leave her alone for long. She feels insecure and tells me to open the grills at the garage and dirty kitchen  when I go out even just for a while which I don’t of course. She’s old, almost ninety by a few months.  When she’s alone in  the house with Oreo for company, I don’t stay long outside.  It’s one reason why I attend mass early and we do our twice a month marketing early too.  During weekends though, I usually go out doing some errands and grocery shopping. I no longer enjoy staying long at the mall just walking around, I’d rather spend my time reading or doing anything at the house.

Walking and staying outside too long tax my strength. Since I’ve been ill, my immunity was shut down.  Like I’ve said before, I still wear face mask when I go out  without the car. Commuting is quite hard. It’s a good thing we have nearby convenient stores and malls which just take a tricycle ride.

The year is about to end and I look back.  Yes indeed, it was a quiet year.  I am not being anti-social. Friends come over to visit me instead. I enjoy those moments, not worrying about how to get home because of the traffic. I enjoy preparing food for them and cooking when I am not too busy. I enjoy the chats and conversations  and the laughter in between.

I challenged myself to read a hundred books this year by again joining the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge. So far I’m done with 152 books – a couple of classic books, some memoirs, a spattering of YA books, winners of the 2018 Best Books and a lot of fiction mostly about new authors and different genre. I seldom read love stories but when I find some good ones, I read one or two.

Blogging has been and always will be a lovely pursuit in writing. I earned a lot of followers this year, my stats has increased tremendously and my posts are close to 2,500, 2,493 to be exact including this. So glad that I  found more lovely blogs to follow. So glad to  interact  with fellow bloggers in the process. It is always a thrill to see that a few of them are avid in writing comments and clicking like to my posts.

Those monthly visits from my daughter’s family are a great joy for me too. Nate has become a smart little boy. There is always something new to learn about him every month. His young voice over the phone is always welcome even if he’ll just say “hello Nonna”. 

Josef and Jovy have started a small home business and it is thriving well. We need another ref or maybe a larger one to keep those cakes fresh before delivery. Though it is a hard task considering they both have day jobs, we’re happy they have steady customers.

2019 is about to show its face. I hope it would be a good year for all of us.

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I know I said I am done with my last post for Christmas but I like to share some snippets of  some behind-the-scene moments  that we simply enjoyed.

Armed with the two empty boxes of Olay, Nate started singing some Christmas songs of old. We urged him to go and sing for mom and his tito Josef while Nissa and I were laughing so hard because Nate felt so hesitant to sing in front of them. All I heard clearly was “thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo, thank you”. A typical line I always hear from street kids during Christmas. I laughed when he said “there is five thousand pesos there” referring to the 500-hundred peso bill that he got. He counted the new crisp twenties and he was happy. I remember last year I also gave him a big piggy bank and he said that it is almost full. I told him to make a habit of saving.

We had our snack around 4 pm and Nate finished two big slices of pizza. He said he loved Hawaiian flavors but I doubt if he really knows the difference. As long as it is pizza, everything is fine with him.  They waited for the dream cake to bake and brought home a tin together with two boxes of our native delicacy we call bibingka.

Obet and I were both craving for green mangoes  so we had one each. Loved it with sweet spicy bagoong.  A officemate gifted Josef with a jar of crunchy garlic in soybean oil. Perfect for dips with kalamansi and soy sauce.

It’s the second day of Christmas. ….♫♪two turtle doves and a partridge on a pear tree♪♪♫. Oh, I feel like singing.

Always strive to be happy. Joy comes when you are.

 

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Ah, that was a lovely Christmas lunch. And we almost forgot to take pictures except  for the group shot  and the food on the dining table before we had our lunch. Since Nissa’s family didn’t spend the night here, we have to open our gifts early.

Nate was a little impatient and he kept asking “Are you done eating Nonna? Can I open my gifts now?”. He was a little disappointed though when he didn’t receive more toys but clothes and cash gifts instead. He knows cash goes directly to his ITF savings account. I told him when he got his birthday gift last month that I won’t give him toys this Christmas. Right after, everyone got busy but we were so noisy around the dining table except for Nate who was busy watching cartoons, Obet sleeping and Kevin on his cellphone. Mom had that indulgent smile and was curious about what we were doing.  They prepared puto bungbong, some more orders of Dream Cake and we also ordered two boxes of pizza for snacks. Such a joyous family gathering.

Aside from her other gifts, Nissa gave me a Samsung phone with a 16 megapixel camera. I have to buy one more SIM card and a load.  I tried it with one of our potted blooms and the picture looked so sharp although the light was a little low because of the rain yesterday.

Mom and I  attended the midnight mass on television  after our Noche Buena  and  was officiated by Fr. Jerry Orbos, one of the best SVD priests around. Last February he met an accident and he questioned God’s wisdom. Why him? It was then that they found out about the stage 2 lung cancer.  He  has undergone surgery, been on chemotherapy. He is a little thin now but the zest for living and sharing His words are still there. He emphasized how faith could work wonders when you have nothing more to cling to except God’s mercy.  He talked about the importance of family. When everyone has given up on you, your family will still be there by your side. He talked about health, one thing that we should not ignore is our health. Trust in His goodness,  He would not let us be burdened by loads we can’t carry. I was touched by the prayers he shared in front of the image of the Holy Family.

We slept around 1:30 am and looked forward to today. Oops, I know this would be my  last post for Christmas this year.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

 

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