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Archive for the ‘life in the neighborhood’ Category


It started with one unselfish soul who thought of helping those jeepney drivers who lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic. Some of them are totally jobless now.

A kind soul put up some items on a makeshift table – veggies, rice, canned goods, condiments and other goods and several sacks of sweet potatoes were donated by some farmers from Tarlac province. It is not just a cart of produce but a powerful gesture that has come out during this pandemic when so many Filipinos don’t have the means to feed themselves and their families. Neighbors brought their own donations.

The concept started four days ago and many community pantries had sprung up in various neighborhood. The idea is simple, you can get what you need for free.

It goes by the tenet, Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan” which simply means “give whatever you can, take only what you need”.

Even the fishermen have donated their fresh catch to help. Here are just a few of those who put up their pantries in their own community.

Kindness begets kindness. If ordinary citizens can do this, why not those in power? It is spreading sunshine into other people’s lives regardless of the weather.

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You’d think it is a review of the movie, right? Wrong. I just borrowed the title.

I saw this picture of a little girl walking with her old grandma and I suddenly thought of my grandparents. I grew up not knowing nor even seeing my paternal grandmother. She died when her youngest son was born (the seventh child- six brothers and a sister). What was sad about it my uncle Domie who is now around eighty-two years old was born with speech defect. He is the only one we call uncle and the rest of them we call Tatay. Tatay means father in the vernacular. I don’t know what happened, uncle Domie never attended school but he knows how to count, he knows the faces of our local money. His nieces including me are all called Bea (pronounced as Be)by him.

Most of my Dad’s brothers and only sister told me that I was a look-alike of my paternal grandmother, my height, the way I walk, the way I speak and the way I carry myself among relatives and friends. I wished I have known her.My older brother and I together with three cousins grew up under the care of my maternal grandmother. Mom was always with Dad when he was working here in Metro Manila until my eldest brother and I reached high school and we were all transferred here. My youngest brother spent his grade school years in a nearby public school when we lived in Quezon City. The four of us spent our high school years at the University of Santo Tomas, two of us graduated there in college.

Speaking of my baing (vernacular for grandma), she was quite strict with us but we grew up knowing how to pray the rosary every six o-clock in the evening. There was even a part there spoken in Latin but I already forgot all about it. I wrote in one earlier post here that I learned weaving mats through her. I learned a lot about life during the Second World War through her stories. That probably influenced me why I like reading about anything historical now.

Funny how sometimes, just a mere picture would trigger memories. Sometimes, you long for those days of old. You smile at the thought and you reminisce.

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I planted Zinnia seeds in different shades of pink a few months ago. They did flower and are still flowering at the moment.

This morning, I was surprised to find a lone bloom in the pretty shade of yellow. What a thrill. It was a nice surprise.

And my Shanghai Beauty is showing beautiful pink blooms again. I would just trim it when the flowers have dried up.

The joys of gardening, they give that nice bit of heaven when you least expect them.

I  have harvested almost a kilo of kalamansi (Philippine lime), divided them into three small plastic bags for our neighbors. One of them gave me seeds from her pink Four O’Clock blooms. In a few months, I expect to have those pretty pink blooms which usually appear at four o’clock in the afternoon.

Don’t you just love gardening?

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It’s Monday morning and the sun is shining brightly. I don’t want to  vent my ire on a start of the week but I can’t help it.

Early this morning, I went out to sweep the streets fronting our house and at the side road too. Been doing this for a long time, at least thrice a week even if the village has its own maintenance crew who visits once a week. And I blogged about this before. The usual cigarette butts, candy wrappers, some dried leaves from our neighbor’s bamboo tree but what I noticed was a bag full of plastic cups, plastic spoons and forks, burger wrappings, styrofoam boxes with left over food. My gosh, some people don’t even know the meaning of the word “discipline”. As long as it is not in their backyard, so be it. I bet, this plastic bag came from a moving car and they just threw it haphazardly in the street.

The Metro Manila Dev. Authority has anti-littering law but I guess it is only implemented in public conveyances like jeepneys and buses. They’re required to provide a garbage receptacle for their riders.

I slept for eight hours with at least three CR breaks in between. I drink a lot before going to bed, that is why and sometimes I wake wanting a glass more. Research say it is not good to drink at night to avoid comfort room breaks and disrupt sleep. When you feel dehydrated, I guess, a half glass would be okay.

How was your weekend?  Happy June month everyone 🙂

 

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Another cut in the budget. Two leaking faucets replaced, two more with additional Teflon. At least now, we won’t have to worry about the “drip, drip, drip” sound at night. Fee for specialized job like this is more expensive than an ordinary carpenter’s job. Good thing we have a neighbor who is a plumber but does not usually tell his  PF so we have to add more than the usual charge a plumber does. We are grateful though that the job is done right.

I hurt my aching right knee running after Oreo when Josef left to meet the village’s garbage truck and dispose of our garbage. I was afraid he’ll go out of the open front gate and might be run over by passing cars.  He was quite behaved when he reached the garage playing with Noki. My right knee does not feel normal yet. It still aches once in a while but all of a sudden, I could feel the pain.  Gosh, what a disaster.

This morning, we started trimming the carabao grass which has grown faster the past days of having afternoon and evening rains. We are more than half-way finally. You can’t just trim them with an electric grass cutter, what with the concrete stepping stones all the way. There is really no other option but to do manual trimming.

Pres. Duterte’s almost two week’s absence  is fuelling speculation. You can’t just absent yourself from such an important position that long without so much as  a by your leave, right? If he is sick, the people of the Philippines has a right to know.

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Oh my gosh, our area is now included in water rationing starting tomorrow. Late this afternoon though when our village coordinator announced it, the water pressure was  so low. I filled up every container we have here. Good thing we have our overhead tank which provides water inside the house and we have a bypass water outlet at the dirty kitchen and at the garden.  I even filled up our  small  pond which has stayed empty ever since we lost the Koi fish a few years ago.

In some areas here in Metro Manila,  they had no water for about a week now. There are scheduled hours which they have to interrupt their distribution but  having it back is never on time.

In Cebu which is a part of the Visayas region, farms have become so dry the soil was cracked.  I am worried about the coming summer days. Demand for water has become so high and  the water levels at Angat Dam and La Mesa Dam are now critical.  These dams supply water in Metro Manila.

Water is life. You can survive without electricity but water is a necessity.

 

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I uprooted the sweet potato vines early this morning.  We locally call it “camote”. We  usually use the young leaves for our sinigang or just  steam them for a few minutes and make them into a salad.  I replanted a few healthy stems  and maybe in a month, they’ll  give fresh young leaves again.

I also planted the Roselle seeds that a friend gave me together with the other seeds from his farm. I am not really familiar with how Roselle looks like. It belongs to the family of hibiscus and the flowers are lovely.  And it is edible.  Wow! All I have left for planting now are the burgundy okra seeds.  Maybe when the others have grown, I will think of where to put the latter. The blue ternatea  are slowly climbing the steel matting we put on top of our  concrete perimeter fence.  I planted the white ones two days ago along with the blue ones. I  could now imagine when they’ll bear those lovely blue and white flowers.  Lovely 🙂

Got plenty of gardening gloves but every time I visit the garden and plant those seeds, I’d rather have my hands bare. Digging the earth  with my garden trowel with bare hands, feeling the soft soil and wishing those seeds to grow well, such a lovely wish for a small-time gardener like me. Just taking advantage of the sunny days before another weather disturbance touches  our shores.  Maybe by the end of the year, I’ll have more blooms and fresh veggies in my garden. The carabao grass needs to be trimmed again and yesterday, I harvested more calamansi fruits and gave some to my two neighbors.

The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. – Alfred Austin

 

 

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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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