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Archive for the ‘memories’ Category


Senior  moments!

I wonder if I have posted this before here but I found  it on my Memories page  on Facebook and again it reminds me of those days when dad was still alive.

Dad, Noel and I

This was taken forty six years ago when dad was recognized by the University of Santo Tomas for his exemplary record  at the high school department. My youngest brother was a first year high school student here and I was in my sophomore year in college. Noel and I stayed in UST until our graduation from college. He took up Electronics Engineering while I majored in Economics. Dad was so supportive of us all that he transferred  the four of us in UST during high school.

I remember the days when I was just a first year high school student. Our class begins at 6:50 am until 12:50 pm (all girls) while the  afternoon session was for the boys. Dad would fetch me at the exit of the  school and accompany me to the bus stop at Espana Blvd. to get a ride. I was then new to the university.  Throughout my nine years of stay there,  I learned to adjust to high school and college life. Since UST is in the low-lying area of Manila, every time it rains hard, it also gets flooded. There were times when upon going home from class,  my classmates and I would remove our socks and would hike up our skirts to avoid getting wet all the way. There were even times when we would walk  about more than a kilometer (flood and all) to get a ride home.

I worked for about five semesters in college as a student librarian. Imagine the hardship of  searching for a ride on the way home at 8pm when my classes ended.   I remember those times when Dad and I will  have lunch together at his office after my morning duty at the library. I  only  used to work for six hours so I was on a full load  in my subjects.

My stay as a student librarian were the best years of my teenage life since those were the times I met friends, some of whom are still my friends until now. I learned the value of books in one’s life and how they enrich one’s knowledge through reading. When I was assigned at the Humanities Section of the library, I appreciated most of the collections there and when I was transferred to the Asian Section for a while, I learned to appreciate history and Asian literature.

How a photo would spark  wonderful memories,  for this is what it did to me today.

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When you feel like crying because you are touched,

deeply touched by inspiring words.

When you learn to appreciate the value of

lovely, lovely memories

You cry tears of  joy.

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But you can’t.

You can only remember and reminisce. The memories may sometimes be hazy but there are events in your past that stand out and you smile….remembering.

Last night I had a brief journey listening to some music (instrumental at that) and songs of yesteryears posted by a journalist friend who also grew up in the 60’s. A nice way to spend a few moments listening to the sound of Sergio Mendes, Malo (Latin jazz), the mellow voice of Karen Carpenter, the dancy tunes of Carlos Santana’s music, the singing guitars of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  Yes, YouTube is the best when it comes to those old, old music.

If you could turn back time –

You’ll probably remember those days when happiness means playing under the heat of the sun or watching the moon on a clear night, no television, no phones and other gadgets to distract you. Those were the days when you get fascinated by dragonflies and butterflies freely hopping from flower to flower, bloom to another bloom. Those were the days when climbing a guava tree and eating those crunchy fruits while you were perched on a swinging branch like a monkey was heaven. Those were the days when having pancit was a celebration of birthdays and special occasions. They are noodles cooked with different vegetables and slices of pork, a bit of shrimp or diced cooked chicken.

Ah, I  remember those days collecting marbles and rubber bands and playing with my brothers, who had the longest braid of rubber bands at the end of the game? And those cards we used to call tex. They were collectibles which we put in shoe boxes.

We called them tex.

Marbles. Locally we call them holen or jolen.

Now the use of rubber bands has evolved. A couple of years ago, I made bracelets out of them.

I’d like to think that growing up, we were the lucky ones not needing expensive gadgets and toys to have fun.

 

 

 

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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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Life


Go gently with life.

Savour each moment that passes,

Because tomorrow –

It will just be a memory.

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Childlike faith focuses on our Heavenly Father – not on our fears. 
Viva! Pit Señor, Santo Niño!

Wrote this on my wall today at Facebook.  The Sto. Nino  fiesta is a feast  celebrated in the Philippines every third Sunday of January.

As I’ve said in my previous post,  yesterday was a family day for us. We went to Tondo  to celebrate fiesta with them early.  It was a day full of laughter and sharing. Nate surely knows how to entertain.  He brought out some of his toys. Josef and I enjoyed playing with him and his go-kart and his set of beyblades.  It really feels good to act and play with a child once again.   Sometimes, we need these light moments, allowing ourselves to be young once more, enjoying the same activities of a little boy and  laughing  our hearts out in enjoyment.   We only see each other once a month so every time we do, we make use of the time just being happy.

Nissa prepared  pork sinigang sa bayabas. (soup made with pork and flavored with fresh guavas). Yes, we also use fresh guavas  for our  sinigang.  Mixed with gabi (taro root)  and water spinach, it was a yummy dish. Her mother-in-law cooked embutido and  prepared fruit salad and leche flan  for dessert. We brought along bibingka (rice cake).

It is really such a joy to spend another Saturday with the family.

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I remember this story when we still had the Koi and Pangasius fish in our small pond.

My  then six-year old niece was so elated to see our Koi and Pangasius fish swimming side by side at the garden pond.  Between taking the leash of our dog Soo Kee and running around the yard, she asked me to teach her how to remove  debris from the water using a small net. She had that permanent smile pasted on her face. Talk about simple things that a child enjoys.

Of all the questions I’ve been asked before, this one takes the cake.  “Natutulog ba ang mga isda Tita?” (Do fish ever sleep?)  And if you think her question ended there, you are mistaken. She further added, “Hindi sila napapagod lumangoy?” (Don’t they get tired swimming?). Intelligent questions, coming from a six-year old kid but I had no ready answer so I just told her, sometimes, they just stay in one corner and won’t move for a while, maybe that’s the time they get some rest.  I  was not satisfied with my answer so  I have to resort to surfing the net so I’ll be able to tell her the next time she comes for another visit.  And here’s what I’ve found on WikiAnswers.com:

Fish have no eyelids to blink, their eyes are already moist, because they live in water.  Since they have no eyelidsmany people mistakenly think that fish do not sleep.  Fish do sleep, they just stay very still in a  quiet corner. Scientists believe  they enter a rest state.

Our young ones do teach us simple lessons at times.  We must be alert enough to find a truthful answer and it is alright to say, you don’t know than inventing some outrageous lies that even you won’t accept.    She keeps saying  that she’ll spend her summer or  Christmas  break with us.  Kids could be a handful at times, but the  happy moments outweigh the pouts and crying, and a simple hug or a kiss would make your day complete.

The first time she saw Nate, I could not paint her face. I don’t know if she was just jealous of him or she felt insecure. She had been our  baby for so long that she got used to being the youngest in the family.

Now we know, fish do sleep and take a rest too.

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I had a good short chat with my doctor today.  I told him I am a survivor. He asked how long ago it was. He told me to forget about it. I have survived more than five years. What is important is that I am well now. Yes, I said. Health is wealth. He advised me to avoid stress as much as possible because it is the number one cause of illness. I do agree. It’s a good thing my blood pressure is now normal and my blood sugar has been consistently normal for the past four months since my first visit the last week of  January. I have to keep on the maintenance though, it’s for life.  He said to always be happy and look on the brighter things. Everyone of us has problems to overcome.

I suddenly remember one of our favorite topics before on our page at Facebook. Which is more important, the journey or the destination?  The journey would always be difficult somehow but then there is a certain kind of joy when we reach our destination. Maybe our attitude towards reaching our dreams counts a lot.The road maybe sometimes rough and treacherous but we carry on. We want to take a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Can’t believe it. My son is turning thirty-three tomorrow.  Seems like only yesterday when we would walk together to the next street in our subdivision, he, to go to school and I, to wait for my FX service in going to work.  We had adopted this ritual of listening to a fifteen minute Bible reading and reflections in one of the FM stations on radio by a Dominican priest.  It was aptly called The Sounds of the Soul. Along the way, we would discuss what we heard and learned. Those were the days that I miss.  The program is gone now replaced by morning news. Until now, my son and I still go together to attend mass on Sundays. Sometimes,  he attends one in the morning with me and one in the evening with his girlfriend.  He never forgets our Sunday obligation.  Looking forward to a simple birthday celebration. He’ll be on vacation leave for a few days.

I am into memoirs now, a two-series books by Susan Cutsforth, a journey of taking risks, living an extraordinary life in a town somewhere in France. I can’t help but compare the writings with that of Peter Mayle’s trilogy, memoirs about his stay in Provence. I love the latter’s works. He is a British author

How was your weekend?

 

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I spent the early part of the morning going over my several albums at Photobucket.  It’s where I keep most of the pictures I took several years ago with my previous cameras  and some photos Nissa sent me over at Viber and those taken on my tab.  I have a hard drive which I keep as backup for all our photos since I learned how to manipulate a camera.

Since Nate was born, we took thousands of photos of his growing years. I like those when he was still a baby particularly always holding a baby milk bottle in his hands. I like those shots when he learned to appreciate children’s books. I love those photos where he learned to explore and some of them were captured on simple one or two-minute videos. Caught him dancing and singing at the same time.  Kids could make  a melody on their own and put some awkward lyrics in the process. It is so easy for them to do so.  There were videos of him attending other kids’ birthday parties dancing with so much gusto.

Last Saturday, we played together as usual. He has toys here which we always take out when they are around. He counted his blocks while we tried matching and identifying the colors. He will be in kindergarten this coming school year. “Are you now going  to a big school?“I asked him.  He shook his head and answered, ” I don’t want to go to a big school, I like teacher Kaye”.  He was referring to one of his teachers in nursery.  Kids do know how to return favors with loving and  kind teachers.  He had a phobia when the summer last year, Nissa tried to enroll him  for about a week in a school near their place. He didn’t like the teacher.  He said the teacher shouted at her students. Young as he is, he is observant.

Memories in photographs, the art of frozen time, the ability to keep those moments alive and real.  Savoring life with thousands of photographs. Don’t you just love them?

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I was thrilled to see my three pots of turmeric sprouting new leaves. The leaves are oblong compared to the narrow green  leaves of ginger.  I read somewhere that turmeric produces lovely flowers too. I can’t wait to see them bloom. Seeing earthworms in the garden reminds me of those days with mom.

During the last days of summer and the onset of the rainy season, I would sometimes go with mom to go fishing in the river. Yes, we use the old-fashioned hook, line and fishing rod made of thin bamboo pole  and  earthworm as baits. Back then, when the ground is soft because of the rain, it is easier to dig large and fat earthworms near our vegetable plot. We would place them on a fine plastic net or a tin can with holes and a small amount of soil on top of the can so they could breathe and would not die.  We would bring boiled banana, sweet potato or rice cakes for snacks and a bottle of water.

Ah, we would normally catch biya, those small fresh-water fish and grill them  in charcoal.  Sauce from fresh green tamarind is the best partner for this and  freshly cooked rice of course.   There were times when crabs would cling to the line. Fishing with mom was such a wonderful memory that I would always cherish.  Those were the days, I think I was in grade school back then.

I remember those head gears which the old folks used to protect themselves from the rain. Believe me, they were even better than your sturdy umbrella. The takoko which is made of  dried palm leaves and woven into a wide umbrella-like  thing was so popular then.  It is not complete without the kalapiaw,  a native raincoat made of the same material, with a cord tied at the neck.  I tried them before but they were always too large for my small frame but believe me, they  were the best things to wear when the rain was hard. They were  so cozy and warm.

I catch myself smiling while  editing this post. Maybe that’s what lovely memories do to you, they become more keenly felt and remembered as you grow older.

I had a similar experience fishing with dad in another blog post which you can find here.

 

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