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Archive for the ‘photography’ Category


Last Saturday, Josef and I chanced upon fresh guavas in the market.  They were a bit costly though because I think guavas are not really in season now. But I was longing for sometime, Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas.  You may call sinigang fish stew or soup which may be flavored with sour ingredients like tomatoes, tamarind, vinegar or what have you.  You add green pepper for the taste. Bayabas is guava in Tagalog. Wow, it tasted simply wonderful.

I paired it with  crunchy fried zucchini as appetizer. What a lovely Saturday lunch we had.

I heard  Nate  shout over the phone “Happy Mother’s Day Nonna, Happy Birthday” early morning yesterday I laughed.  Maybe he equates mother’s day with celebrating birthdays too. We were not able to see  each other yesterday because Nissa’s family had lunch with her in-laws. That’s okay though because we will have a late family  celebration  Saturday next. Nate just finished his one-week kiddy training workshop at McDo last Friday and he was awarded a certificate being The Best of the Best. I had it on a separate blog post here. So proud o him. He did it on his own.

I so love weekends.  Family bonding is still the best.

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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – henry david thoreau

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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 am greeting my mom early for her 88th birthday. It is her birthday tomorrow but we will celebrate it properly when the kids are around this coming Saturday.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll be able to reach that ripe old age of 88. She is the youngest of four sisters and the oldest is almost a hundred years old now.  Their generation  is quite different from ours. They were not able to enjoy the age of technology which we call the internet nowadays. I remember though that we used to have that manual Underwood typewriter where Dad typed most of his correspondence at home.  My parents both studied shorthand writing. I was intrigued. When  I was in college, I took up six units of steno but that was all.  I never learned to appreciate shorthand. You need patience and skill to use it.  I don’t know if shorthand subjects are still offered until now. Here’s a picture we had earlier with mom, my eldest brother  Roy and my son Josef. The pinkish color in the background was because of the overhead lighting.

Some say you are totally blessed when you reach  80. The added years are a bonus to one’s age.  Maybe so, but those times are the times you feel your age. Pains and other illness crop up and  you need maintenance medicines for longer life.  They grow a little forgetful. Mom is hard of hearing, oftentimes, I write messages to her so she will understand and will be able to read them.  We don’t get to talk as much as we used to because she always says “I don’t know, I could not hear you“. What she hears are garbled sounds on her right ear. The  left is totally deaf.  Years ago, we bought her hearing aid upon the advice of  an otolaryngologist  but she never adjusted to it. Maybe old age has contributed to her hearing loss.

Happy birthday Mom, we love you. Good health and happiness always.

 

 

 

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I have previously blogged about our Lenten celebrations in so many posts before. Today, Palm Sunday, is the start of the celebration of Holy Week. It ends on Saturday, April 15 then Easter starts with Easter Sunday next week.

We attended an anticipated mass last night.  The palms we brought were blessed thrice. Most of the time we attend such masses the night before during Palm Sunday. There usually is a Palm Sunday procession in the morning. Palm fronds  are blessed. It signifies the triumphal entry of our Lord  into Jerusalem.  Holy Week is a solemn celebration for us Catholics. We remember Christ’s passion and  death for our sins.

Thank You Lord for these silent moments.

Quiet days in contemplation, quiet days of  reading  inspirational books I have collected through the years. I love the works of Thomas Merton, a Catholic writer, theologian and a mystic. He was also a  poet and a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani.  Back in college, I encountered  his works particularly his book, The Seven Storey Mountain. It’s a timeless spiritual book that influences  probably millions of  Catholic readers worldwide. My favorite though is a thin copy of  Thoughts in Solitude  given by a friend a few years ago. I always read it now and then.  I have some favorite quotes from the book:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

“Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.”

Henri Nouwen’s books come next.  He was a Dutch Catholic priest, writer and Theologian. I have three of his books which I also read when I am inspired. I bought them a while back at St. Paul’s.  I am quoting this lovely prayer for Lent which he wrote in A Cry for Mercy.

“How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting, and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death? Yes, Lord, I have to die—with you, through you, and in you—and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess…. I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it. O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen”

How lovely it is to encounter such gifted writers. How lovely it is to read their  inspirational works again.

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This morning I received another copy of the cute Irish Blessings book that I lost back in 2009 from the same friend who gave me the first one.  He sent it via a courier.

And these are just some of them, wishes and prayers that bring a smile when I read them.

May the good saints protect you

And bless you today

And may trouble ignore you

Each step of the way.

May your troubles be less

And your blessings be more

And nothing but happiness

Come through your door.

With the first light of sun –

Bless you

When the long day is done –

Bless you

In your smiles and your tears –

Bless you

Through each day of your years –

Bless you.

 Blessings to each one of you who read this.

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She was born premature,  eight months before I was induced by my OB Gynecologist because of pre-eclampsia.  We were worried she would not make it because she didn’t grow to be  a normal baby while she was  in my womb and was born at only 3.9 lbs. She could not even take an ounce of milk during the first few months. She was left in the hospital for about a month before we were able to take her home at 4.1 lbs. So small and tiny.

She is also a mother now. Nate is already four years old. When I look back,  I think of those early days of her life but how lucky and blessed we were that she grew up okay and well.

Last March 7, the whole family attended the garden wedding of my niece. They went  on leave from work so we could attend. We took pictures of course, a lot of Nate and some of us all together.  Here’s our latest picture together. I call it Mother-Daughter Team.

Nissa and me at he wedding…

Weddings are lovely, a promise of love to keep and to hold.

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