Archive for the ‘silence speaks’ Category

You know that feeling of being helpless because you can’t stop the typhoon from reaching your shores.  I am tuned in to the radio for the hourly updates and at the same time following PAGASA’s updates online. Typhoon Lawin has intensified into a super typhoon as it  moves closer to Cagayan and Isabela which are now under typhoon signal #5.

Strength:  Maximum sustained winds of up to 225 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 315 kph.
Forecast Movement: Forecast to move West Northwest at 24 kph.


Metro Manila is under signal  #1. I am praying that it would weaken somehow during landfall. Our friends and family  in the Northern part of the country have suffered enough. I am so worried how they will cope once the typhoon lands in their place. Every time there is a typhoon coming (even if it will not directly affect our place), I am  reminded  of typhoon Ondoy back in September 2009.  It always gives me the jitters. Imagine your house submerged up to your neck  and you have to renovate and replace almost all of the furnitures  and appliances which were destroyed by the flood. Imagine your books  ( a collection that started during your college years) submerged in water and much as you want to save them, the pages have glued together.  Three yearbooks  (mine, Josef’s and Nissa’s) completely destroyed. I cried seeing those because they were our only reminders of our university days in UST.  Imagine your worry that your scheduled visit to your oncologist and chemo treatment won’t push through because your car was also submerged in flood waters.  I can still remember it all vividly.

You learn your lesson and you learn it well but when natural calamities are your enemies, you can only cling to God and pray hard. I am praying hard that super typhoon Lawin would not be that strong when it hits land. Oh please, move a little faster and get out of our way.

Do you know that Lawin is a Tagalog term for the bird hawk?

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Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’……..
And the first one now

Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

These  words give me the shivers. They inspire me to understand  a bit of what is happening to my country. I am crying for the future of the next generation. I am crying because I could not verbalize what I feel but you said it well.  I am crying for the sense of decency that is slowly overshadowed by hate and ugly words. I dream of a nation where the people embrace each other and be one instead of being divided by ideologies.  Times are really changing. Words hurt, destroy a nation but they also inspire and give meaning to life.

I dream.

Thank you Bob Dylan.

You are an inspiration.


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“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The past few days I was wondering if we will ever come to know the real meaning of what truth is. Is it what you see with your own eyes  or what lies beyond words beautifully spoken but has no meaning at all? Is it what you see on the roadside, little kids begging for a scrap of something to eat,  men and women extending their hands for a few coins  and an unkempt baby carried by a distraught mother in the corner of the metropolis hoping for a little help from passersby.  There was this old man (maybe he is really not that old but time hasn’t been kind) I often see begging in one corner of the street going to the church here in our place.  He has his two feet bound by dirty gauze  with the toes protruding, with foot ulcers on almost all his toes.  His eyes speak of the hardship, sometimes staring at those passersby maybe hoping for a few coins to fill the small plastic can in front of him.  I wonder how he could even walk with those swollen feet and blisters on his legs.  Such is the truth as I see it, it stares at you in the face but sometimes you turn a blind eye because you are not the one affected.

I often wondered how some people could still sleep soundly amidst the lies they tell  to the vulnerable citizens of the country. I guess social media has a lot to answer for because they use it without any qualm for the outcome of their lies. Trolls and bot are all over the place. The shaming game, the ugly words uttered left and right, the lies told with such a straight face you would think they are telling the truth, the profanities  and expletives  you get to listen to day by day. Is this the new norm? I am afraid for the little kids who get to imitate and accept that those ugly words are just new ones they learn because they hear it every day – that it is alright to curse and say PI in front of prime time television, that it is alright to shame a woman fighting for the truth, that it is okay to laugh at some dirty jokes that demean  someone, that it is okay to kill and kill without due process.

Where are we going? Truth has become just a word without meaning and lies are more believable.  We keep silent and  the future seems a narrow road of discovery.

Where are we going?

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I hope it is not too late to say “happy birthday  Mama Mary”. 

For those of you who read  my blog regularly, you might have noticed that since 2011, I’ve been getting upward spike every time I blog about Mama Mary’s birthday and the bulk of views comes from my country. I love Mama Mary.  Yes, every September 7 and September 8, I get notifications from  WordPress. Last year was the highest so far with a total of 4,893 in one day alone.

WordPress has sent me notifications  since the other day and again I am amazed by the amount of views I got until this morning. This one is the latest so far with this message:

Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 303 hourly views – 6 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats.


Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 303 hourly views – 6 hourly views on average A spike in your stats

Translated into numbers, I got 2,020 views the other day and 2,713 views as of this morning. It is still moving upward. Thank you Mama Mary, my blog posts about you are instrumental in these numbers.

May you all be touched with everyday blessings.

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Last week, I searched for a studio in one of the malls near our place.  I need IDs for my application for SSS pension  and I haven’t had my ID taken since I left the bank  sixteen years ago.

I don’t indulge in selfies like most people do specially on Facebook where photos are so filtered you would think they all have flawless faces.  They don’t look real to me.  (Such an exaggeration to look good…haha). With such apps clearly on hand even with poorly taken photos, I think creativity is lost. I hate facing the camera especially in a formal one like a photography studio. I always prefer holding the camera and practise on my shots.  The picture actually turned out nice with a white background to my dark pink top. “A little to the right ma’am”, the photographer said. “Would you prefer to remove your eyeglasses?” “No”,  I answered.  Let it be said that this is how I look on my 60th year.  Mom got a copy of one of my  2″ x 2″ pictures and said, “ang ganda“.  Who would admire a photo with a subtle hint of lines on one’s face except your mom?  Laughs…. Oh but I had my hair trimmed and blown dry before I had my picture taken, that’s the secret 🙂

Got a total now of 1,842 blog posts including this one. I have clearly forgotten  some of what I wrote  a few years ago. Maybe  some of the subjects are quite redundant to write about. Maybe there is a need to change the writing style or change theme. I like the clear lines of Misty Look though, I’ve been using it since I started blogging seven years ago. The theme is easy to customize and navigate and I like that you can change the header photos at every post.  I must admit I often forget to update my other blogs. I have five including this main site. It is hard to start all over again but it is one of the challenges of blogging, maintaining a site  and thinking of some worth-reading content of course.

How’s your blogging journey?



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Welcome September!

Mom was watching an early morning show this morning and I noticed that one of their props is a duly decorated Christmas tree.  I smiled and thought “the countdown begins, it’s the start of the BER months, how lovely!” 

It’s the longest Christmas celebration ever. Oh yes, I am listening to the Christmas album of Johnny Mathis at the moment (on YouTube of course).  Who would not be thrilled at the thought of the most celebrated and most joyous season of the year?  It makes me sad though that every time I get to listen to Johnny Mathis’ Christmas album I always think of Dad. It was his favorite and you know Christmas is near when you hear these lovely songs of old.  He died one December night almost nine years ago.  One of my friends shouted out on her FB wall, “ilabas na si Jose Mari Chan”.  Jose Mari Chan is one of our most talented singers. he compose his own songs and he has several Christmas albums that find their way in every home and on radio stations when September is here.

This might be a bit late for September 1 because the last two  paragraphs were on draft  and I haven’t posted anything here since  August 30.  Seems as if I need to be reminded that it’s been six days since my last post and a week since posting a longer one.  I’ve been busy (same reason as before). The truth is I got so engrossed reading the past days. Gosh, I am happy to tell you that I’ve finished 85 books out of the 100 books I promised myself to read  this year and Goodread’s Reading Challenge for 2016 is a nice motivation.  15 more books to go and I’m done.

Know what, I am excited to be called a SC in  two months. When you reach the age of sixty, you’ll be proud to wear that senior citizen’s badge proclaiming to the world that you are  one.  You’ll always be in the priority lane, you get a 20% discount on medicines provided you have a legit prescription from your doctor, you can also enjoy discounts in restaurants, hotels, concerts, movies, air fare, groceries  etc. This afternoon, I went to SSS (Social Security System) to get an application form for retirement and to  inquire about the other things needed to be submitted.  Their branch in our place was full but I was able to talk to one of their employees after an hour of waiting. We had a short chat about my previous employment, how much I’ll gonna get every month for life, what identity papers I need to submit. She said, “I am sure Ma’am Arlene di tayo magkikita sa birthday mo pero right after your birthday dadalaw ka dito”.  It simply means that the day after I turned sixty, she’ll see me again. Getting in years gracefully, getting a little wiser with age while ignoring the occasional aches and pains of the advancing years.

Just grateful for everyday blessings! How’s the start of your week?


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Do you remember my blog post  a month ago about  our dog Noki and a newly adopted kitten we now call Mimi? I’ve long wanted to take her photo but every time I make an attempt, she moves and try to grab my tab.  Well, here she is finally :)  I caught her napping near our dining area a while ago. She  has grown chubby. Do you   think she needs to diet?  She always meow for food even if she’s done eating and Noki would allow her to take his bowl and eat again.  They are friends now. One of these days, I would take a photo of them together.

Our adopted kitty Mimi!

Our adopted kitty Mimi!

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