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Here I am again sharing some thoughts about my late dad.

We spent grade school in the province except Noel who transferred here in Manila during his last two years of grade school because be was the only one left there. The four of us graduated at the Univ. Of Santo Tomas Education High School. College life was also spent in UST.

I remember the summers way back then. That was the time we spent the summer break going to Manila to be with Dad. That was in the mid-60’s. Mom, my three brothers and I would ride in a Pantranco bus with two bundles of firewood meticulously gathered before our trip. We used charcoal and firewood to cook back then.

When we reached high school, summer days were spent in the province. I remember planting cashew nuts with Dad which eventually grew along the perimeter wall of our one-hectare lot. We also planted Formosa pineapples. They still bear fruits until now. Coconut trees are scattered all over.

At first, it was just the three of us, dad, my older brother and I stayed in our very small house in Quezon City when I started high school. Mom and my two brothers were left in the province. Do you believe that I started reading Mills and Boons pocketbooks when I was in high school?

Dad would bring home three or four pocketbooks which he usually borrow from the UST high school library. After a week, another batch is borrowed. It was where I learned more about those lovely places aside from our country. I worked for a while at the Humanities section of the UST Main Library way back in college. That’s where I learned serious reading because of the many subjects/books that I encountered.

Gosh, every year since Dad died, I would blog about him during his birthday and death anniversary. Perhaps you’ve read about those anecdotes that I have shared before.

Today is dad’s 14th death anniversary. I miss him…still.

🥲😒❤🧡

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First of all, I’d like to thank you for all the prayers for Alden. It is deeply appreciated.

The other day, I started filling up my journal with quotes from the books I’ve read, my own quotes which I have shared to our Catholic page and two groups. I am sure, I have written them long ago here. With almost 4,000 blog posts, I have forgotten about them. Some as early as 2011. I am reposting them. Thanks to Memories on Facebook. I am sharing them with you:

See something positive in everyday that passes and you’ll discover as the days go by that life is beautiful. Think of hurdles as challenges that would push you to a life of happiness. Life needs hurdles on its path for its advance.

Sometimes, crying is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strenght.

I would love to re-phrase this quote from E.B White. “ I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world. This makes it hard to plan the day”.

Here’s mine. I would just love to enjoy the world right at this moment. I choose to dream of pleasant things that would make life worthwhile. I choose happiness over negative thoughts that sometimes linger in my mind. I choose Today, I choose serenity.

Why not show the world that you can smile despite the tears? Why not show everyone that you can be brave despite the fears?

Sometimes, happiness is found in the smallest details of people’s lives. The untrodden path may seem daunting at the start, but it’s when you are brave to follow the trail that gives life’s meaning, it’s when you stumble along the way that you’ll really know that the end of the road is a beautiful vista of surprises.

They were all from my posts in 2011 afterall. Gonna share with you a photo of Nate and Nissa with Ogie Alcasid, an actor, talented composer and singer. They chanced upon him on their way to Siquijor and Dumaguete City down south. Nate’s first plane ride and they were on the same flight.

The captions says, “is this really necessary Mommy”?😅😂🤣

It was their treat to Nate’s second birthday.

Look at his expression. This was taken November 2014.

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It’s been a while that it rains every afternoon preventing me from visiting the garden again. I’ve long wanted to repot the plants I bought a couple of months ago. Finally, the Cinamumu plants that my former boss at the bank gave me are bearing those tiny green buds which will turn into scented yellow blooms.

Cloudy skies at the most. Don’t get me wrong, clouds are one of my favorite subjects in photography but only when I could see the blue sky in the background. Sometimes on a clear day, they move so fast and you could see various figures up there.

I miss seeing the stars at night. They make me dream of distant places I have yet to traverse. Dreaming at least keep us grounded in our lives. I remember those nights wayback in the province when my brothers and some cousins would watch the starry night lying on the grass in front of the house while munching on boiled peanuts or sweet potato. We seldom had bread but we had rootcrops instead.

I was one of those with many childhood dreams. I dreamt of finishing a course in college in a big university, have a job in one of those prestigious banks in Ayala Avenue, have my own family and nice house in the suburb. Simple dreams you might say, but back in those days, for a provincial lass like me, those dreams were too big. One by one they came true. I graduated in the oldest Catholic university in Asia. University of Santo Tomas was founded in 1611. I earned a degree in Economics. I was employed in the oldest bank in the country, Bank of the Philippine Islands which opened its doors in 1851. I have two kids who I am so proud of. Nissa is a manager at Bank of the Philippine Island, Josef works at JP Morgan Chase Bank. They both graduated in UST too. So proud of my precious, smart and talented grandson. Gosh, I’ll be turning 65 in three days.

I remember this lovely quote from Langston Hughes that I have memorized during my college years.

Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

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Oh my! This is simply weird.

I had a very lovely dream last night but for the life of me, I could not remember a thing when I woke up. I didn’t want to open my eyes because that would mean I am awake. I needed to go to the bathroom and that was what woke me. I used to have these little notebook and pen on my night table to write what I remember about my dream but over the years I got lazy. Sometimes you dream myriad of subjects, people and friends you remember, your family, certain places that you’ve been to, places you want to go to, things that are scary or sometimes you dream of that thing you were thinking about before you went to sleep.

Three words.

Begonia.

Immunity.

Antibodies.

Would you believe that I keep forgetting all these three lately? That name of the plant I used to have in my garden, its name is always at the tip of my tongue, but I usually forget. Take the words immunity and antibodies. These words became familiar to me when I had Covid more than two months ago. Goodness gracious, why couldn’t I remember them at the spur of the moment. I have to write them down in my journal. Weird, isn’t it? Does it happen to you?

Whoa, I am really getting old😉😘🙂

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Hello guys. Good morning.

Yesterday, I received a congratulatory message from WordPress. Thirteen years ago, I opened an account here upon the recommendation of a friend from Multiply.

I tried creating one of course but all I posted was a pathetic single poem from my journal. It took me more than a year to come back and learned how to customize it. I chose a free theme and I am still using one until now. It would take maybe a year or two more to utilize it fully.

I started actually posting and transferring some posts from Friendster and Multiply back in May 2009, a few days after I learned that I had to undergo the inevitable sigmoidoscopy. Back then, the result of my colonoscopy was not good. To cut the story short, my surgical oncologist removed about nine inches of my colon. I started chemo a month after, six sessions of pain and distress for almost half a year.

I have to look for something that would occupy my empty days aside from reading. I have to give up gardening for almost a year. So I thought of visiting my account at WordPress and learn everything from there.

Do you remember how you started? I got a measly ten visits and two followers almost a month after. It was only when I braved myself to join WordPress’ Post A Day Challenge that my blog was noticed by a few. That was ten years ago and the rest is history now.

I gained new online friends, fellow bloggers who were just starting too. Some of them I still follow until now and they had followed me back. Some got lost in cyberspace, stopped blogging and even deleted their accounts.

I don’t really know why some people follow you but you can’t even hear from them. No likes, no comments, no whatsoever. Some of course expect that you follow them back. It’s not an automatic response from me.

If I have to count those active bloggers who I exchange ideas and comments with, fifty would be a lucky number. One thing though, I found true friends here, learned a lot from their posts, admired the photos they shared, admired the reviews of books they have read and I was inspired by their posts on different subjects. Travelling without leaving your corner, seeing a slice of the world we live in.

So it’s my 13th year. I congratulate myself that I reached this far.

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We are on the last leg of the year 2020, the last twenty nine days before 2021.

This is the year that I can’t honestly say, “time flies” because it didn’t. The days have been so slow. I guess we have the longest lock down ever in this planet. It started middle of March and we’re still under modified general community quarantine. Metro Manila is under general community quarantine. I think there is not much difference between the two. There are still many things that keep preventing us to go back to normal life, if we still could have that in the future. This government is relying on the vaccine to stop this pandemic. Oh my, they say, they will import it from china. What are they up to? I will never have myself vaccinated with drugs coming from that place. They brought the virus here in the first place.

The last time we had a kind of social life here were when Fr. Aly had lunch with us back in February, Jovy’s grandma and cousin had an overnight stay sometime in June or July and having Nissa and Obet around twice in a span of seven months. Nissa still works from home and only reports back to the office twice a week. Being immunocompromised is a little harder than those having a stronger immune system. She had just her major operation last September. That is why I am also afraid to be exposed much outside. Since my chemo years ago, it takes almost a month for me to be healed of common colds.

Now I rely on getting calls and texts from family members and friends. This morning, Nate called me up on Messenger. He always insists on voice chats…haha! I was also able to talk to Nissa for a while. It’s kind of different though when you don’t see them personally. I miss Nate’s laughter, his jolly stories about school, the things he learned lately and always the hugs and kisses.

And this would be a different celebration of Christmas too. By the way, I am excited to know the outcome of Goodreads’ book choices this year. Sometimes, I am lucky enough to read those titles that get to be number one on their list be it memoirs, non-fiction, historical fiction, thrillers and the like. And yes, the most anticipated books this December. It might be a thrill to know another author in their midst.

How was the year for you so far?

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Whew! I am  finally done updating prayers and Gospel readings for the whole month of December 2020  at our Catholic page on Facebook. All I need to do now is to add some insights on how Christmas is celebrated around the world and that needs a bit of research. I have to source photos of  Catholic events this coming December since I could not find our previous albums in our page.

This morning I had my anti-pneumonia vaccine which will be in effect for five years. I would have brought Mom at the Senior Citizen’s Hall but she could not walk that well and she does not want to wear face mask. She could  not grasp the danger of going out without a mask. Besides, senior citizens at her age are not allowed to go out. They set the limit up to the age of 65.

I had a good chat with two long-lost friends today.  It is really so nice to get in touch again after all these years and it felt like nothing has changed that much. I had a video chat with one of them.

Tonight, I’ll catch up on my reading again.

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Five years from now,  we may look back and remember, 2020 was not such a good year.

It started with a fire in Australia and locally, we’ve seen the normally passive Taal volcano erupt, then this Covid-19 pandemic touched our shores followed by typhoons that brought havoc to some provinces especially in the Bicol region. Gosh, as if this is not enough, we still have this  government whose priority is not the welfare of the Filipino people.

We endure and we have to. I haven’t been out of our subdivision since February 2020. The farthest I’ve gone to was at the gate of the village where we have a grocery store. The items sold there are not complete and I kept urging Josef for us to go to the supermarket before November ends so we could buy things we need for the Christmas season.

We are still under general community quarantine although those with age 16 and until 65 are already qualified to go out to buy necessities, medicines etc provided we wear face shields and face masks. I wonder how we could renew Mom’s  social security benefits come January. She is the sole beneficiary of dad’s pension and beneficiaries are required to update their status every year so they could continue to receive their pensions. It’s quite impractical now for her to go out even with the car and a companion. I asked Social Security System (SSS) if we could apply for a home visit but they just gave a link where to write to and they never answered.  SSS has changed the schedule of dates where they will credit benefits for our monthly pension and horror of horrors, there are many of us pensioners who didn’t  receive our September pensions. SSS knows about this but they are requiring us to submit Statement of Account from the banks where our pensions are maintained. It’s their fault not ours, and they  have data base of all those pensioners they didn’t credit.  I am afraid this might turn into another hocus pocus of this government. They did that to Philhealth, 15B was lost thru corruption.

2020 is really a crazy year. I hope 2021 would be more kind to us all.

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So I blogged about my outstanding stats last night  and I still think that my blog posts on Mama Mary garnered the highest stats throughout the years I’ve been blogging. Hooray!

Got this early morning rants that I can’t simply ignore. I really don’t know what really is the government’s priority, it seems that they are not so focused in this pandemic. Even DOH’s daily reports seems to be lacking in substance.  We have reached almost 250,000 positive cases and it still keeps on rising every day. A few days ago, they discovered bigtime anomalies at our Philhealth system. The officials appointed by the present administration squandered 15B worth of  funds and the president just let the head of it resign because of ill-health? Amazing…in a bad way. Those funds are contributions from the working force of this nation. One is allowed voluntary  monthly contributions when you retire early until you reach the age 60. Once you become a senior, you  are not required to pay anymore. They say that by next year,  there will be no more funds for the people to use in case they are hospitalized. Philhealth deduction is the only way  that could help a patient pay her/his hospital bills. It’s our health insurance. I wonder if we will still be able to avail of it in the next few years.

Then here comes DENR  (Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources) who thought of dumping dolomite sands at Manila Bay because they want to have a white beach like what we have in Boracay. But this dolomite according to study is detrimental to our health. I wonder, once it rains hard, this might be washed away and garbage from other nearby towns would appear again at the shores of Manila Bay. Is this a priority? Duterte keeps saying that there is no more budget to sustain the treatment and prevention of COVID 19 and yet they have a budget for this synthetic sand to the tune of 389M when the baywalk  is only  500 meters in length. Environmentalists are definitely opposed to this project. Some estimated that 50M is enough, where will the remaining amount go? In their pockets? I say it is a misplaced priority.

On 30 January 2020, the Philippine Department of Health reported the first case of COVID-19 in the country with a 38-year-old female chinese national. On 7 March, the first local transmission of COVID-19 was confirmed. But they ignored it. They continued the flight of chinese nationals into the country until they found out that some chinese living here have their own hospitals where they treat chinese COVID patients. I don’t know what happened, because they were not reported again. Duque, the secretary of the Department of Health was then even proud to say that the control is manageable until it reached what we have  now. No aggressive contact tracing was done until late.  Our senators are urging Duque to resign but Duterte keeps defending him. He is so useless in DOH.

We’ve been having this CQs  (ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, MGCQ) which means community quarantine since March until now. They can declare all those CQs in our midst but our economy is suffering. Many have lost their jobs and some have resorted to online selling to augment their budgets for the family. Come to think of it, this government even thought of having these small-scale/household business registered  and be taxed.  Why can’t they force those POGOs (Philippine Online Gaming Operators) from china to properly pay their taxes which are in arrears for so long now. Someone up there is beholden to china.

And the head of the nation hasn’t shown his face for I think more than a month now. He does not even stay in Malacanang.

 

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