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Yes, you read it right. I have just updated all my blogs at WordPress. You may click the links and be updated too, if you have the time to visit, that is. I will surely appreciate it very much.

I created another blog sometime last March but I have only updated it after a few months. This morning, I finally finished customizing it using the Mystique theme. I love uncluttered and clean lines in a blog so it took me so long to find a free theme to my liking. It’s still a work in progress.  When I get to consume my remaining free 30% for Dreams and Escapes, I’ll switch to that new blog but will post now and then for updates.

May I invite you to visit Dreams Never End and follow it too? Would love to see you there. Thank you so much.

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For a while now, since WordPress upgraded to a new post format, I have noticed this. I still use the old one by going to the Dashboard, choosing Posts then Add New. It will bring you to the old format. Since I am so used to it for the past five years or so, I still find it convenient and easier to do a blog post in this set-up. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks that easily, right?  I rather like the new apps and updates WordPress is making but sometimes, I find it harder to blog using all these.

I noticed that even if I post a new blog entry through this old format, when I make edits once it is posted, it reverts back to the new one with all my paragraphs lumped together in just one whole mess so I have to edit it again and press enter twice to make those paragraphs appear again. Why is this so? Have you noticed it too?

I am glad though that when I looked at my stats today, it finally reached 325,014. Today is Holy Saturday, easier to remember that Holy Week 2015 brought me followers too. The past three days, I was surprised by the number of visitors reading my blog posts.  It’s a nice feeling to be noticed in the blogging world.  Oh and there is 31% more left for me to use.

Blogging has become a way of life….certainly. I could not imagine my days not visiting WordPress. I could not imagine reading a blog post from my WordPress friends without commenting. I am enriched by the things they share in their blogs. I learn a lot too seeing photos of places I have never visited. I am blessed knowing a bit of a different culture from mine.

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There is not only more to each soul’s journey than we imagine, usually there is more than we can imagine. –richard paul evans

Why is it that sometimes, my day seems so incomplete if I don’t share my thoughts here?  I remember  that one time a friend told me that “even blogging is a way of life”. Do you agree?

Five years, a long time to share one’s thoughts in cyber space. I never thought that I will last  this long in the blogging world. It gets more addicting when you find new  friends who really and sincerely admire your posts and  read everything  down to the misplaced comma or misspelled word.  Maybe if I would collate all these from the first few lines I wrote when I started, I’ll have a thick book by now. Scattered thoughts, broken dreams, unfulfilled promises, disappointments, happy and delirious moments that I just have to write about because seeing them in print (even just in this platform) is the only way I know how.  Somehow when you feel so alone in a crowd, you turn to something that would make your world a little brighter even just for a few moments.  The good thing about writing your thoughts (but not necessarily sharing them to the world) is that you learn to cope with the dark days and see the promise of a new day. The sun always rises even if there is a storm but you don’t always see it. You look back and sometimes you wonder, did you really think that it would make a big difference to the world or  make a dent in yours?  I must admit, there is that kind of self-fulfillment when you write no matter how mundane or unimaginative your thoughts are.

Two nights ago, I dreamed of Dad. You know that kind of dream that goes on through the night and lasts till you open your eyes to the morning sun touching your face. It’s been almost seven years now since he left us one Friday night in a cold December.  I miss those days when  we used to talk a lot about anything under the sun, the way he struggled in life at a very young age because my grandfather who got married a second time when they were small cannot afford to send them all to school at the same time. They were fifteen in all (half-siblings included) and I was a year older than my youngest aunt. We were quite lucky to study in a prestigious  university  all through high school and college because of his efforts. He was a brave soul and I miss him. It is always around this time of year that I get so nostalgic and yearn for the good old days when he was alive. I always blog about him  on his birthday and death anniversary.

This might seem a childish wish, but I want to see Ayala Avenue at night with all the twinkling  dancing lights and sounds,  some moments that would make a child wish for a starry, starry night.  I asked Nissa if she could take a picture of  it some time before they go home after office.

Life told, dreams shared, moments cherished. The journey is one long road of discovery.

(this is my 1,535th post according to WordPress)

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I know, I know, some of you would probably say or think there is still time. It seems as if time is running out on me, of course not and that is not why I am writing this blog. At some point in our lives, we think of things that we would like to do, things we would  like to try at least once, things that somehow in the course of the years remain just that –  pipe dreams, still.

When  the kids were young and I was still working, I kept on thinking, when they grow up, I would plan to do all these but family life will always be a priority and still is until now. These come in no particular order or how important they are in my life. I just thought I could still make up for lost time and do a thing or two.

enrol in a culinary school. And I don’t mean just the six sessions I did at Sylvia Reynoso Gala Culinary Studio with Sylvia herself and her two kids Ernest and Morella.  Learning the basics of cooking for more than your family and close friends, learning how to prepare Chinese food with fresh ingredients, learning how to bake bars, cookies and simple bread, I think there is more to culinary arts than this. I learned a lot though, but still it was not enough. You need  sizable financial resources now to enrol in a named culinary school and I don’t have that.

–  rappelling. Rappelling, are you kidding? How can that be? My daughter did it when she was in high school  in one of their school activities. My knees tremble looking down from a higher place. That goes the same with zip line.  Nissa has lovely pictures when she and her friends did zip lining in Tagaytay. I remember one time when we went to Enchanted Kingdom and they did all the rides except me. I was content watching and taking pictures.

biking. Oh please, don’t laugh. At my age, I never  learned how to bike. The only brave thing I did was to drive a tri bike, the one which has a back ride. I had good balance that way, perfect opportunity to drive my children around the village when they were kids. Every kid in town learned  how to bike, except this kid.

swimming. I’d like to think I have an affinity with the sea with all its angst and gentle waves lapping at my feet but I was so afraid to let my body sink into the water without touching the floor.  Staying on the shore, looking at the blue ocean waters, watching the sunrise and the golden sunset and finding shells were more my thing. Back in the province, we have this clean river where we used to  go  to during the summer months or where we catch fish at the start of the rainy season.  Those were the times when I truly enjoyed it, fishing with mom and dad during school break.

horseback riding.  Here in our country, that’s for the upper class, if you know what I mean. My grandson Nate is luckier than I am because he has already experienced a pony ride in Tagaytay.

writing a book. There is still a possibility here but I only dream of writing one, some sort of memoirs perhaps. Ambitious, right?  I’d like to share to the whole world, particularly to those undergoing health issues right now  that there is life after cancer, that you could still  dream  after chemotherapy, that the latter is not always the best recourse for treatment.

I don’t know if I could do one of these but I am sure I could still learn to cook paella (with all the ingredients and trimmings) or probably chicken galantina for Christmas Eve and bake my birthday cake next time.

 

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They come back in snatches, like a favorite old song that keeps you thinking how you felt while you listen and sing along. They come back, like the gentle patter of raindrops outside  your  window sans the frightening thunder and lightning that always accompany a thunderstorm. They come back and they make you smile.

Our overhead light got busted and you might think it silly that I am using a LED  light attached to my transistor radio to type my way through. I am afraid  I would forget these lovely thoughts if I postpone writing them even for an hour. I spent  the early evening visiting my favorite writers at Philippine Star. The latter is a  favorite national daily too because it was through their invites that I got two articles published a few years ago.  I was so happy that I got paid for  writing an article about OFW families, which we were back then.  I am digressing again. I read the editorial  page of  the Philippine Star now and then but I never skip the lifestyle section of the paper looking for Second Wind, a byline by Barbara Gonzales and Love Lucy by Lucy Torres. The former is a 70 something retired advertising executive who shares her journey with her readers. She writes, teaches writing, does arts and crafts while Lucy is the Lucy Torres Gomez, a house representative from Ormoc down south.  I am inspired by their writing style  that I laugh sometimes all by myself while reading their articles.  Lucy writes fluidly about her early childhood, her dreams when she reaches 85 (haha), her penchant for arts and crafts, her preference for writing short notes on pretty stationeries and sealed in even prettier envelopes, the midnight snacks she always craves for with hubby Richard.  These remind me of the days growing up in the province.

When we were kids, my aunt had a small sari-sari store that sold  everything from bubble gums, Vicks candies to Tancho pomade and that green aftershave/cologne that they used in barber shops  way back then. My favorite was the Vicks candies in small packets with free plastic rings that my cousins and I used to collect. All my fingers would be adorned with different colors of rings in different designs. Heaven! The treasures of youth.  I remember the happy times  when my cousins and I would gather dry twigs to use for cooking  and during summer, armed with wide baskets and bayong,  we would go out in the heat of the sun to gather duhat (black plum) for afternoon snacks. My girl cousins would use fresh annatto seeds growing in the backyard to color our lips,  and we would use madre cacao to curl our hair.  On moonlit nights, my cousins and I would play patintero or luksong tinik and tumbang preso. They were priceless games that a child of ten would definitely enjoy. The best though were the times when we would drink coconut juice straight from the tree and later eat the buko as soon as they were scraped from the husk.  By the  way, buko is a  young coconut.I had my share of climbing trees too (guava trees) mostly. Those were the days,  lovely memories of the past.  Some may be a bit hazy but the fun attached to those long-ago days are still fresh in my mind.

They make me smile with that pleasant ache of remembrance.  Traipsing down memory lane. What were yours, can you remember?

 

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This is just the thing that I don’t like sometimes because I thought, not writing it would still makes me remember those lovely words in my head. I have a  thought box now, a lovely Fannie May chocolate tin that I saved last month  and started filling it with simple writings that pop up now and then, when it is so inconvenient to sit in front of my PC, explore and write. Did that ever happen to you? Words come when you are so busy doing something else but your thoughts keep intruding, shouting to be written or else you forget. It always happens and no matter what I do, I could not recapture those exact words. It is so frustrating.

Last night, I dreamed of a few lines that I thought I could remember when I wake up. I even dreamed that I write it pronto so they wouldn’t get lost but my sleepy eyes won and now I don’t remember a thing.  I told myself that there will always be more time to capture those lovely thoughts. I wish.

Dreams are sometimes so fleeting, they vanish quickly before you could even say “hello world, I am wide awake now”.

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I decided to make this public since I am proud that I’ve reached this far. For the past three years, I’ve looked forward to the year-end report of WordPress on my four blogs. I am sharing this with you. And I would love to thank all those bloggers who made comments and visited my blog. Thank you all for sharing with me and making everyday something to always look forward to.

Thank you WordPress 🙂

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Here’s a toast to more inspiring blogs for 2014. Looking forward to meeting more inspiring bloggers too. And I promised myself last night, I’ll take another challenge of writing and sharing my thoughts every day here.

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And since I am still on the topic of blogging, I’d like to properly acknowledge those who have given me some blogging nominations  the latest of which were just last week and today. When I started blogging at WordPress, I was not aware of these nominations until I got one from a long-time reader of my blog back in December 2011. The Versatile Blogger Award was my very first nomination. Luckily I was able to make a short write-up on the seven random things about myself and was also able to nominate fifteen bloggers to receive the same.  Unfortunately, it stopped there but I always acknowledge those fellow bloggers who recommended me for such.

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Then it was followed by these.

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beautifulblogger

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very inspiring blogger awardMy new blog Our Precious Bundle of Joy  got the following nomination last March 2013 a few months after I started it.

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Since the requirements are  basically  the same, I am reposting the seven random things about myself but it would probably take longer before I could nominate bloggers I follow and I visit because they are equally good and their blogs  are all wonderful and interesting. Please bear with me and thank you so much for including me in your lists.

Seven Random Things  About Myself:

1. I am a Filipina who loves to write and dabble in photography.

2. I am a survivor. It’s the real reason why this blog exists because I am sharing my plight as a cancer survivor.

3. I love to eat green mangoes, sliced thinly with the skin on and dipped in fish sauce or sprinkled with salt.

4. I don’t drink milk.  Weird isn’t it but  my mom said I was breast-fed as a baby.

5. Though I love to write and take photographs, I think I am a gardener at heart. I love to feel the earth in my hands and take shots of all the blooms in our garden.

6. I collect books by Richard Paul Evans, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Robin Cook and Rosamunde Pilcher.  It’s an eclectic mix of reading genre.

7. Just like most bloggers, I also dream of being published someday,  and share my journey on how to cope with cancer.

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It’s been a while  and that translates  to almost a week without blogging. Here’s one sure proof that a day is not complete without writing those thoughts, some fleeting burst of inspiration but always, always would not come when you’re ready to write them down and immortalize them on paper, that is. Being busy does not help either and it was quite a busy week for me.

I’ve checked my dashboard closely since I got some e-mail updates from about.me , an app which let you make a short introduction about yourself but completely separate from the “about page” of WordPress. You can link it to Facebook, Twitter and WordPress. It helps that every update you post on WordPress is automatically posted as link to your blog. It’s only now that I get to appreciate it after  almost a year of using it and earned views and compliments on the side. Maybe their feature on “Added Me to A Collection”  is equal to the blog follows which they have here at WordPress.  I am not too conscious on how many blog followers I have  since I also carefully choose those that I follow so if you are in my orbit, I find all your blogs interesting, something I come back to now and then for updates and where I learn something too on everything you share. My blog followers increased a little though when I joined the  2011 post a day challenge. And when I think of it, I still can’t believe that I was able to challenge myself to write every day and share it with the world. It was fun and it brought me a very significant upswing in my stats which I think is more important than how many followers one has. It makes me smile when  I encounter people who are not even my  blog followers and yet  make lovely  comments in some of my posts. The last time I looked, WordPress has this update:

1,351  posts (and this is my 1,352nd)

239,378  viewed my page

620  followers

And this is only for my main blog, Dreams and Escapes. I also have three more blogs  which are steadily gaining views/followers/comments but I don’t regularly update them as much as I do with my main blog. And I want to be honest with you, I don’t regularly read Freshly Pressed  but I admire those bloggers whose posts are featured there. And I don’t follow  WordPress’s suggestions on what to write about except for participating in their Weekly Photo Challenge which I haven’t done lately. Four years ago, I started this blog to share my plight as a cancer patient/survivor and over the years it somehow evolved into something more personal than writing about doctor visits, chemotherapy and such.  I am allowed 3,072MB to use but I already used up 1,889.85MB. That’s a total of 62% space used and I am wondering how the remaining 38% would last, always taking into account the pictures I attach on almost all of my blogs. Maybe, I have to cut on posting photos and update my Cams and Photos blog instead. I still picture myself blogging for the next three or four years, making  regular updates on my blog about baby Nate. One thing I learned is this, having so many followers does not equate to more viewers  and  even if your blog has a few followers , if they like the content of your blog, they will always come back and visit you.

What about you? Do you find self-fulfillment in blogging? I do.

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