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Hello April


And here I thought of welcoming  April with a bang but it’s not to be. I was just not that inspired to write because there are other priorities.  I do remember the times when saying goodbye to a previous month and welcoming a new one were  my regular posts. March is gone too soon, April though is one of my favorite months.  Summer is here to stay. Despite  the heat, summer is something I look forward to.  I love all fruits in season during summer. Just the other day, I saw  star apples in one of the fruit stands here in our place but since we were on our way to do some groceries, buying some would have to wait.

It’s barely a month before Election day and it is so disappointing to see postings on Facebook with accompanying memes.   Some people are out to do (and been doing it for the past several months) demolition jobs on worthy candidates, doing dirty tricks while promoting candidates of their own.  Have we become a nation of insensitive people? Have we become a nation of people who harbor hatred just because we are free to air what we feel?  Social media have done a good job of this, such petty political squabbles bringing all their dirt in the open. I dread to think that in a month we may have a president who is believed to be corrupt and amassed wealth illegally, or a president who has previously denounced  her allegiance to the Philippines  and came back with her American family in tow, or a president  who is a loud mouth  and who cursed the Pope and is so proud now that he has received a letter from the Vatican  stating that they appreciate his apology. It is a bit scary how he show respect for women and how he values life.

It pains me to see the so obvious divisiveness in all of us.  It pains me that every election time, we have to go through the motion of destroying  each other just because of politics.  Who to vote for is a favorite topic now on the dining table.  I am still looking forward to the presidential and vice-presidential debates lined up this month and I am praying that the electorate would be discerning enough to choose the best, one who will put the nation on the right path to progress, one who would put in mind that he will be there to serve the Filipino people  and not his own selfish needs.  We are so blessed and lucky that here in our town, the government is very visible. You can approach our town mayor even through texts and one good thing is he listens and responds to our  complaints.  We are lucky that so many worthy projects were done the last three years for the town’s improvement.

I pray for a clean and honest election.  Fight for your right  and vote!

 

One Summer Day


“Everyone needs an emotional foxhole. A place to hide when life’s storms hit” – richard paul evans

When the ocean  meets the sky

I took this shot several years ago  on one of our road trips.  The calmness of the sea always brings peace to my soul.  I wish I could be here once more. It must be nice to wake up early and retrace your steps on once familiar places.  It must be nice to sink your feet  in the rich sand and feel the gentle waves  lapping at your toes.   It must be nice just to be here  alone.

 

Happy Tuesday


Hello everyone!

I’ve finally been able to update my gardening blog, the most neglected one among the five blogs I maintain at WordPress.  Spent the early morning gardening and taking some photos of my garden blooms. Josef bought a new grass cutter yesterday so I was able to trim our Green Dust and Fukien Tea plants. The round shapes are not perfect but  at least they look lovely now without the extra branches and leaves scattered all over.

I am looking forward to another Senate hearing today on the $81M bank  heist which according to recent news may be the biggest in Asia yet.  How it found its way to RCBC, a local bank here in the Philippines and how it ended up in some fictitious accounts is the gist of the investigation.  Maybe you’ve heard about this big, big news in the banking world.

There is one program on TV that I watch regularly now (since the start of the year, that is).  I am not much of a TV addict  but I watch news from time to time and catch a little of early morning programs.  Tawag ng Tanghalan though caught my eye one afternoon while I was ironing.  I remember this program was in existence when I was growing up, back then, my mom used to listen to it on radio. They have revived it a few months ago. I am simply overwhelmed by the talent in singing displayed by contestants from all parts of the Philippines. The country is truly a gem of a place where you can find good musicians, composers and great singers.  Even a five-year old can belt out a nice Tagalog song and dance to the tune of the latest songs. I’m impressed. The television program is now in the process of choosing  the first-quarter finalist from among the top five semi-finalists  and they are all good. I marvel at the way they could touch the high notes in both English and Tagalog songs.  I almost missed it yesterday. I laugh  at myself sometimes when I imitate the way they sing after the show. (Don’t worry, nobody hears it except me…hehe).  It’s the last song syndrome if I may say.  Sometimes, it stays with me even when I am gardening or feeding the dogs.

I hope your day is a wonderful one. May I also invite you to visit my gardening blog? You can just click the link on this post.

Why I Read, What I Read


I have a library of books I have read which I have uploaded on Facebook via Goodreads app. I could not count the times that I blogged about books and reading and occasionally post bits of book reviews all these years. I used to update my books at shelfari.com, an online library where I personally met my reading buddies through a book club.  Since our well-loved books were destroyed by typhoon Ondoy back in 2009, I  got lazy updating the site and forgot those thousands of book titles that I’ve uploaded there. Lately though, while I was updating my journal I found a printed copy of all my books there. Yes, back then, you can easily print a list of books you have in your shelves.  I even have a wish list printed too.  I have marked those I have finally found while browsing at Booksale and getting copies of those hard to find  titles which a generous friend  brought home.

A friend got curious and asked me what my favorite books are so I am reposting this list of old-time favorites. They are just twenty  titles,  some of which  I have reread over the years. I bet if you are a reader, you have some of these in your shelves too.

1. Markings – Dag Hammarskjold
2. Seasons in the Sun – Rod McKuen
3. All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten – Robert Fulghum
4. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint Exupery
5. The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
6. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
7.  Letting Go – Morrie Schwartz
8. The Heart of Loving – Eugene Kennedy
9. Gift from the Sea – Anne Morrow Lindbergh
10. Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
11. Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am – John Powell
12. Simple Moments – Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD
13. Charlotte’s Web – E. B. White
14. I Like You Just Because – Albert Nimeth, OFM
15. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
16. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
17. Embraced By the Light – Betty J. Eadie
18. It Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It – Robert  Fulghum
19. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
20. Grow Something Besides Old – Laurie Beth Jones.

A few minutes ago, I saw a picture of Viktor E. Frankl on Brain Pickings. He was  the author of that riveting  and profound  book called  Man’s Search For Meaning. He  was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor.  I read it twice, once when I was in college and again when the kids were growing up.  It’s about his personal experience as a concentration camp inmate during the Holocaust.  I marked it as five-stars on Goodreads.  Maybe, reading that somehow shaped my views on history because until now, I am still  reading fiction and-non fiction books on  WW II.  Finding the Diary of Anne Frank cemented it though. I read Schindler’s List a few years ago, followed by another favorite entitled The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I collected books by Leon Uris too and most of them were all about Poland and WWII.

I digress.

I remember  copying lots of quotes from Frankl’s book and seeing him featured today on Brain Pickings  made me search for my three notebooks on quotations.  Weird? Maybe to some but I chronicled all those inspiring words religiously.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

And  the following line is  my favorite.

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”  
Here’s more.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
“Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in his spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.”
I probably might not  have answered the “why”. Suffice to say, I love visiting places and knowing how it is to live on the other side through books.
Today is Resurrection Sunday. May you all be blessed.

A Simple Gift


Sometimes I think, the word “simple” is so overused here on my blog.  I smile at the thought that here is another blog post with that word.

Last night, Josef came home and gifted me with a silver-plated rosary bracelet. What a lovely surprise. He bought it at our Parish and have it blessed before going home. I make rosaries and give them as gifts to friends and family members but I love receiving  them too as gifts from  friends.  A few years ago, an  online friend from Netherlands sent me a rosary from Siena when they visited the place, her sister came over to visit me and gave me a prayer pamphlet together with the rosary.  When Fr. Lovell graduated from Theology nine years ago, he gave me a blessed rosary from the Vatican. Some friends from our Catholic page who are based in Rome sent me rosaries and key rings. I love those two which were made of roses.  Every time I see a rose bloom and smell the delicate scent, I am always reminded of Mama Mary and my rose rosaries.  When I can’t sleep at night, I clutch my rosary and pray, sometimes never finishing a decade  but the tremendous comfort it brings is priceless.

Josef took pictures of the lovely “carrozas”  for the images of saints during the Good Friday procession. They passed by the house around 7pm  and the Pietà  and the image of  Mama Mary  came last.

It’s 3:50am as  I write this.  It’s Black Saturday and  I look forward to the Easter celebration tomorrow.  Happy Easter to all.

 

Believing In Prayers


Left the house very early this morning  for the Via Crucis at our local church.  Josef has work (the American  company does not observe Holy Week but here in our country, it’s a long four-day weekend) so it was just a two-hour visit, a yearly devotion of prayers and reflections  on the Way of the Cross. There was a time when we used to visit several churches every Holy Thursday going as far  as the surrounding towns in Laguna and the eastern loop of Rizal towns followed by the Last Supper mass.  Just finished watching Siete Palabras (Seven Last Words) at Santo Domingo Church where my co-admin, Fr. Louie was one of the preachers. Our Catholic page, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community is on its 6th year this coming April. Sometimes I can’t believe that I have lasted this long at the site to help with our online apostolate. It’s a promise to myself that as long as I can, I would help.

Yesterday, I had a long chat with my priest son, Fr. Lovell. He had fever for four days and ended up being admitted at the hospital.  What a way to celebrate Holy Week.  I prayed hard that he will get well soon.  There are times when he would preside on masses in pilgrimage churches and he would always text me and ask  about my prayer petitions. The answer  is always the same, “good health for the family”.

I always believe in the power of prayers.  I always believe that God answers  prayers in His time.  I am lost without prayers, my intimate and personal conversations with God.  Back when I was undergoing chemotherapy, I always prayed that if I get well, He would bring me back to my normal health so I could take care of my family longer. Answered prayers are special gifts that gladden the heart and uplift the soul.

A close friend had this link posted on her wall, Pins of Light by Fr. J. I made my online retreat there two days ago. It was a beautiful and lovely journey. Every year, they post  something you can reflect on, you can visit it regularly though  because there are several blog posts worth-reading.

May your celebration of Good Friday be as solemn and meaningful as the rest of the week. I am looking forward to Easter Sunday.

Today’s Quote


Tanay

If you can find a path that has no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.

frank a. clark

 

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