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Today’s Quote


My dream of a place....Batanes!

My dream of a place….Batanes!

Patience, patience, patience is what the sea teaches.

Patience and faith.

One should be empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.

(Big thanks to my friend Matt Velasco for sharing this photo. I enhanced it a bit and put some quotes in it from the beautiful book, Gift From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh).

Second Chances


Thank You

It’s been a while and I’ve missed blogging. I don’t want to miss this opportunity though to say my heartfelt THANK YOU for all the blessings in my life.

Today is my 6th year in remission. Some of you might wonder why I celebrate something that brought me so much pain and insecurities and doubts and all the emotions you could imagine. I believe that you are strongest when you are at your weakest. Cryptic you might say but it is true. When you are at the lowest ebb in your life, when you feel so much alone, God is there to lift you up. When you are given second chances at life, you appreciate every minute of every day that you are alive. You appreciate the wonder of living no matter how painful it is sometimes, no matter how hurt you feel because not every one is happy for you.  You wonder how you were able to cope but you did and you smile that you are brave and strong in facing all the challenges, and you are left standing tall  and proud.

Six years ago, I also started this blog because I wanted to share my plight hoping that I could reach  some souls out there who are in the same journey as I was. I am glad that a few also shared their personal experiences with me and I am happy that in the process of blogging, I met a lot of online friends who made the journey even more meaningful and worthwhile.

Six years ago, I was given a second chance at life. I am grateful and thankful for everything.

Today, I celebrate the beauty of life. Today, I celebrate the gift of second chances. Today, I celebrate the gift of family. Today, I celebrate the gift of friends who were with me throughout my journey and I am thankful for those new friends I met along the way.


My dwarf Pandakaki blooms.

My dwarf Pandakaki blooms.

It’s almost a week now since the rainy days started, three days in a row where all levels of classes in most schools  in Metro Manila and suburbs were suspended due to the inclement weather. Typhoon Egay left a few days ago but it was bold enough to leave monsoon rains in the metropolis. Typhoon Falcon entered the Philippine area of responsibility the other night. It didn’t make a landfall but dumped more rains and saturated the streets of Metro Manila. It’s still a bit dark outside and drizzling. Oh, can’t help but sip a hot cup of coffee (yes, my third cup for the week). And why am I even counting? I haven’t touched the brew for quite sometime, that’s why.

One finds beauty even on a dark rainy day. These tiny white blooms are just so lovely to ignore. They bring a bit of sunshine to an otherwise bleak morning.

Moment


The wind blows

And the chimes dance

What a happy sound.


It’s a rainy Monday and PAGASA said we will have these monsoon rains for the next five days. Typhoon Egay hasn’t left yet and there is another one coming but has not yet  entered the Philippine area of responsibility. I hope it will divert its course farther from the country.

Josef and I have thought about it even before we reached the market this morning, braving the early morning shower. He asked me what is the best food for merienda (snacks) on a rainy day. I suggested soup with crackers but he didn’t buy it. What about arroz caldo or minatamis na saging? Can you prepare both, he asked. Why not?

Arroz caldo or congee is best prepared with sticky rice and chicken wings with lots of fried garlic while minatamis na saging is the easiest version of cooking saba banana (Philippine plantains) but you can simply boil it or eat it raw, it does not matter. I bought eight pieces and a cup of mini tapioca pearls. We had this for snack this afternoon.

Believe me, it's yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Believe me, it’s yummy and the sweetness is just right .

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon...

Perfect for a hot cup of green tea and lemon…

If I am not too lazy tomorrow, I will cook arroz caldo  not for merienda but for dinner. Dinner today is fresh bean sprouts topped with  crunchy flaked tinapa, another comfort food on rainy days like this.

The sun showed its face for a while so  I went out to visit the garden and took a few shots. I love those silver raindrops clinging to  the leaves  after the rain.

Look at those dark threatening clouds...

Look at those dark threatening clouds…

Happy Sunday


One is privileged at times spending the day just lazing around, reading snippets of gossip on my news feed ( I know, I know you would say, sometimes they are not worth-reading at all) and I hate it that FB changed the rules again. You can even see several timelines where your friends commented on a post, no matter how irrelevant or how unimportant they are to you. If not for AFCC, I would quit FB but I have an apostolate online that is even more important than the nonsense shout outs that I oftentimes see there.

Happy Sunday!

It’s been raining on and off the whole day. I was caught in a downpour when the mass ended early this morning. Time to bring out those sturdy umbrellas, the rainy season is finally here. I can feel the wind on my face.  I had breakfast at Jollibee ordering a favorite combination of fried rice, longganisa, pouched egg and a cup of really hot chocolate. Where else  would you find a free copy of Philippine Star for morning news but at Jollibee? I am afraid to admit though that sometimes it’s only the headlines or opinion pages that catch my attention. There are two writers that I admire there, Lucy Torres’ byline Love Lucy and Barbara Gonzales’ Second Wind. Lucy’s articles are a joy to read –  such varied and rich subjects like her married life, her only daughter Juliana, her penchant for crafts, the early years she spent growing up in Ormoc and other stories that sometimes make me smile and laugh and get inspired. She extends the Christmas season from early September to as late as February the following year. Barbara  Gonzales says that she is in her 70’s, a former executive at McCann Erickson and writes her piece every Saturday. She teaches writing too but she says that the way she teaches is far more different than the way you learn in a classroom seating. I’ve long wanted to attend her class but I find the fee too stiff for my budget. She lives alone and enjoys what she does every day  sharing about her life getting on years and growing older. She makes jewelries too and sells them in bazaars.  When I get to be her age, I hope I would enjoy every day like she does, making crafts, playing solitaire (not my cup of tea though), updating her journal, enjoying occasional visits from the grand kids. She leads a quiet life but she is happy.

Happy rainy Sunday. Maybe, now is the perfect excuse to drink a hot cup of coffee. I get nervous when it rains cats and dogs. I hope there are no flooded areas in the metro.


completedHow’s this for a first post this month?

When I started this reading challenge this January, I was not even sure if I could finish 50 books in a year because sometimes, lulls in reading are more frequent than the number of times I  hold a book in my  hand. It’s a great leap from the 35 I managed to read in 2014.  Goodreads says, “You have read 50 of 50 books in 2015.” Chick lit, YA, fiction, a memoir, some inspirational books and contemporary stories made up my reading list for the challenge. And it helped that I have my new tab because I could read at night without interruption. Now it’s time to concentrate on the classic books that I wanted to read for a long, long time but didn’t have the time to start. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy is on the list, so with the L.M. Montgomery series ( I love Anne of Avonlea), Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak, my new and still unopened  copy of The Collected Works of Oscar Wilde  (the complete plays, poems and stories  including The Picture of Dorian Gray and De Profundis) and maybe cap it with the Outlander Series  (a re-read) by Diana Gabaldon before the year ends.

There is this sweet lady I follow here on WordPress.  Lately, she was able to publish a book based on the series of books and authors she has read in a year. Her blog is aptly called A Year of Reading the World. She sourced books from different authors in different countries.  I dream of doing that too, some day, not the publishing of a book but reading several authors like she did. I love this quote from William Styron:

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.

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