Posts Tagged ‘2010’

I can’t believe that I have 25 pages of this on my Facebook page – a summary of what I posted as shout outs !  But it’s nice to re-read  everything though. I just chose 3 pages to share with you here.



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This is a little uncanny!  I looked at my last post a year ago and what do you know, I quoted same and exact words from John Burroughs while greeting everyone a happy year 2010.  I made my New year greetings early this morning and this is what I wrote on the picture that I took last December 25.

Compared to the bustle and clutter of 2009, this year has been a little subdued.   It was a year full of quiet musings and deep introspections.   I’ve gone on a few short trips, just testing how I can endure the long ride after chemotherapy.  Time was when, my life was divided into pre-surgery, recuperation and chemotherapy.  I thank God for giving me the strength to carry on despite the pain.   Hard knocks of life really make us a little stronger and enduring.

Hubby and I went back to Caleruega for an overnight stay last February 11, 2010 and as I have said in my previous blogs, that trip was  a  litmus test for me after six grueling sessions of chemotherapy.  If there is one place that I’ve blogged more than anything, it’s Caleruega.  It has become a sort of sanctuary for me.   And I thought, if I could survive that trip, then I am well.  I did and I am so much thankful for it.

Next came our Visita Iglesia last  April 01.  We did the rounds of at least seven churches in six towns in Laguna.   Every year, we make it a point to visit some churches during Holy Week .We traveled  via the scenic route from Binangonan, Cardona, Morong, Baras and Pillila, Rizal to the towns of Mabitac, Siniloan, Famy, Pangil, Pakil and Paete.  Laguna is famous for century-old churches.    It was a little tiring for me, what with so many people around and mostly under the heat of the sun.   I did okay, another plus for endurance, don’t you think?  Anyway, I thought that if I could spend the whole day outside without complaining of over-fatigue, everything would be okay and it was.   Hubby and I were also able to attend a Lenten retreat which made the celebration of Lent all the more meaningful.  God is so good!                                           

Finally had our small grotto blessed last April 11, 2010.  It was my promise to Mama Mary that I would have her image enshrined at our garden when I go out of the hospital.  Our garden was destroyed by typhoon Ondoy so we had to replenish everything planted there.   The grotto has a small pond and we have Koi fish swimming there now.  I am still not much into gardening except for an hour or two spent watering the plants every morning.

I was rushed to the hospital last May 01, 2010 because of  an acute UTI and my urologist found out that a kidney stone was lodged somewhere in my urinary tract prompting  him to insert a DJ stent for three months.  It was  a quick but an expensive procedure.   I have to make another visit to Dr. Ang’s clinic  ( he is my surgical oncologist) and he assured me that I could spend the Christmas holidays without the pressure of having another colonoscopy since he scheduled it early next year.  Hooray!

My life is slowly but surely getting back to normal.  Reading has taken a backseat though because I easily get tired while my eyes are focused on the small prints.  I remember the days when I could finish a book in a day, two or three days at the most for a long novel.  One of the joys of recuperating is having relaxed days, just concentrating on getting back your strength, never doing any taxing job.  I feel guilty though that I could not do heavy household chores although around this time, I could easily tag along doing the weekly marketing without complaints.

June 05, 2010 was Bank of the Philippines Island’s Family Day.  My daughter persuaded me to come but I was afraid to take any ride so I ended up just relaxing. I found a former office mate, such a perfect time to catch up on each other’s lives.

The month of July found me attending our  second grand reunion at the UST Library aptly called Balik-Aklatan 2. Ten years ago, we had our first reunion and this is the second time we had it. It’s nice to be back and see old friends and new faces . The three years I spent here were the best years of my teenage life. My love of books started during my stay here and I greatly appreciate what the experience taught me  – responsibility at an early age, juggling work with studies, meeting lots of friends and colleagues and most of all learning to appreciate good books.  I  was able to view the library exhibit’s  Lumina  Pandit which is in preparation for the  Quadricentennial  celebration of the University.

Remembering the good old days – that’s what the reunion was all about.   Hubby and I  had an overnight trip to Bataan middle of September.   We heard mass at Balanga Cathedral and met some new friends.  Awesome place, friendly people.  I want to go back there one of these days, if time permits.  September also started my journey as one of the three administrators of a Catholic page at Facebook.  Fr. Louie, OP calls it my online apostolate.  It is such a joy to be able to help and inspire other people.   Membership at the site is steadily increasing.  What a wonder, God is pointing the way for me to interact with people.  Last September 25, I was able to touch the image of La Naval when my good friend Lovell invited me to join them in praying the rosary when they transferred our Lady of La Naval in an enclosed room in preparation for the October Feast Day.  Awesome moments for me, seeing her up close! Last November 29, I met an online friend for the first time after exchanging notes and blogging at Multiply.  Bong is such a very gracious lady and we had a blast with her hubby, my daughter and my husband.

A few days ago, my daughter, his boyfriend and I went home to attend the barangay fiesta at our place. Though it was only a short vacation, I enjoyed it.  We’ve been able to visit some relatives and spent lunch at Maxine’s  facing the famous Hundred Islands.  I took lots of pictures of course.

At the marina, facing the lighthouse ….

The famous tourist attraction, The Hundred Islands in Lucap, Alaminos City

Somewhere along SCTEX , facing the Arayat Mountains in Pampanga

It’s been a good year so far and before it ends, I want to greet all of you HAPPY NEW YEAR.  May the coming year be fruitful, blessed and happy for all of us.

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Just had my  first  trip home since my surgery eighteen months ago and a year after my last chemotherapy.  Although hubby and I took some trips  in some provinces a few months back, this is the longest one so far.  It took us more than five hours to reach our place in Pangasinan.  I love taking road trips, communing with nature and just love the feel of  the crisp mountain air.  Gosh, was it cold out there?   It was windy, alright.  At 3pm,  it was like typhoon signal number two minus the rain.

It was just an overnight stay with my daughter and her boyfriend but  we enjoyed the brief vacation seeing  relatives. We visited my father’s grave at the town cemetery and lighted some candles.  It’s  been three years now since he died and I never get the chance to visit him on All Saints and All Soul’s Day so I make it a point to light some candles every time I have the chance to go  home.  There is a certain kind of sadness looking at gravestones and remembering, just remembering the days of old.  Memories are sometimes a little tricky – they make you cry and think about the happy days, they make you reminisce and look back.  And they make you wish that time could stand still.  But amid the sadness is a quiet joy, a simple leap of the heart , a tearful smile of remembrance.  There are moments when the happy memories stand out and this is one of those times that I remember him vividly in my mind.  I hate saying  farewell so I’ll just say, until next time!

Camera in hand, we took a walk at the ridge where one can see  the view of the river below.  I always love to take a few shots of this area every time I come home.  This is one of those moments when I’d rather have my camera than my cellphone.

Country  scenery  at its best…

I love the nippy air of December.  We even brought a jacket and an umbrella.  There was a brief rain shower earlier giving more color to the green countryside.  I even managed to take a picture of a carabao grazing on the grass.  How much rural can you get?

I took a few shots of the flowers growing along the road.   Just can’t resist these lovely blooms, just simple pleasures that no amount of money can buy. It’s kind of  nostalgic – because I grew up here until I was ten years old when we transferred to Manila to study in high school.  Not everyone is given the privilege to look back and have some place to  come back to.  How I wish I could stay here for long, about a week maybe and take shots of all the flowers in my mom’s garden and play with my seven-year old niece.   Sometimes though, a day is just enough to fill one’s heart with joy.

This is the rough stretch adjoining our concrete road.

An afternoon of exploring and lovely conversations –  it feels like having a walk in the park.

Life could be this simple, life could be this great!

Maybe, deep inside I am still a small-town-girl, longing for a wider space to build my dreams on, comfortable with the silence, at one with nature where I could be my most authentic self.  It’s a long stretch but it is home away from home.

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Here’s a wish and a hope for a Blessed Christmas to all my WordPress readers!  Thank you for visiting my site.


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4am.  The world is still asleep and I quietly sit in a corner of our living room watching the steady glow of the Christmas lights from our seven-foot Christmas tree.  Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  Advent comes from the Latin word adventus meaning  “arrival” or “coming”.  It’s the beginning of  the Christian Liturgical year.

We have lots in store for friends at the Catholic site in Facebook where I am one of the admins.  Fr. Louie, Jlyn and I did some research  the past few days to share with our AFCC (Apostles Filipino Catholic Community) friends.   Most of them are overseas Filipino workers who are far from their families, miles away from their children, miles away from their wives and husbands.  Come to think of it, there is something so meaningful, so touching and so inspiring when we celebrate Christmas with our family.  Every year, people from all walks of life plan for this big event, Jesus’ birth,  with  all fervour.   For me, it is still the best season of the year.  How I wish sometimes, that  Christmas could be celebrated quietly, just being focused on the Christ Child.  Christmas celebration has been so much commercialized but still, the essence of it remains in our hearts.

I love this, it is our profile picture for AFCC today designed by Fr. Louie Coronel, OP

Yesterday was another family bonding for us,  and Obet,  helped us to put up the Christmas tree, string some lights on  our fence and garden.  We started as early as 9am and  by 10 pm we were outside admiring the view .  It’s not much but the important thing is we spent the day together, sometimes laughing at some jokes, remembering Christmas past, and thinking of  how we will celebrate Christmas 2010.  We still have lots of things to do, put up our more than  ten-year old manger set sent by a close friend one Christmas season.  I could not remember now, but years ago, I also bought a Christmas water globe which I put up every year.  It’s been a regular Christmas decor for quite sometime.  When it comes to celebrating Christmas, I am quite big on traditions.  We try as much as possible to complete Simbang Gabi masses, and  gifts from friends and family quietly stay under the tree until we have attended the Christmas Eve mass and celebrated Noche Buena.

My favorite  Christmas decor, a water globe Belen!

I actually took some pictures of the Christmas tree we decorated yesterday. It’s not yet completely done, we need to put more icicles, I think.  You see I am documenting  our Christmas preparations  because I would love to put them on video later.  I finally learned to make one a few days ago.  Poor old me, but I was proud of it.  It is never too late to learn, don’t you think?

Obet painstakingly lined our front fence with rope lights.  Nissa was his assistant and they worked non-stop even under the heat of the noonday sun.  We were rewarded by this and I love how the green lights reflect on the clear waters of the pond.

It’s the  First Sunday of Advent, so I say, Happy New Year. Let us prepare ourselves for  Christ’s coming.  Let Christmas be not just a season of gift-giving and endless shopping, let it not be a season of food galore and merry-making.  Let it be a season of hope and joy and thanksgiving.  Let it be a season of forgiving people who may have hurt us in the past.  Let us welcome the Christ Child and what He represents in our lives –  LOVE.

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love .” Hamilton Wright Mabi

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November 21, 2010- Sunday Evening (My 350th blog at Dreams and Escapes)

Today was another unforgettable day.  Started  the day  watching Fr. Fernando Suarez’ healing mass on TV at 6am and ended it with hearing mass at Our Lady of Light Parish  at 4pm.  Nissa, Obet and I planned to hear mass at the Antipolo Cathedral but we were not able catch the last schedule for the morning service.  We had  Obet’s new car blessed  at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage,  at the Antipolo Cathedral before noon.  We had to wait for an available priest since there were so many new cars being blessed, had to walk from the Cathedral to the private parking lot where , for a brief stay of around thirty minutes, we were charged a parking fee of P40.00.  Parking space is a bit tight during  Sundays.

The  quadrangle fronting the Cathedral was teeming with  people from all walks of life and I was surprised to see that vendors were all over  the place. The last time we visited the Shrine, I was able to take pictures,  I made an album of it which I called The Many Faces of Life in the City.  We’ll come back here, probably next year.

Swinging by Metro East Mall later to have our lunch and to buy some Christmas decor, I was elated and  surprised to meet two friends at the mall.  Czar Tigno is a book buddy at Flips Flipping  Pages, a book club for,  who else,  but book nerds.  He invited me to join them  by January next year for another book discussion.  Wow, I must make an effort to attend because the last time I’ve been with them is almost two years ago.  And I miss everyone, I miss  the passionate discussion about  books we have read, about books that have somehow touched our lives.

Call it ESP or something but Nissa and  I casually mentioned a friend of hers while we were on our way to Metro East Mall and I thought of him when I saw Fitness First, the place where he used to work.   What a lovely surprise when we  saw him while we were on our way to eat lunch.  It was  a joyful meeting and we even had a photo-op.  The last time I saw him was more than a year ago.  It’s always nice to see old friends and chance meetings bring that irrepressible comfort,  and they are small surprises that tickle the heart.  It really was a pleasant surprise Paul meeting you again after quite sometime.

On our way home, we planned of finally putting the Christmas decorations this coming Saturday. I am just as excited as Nissa because I just bought a brand new Christmas tree, a seven-foot tall  slim mixed tree.  We bought some decorations earlier in the week because Nissa wants to have a combination of red and silver trimmings.  Compared to last year, prices of decor have definitely gone up again.   Hubby and I have a joint project of making a wreath.  Hopefully, we will be able to finish it before the coming weekend.   Christmas celebration is just a simple get-together for us.   The important thing is, it should always be centered  on Christ’s birth because we all know that He is the reason for all this frenzy.  Gift-giving and preparing our favorite food is a part of the celebration.  We have established a tradition in the family that we won’t open Christmas gifts until we have attended the Christmas Eve mass and prepared something for Noche Buena. We are all like small kids during the gift-opening.  What brings this kind of excitement that one feels anticipating what is on that heavy red box or that light and fragile gift box delicately laced with blue ribbons?   You can normally hear shouts of laughter when you get the gift that you long for.  It’s family bonding to the max.

Collecting memories – with the digital  camera always on the ready, that’s what friends are for and what Christmas is all about!

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  • Pagiging tapat sa sinumpaang tungkulin
  • Ang pera ng taong bayan ay gagastusin para sa taong bayan
  • Pananagutin ang mga corrupt sa gobyerno
  • Ang nakikilahok, nakikibahagi sa solusyon
  • Iba na ang situwasyon, pwede na muling mangarap

We’ve all been looking forward to the first State of the Nation Address of President Benigno C. Aquino III. I was tuned in to ANC  as early as 10am. I don’t want to miss the first SONA of P-Noy.  I appreciate it that ANC engaged a sign-language interpreter for this event.

A reader here asked my opinion on P-Noy’s speech.  And someone said that my post on P-Noy’s SONA lacks content.  Don’t you think that it can stand on its own?  I don’t want to mar its beauty and the impact it has on all Filipinos. I am not a political analyst, nor am I a political blogger. Let’s leave the analyzing to the experts.  I shun writing political blogs because you clearly need to get your facts right even before you attempt to write.  Plain-guessing is not acceptable.   What I have are just bits of what I saw on TV before and after P-Noy’s delivery of his first SONA.

US Ambassador Harry Thomas was interviewed by journalist Maan Hontiveros of ABS CBN. He mentioned about  wangwang and said that they would not miss listening to P-Noy deliver his speech.  I was literally ogling at the resplendent gowns and shining Barong Tagalog worn by the attendees.  It’s quite interesting to see different personalities together in one event – old faces/politicians, neophyte members of the Senate and Congress, P-Noy’s Cabinet members and their families and a sprinkling of foreign dignitaries too.  The Marcoses are back of course. I saw Bongbong earlier talking to VP Binay’s daughter.  There are three of them now Bongbong as senator, Imelda as House representative and Imee as governor of Ilocos.  How time flies, back in 1986, they were pleading for their lives and left Malacanang in a hurry.  I hope this time, they are sincere enough to help the government succeed.

Camera focused on  Lucy Torres who won a seat in their place in Ormoc.  She looks lovely in a teal blue terno. Imelda Marcos was looking hale and hearty in a violet gown.  How old is she now?   Well, never mind, my guess is as good as yours.  Ballsy, Pinky and Viel were all wearing yellow ternos, a standard color for all the  Aquinos. But where is Kris?   I love  Rep. Teddy Casino’s barong.  He said this was his first time to attend a SONA because the last time it was delivered, he did not recognize the legitimacy of the Arroyo government.  Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano  was in gold, or was it light orange barong?  He was his usual articulate self.  Haha, dig this!  Rep.  Edcel Lagman and Sen. Franklin Drilon were standing next to each other but they were not talking.  Lagman just lost the House Speakership to Rep. Sonny Belmonte  with a total vote of 29 against Belmonte’s  227.  Ah, just saw Rep. Manny Pacquiao all by his lonesome.  He is in a different arena now.  Could he be ill at ease with the seasoned politicians around?  He looked like a puppy surrounded by bulldogs and terriers.  He is a celebrity in his own right so there is really no problem there.

Wow!  I love P-Noy’s barong, it’s engraved with the word P-Noy  with a shape of a ribbon for design.  And he was sporting a new hair style.  Some reporters were speculating earlier if he would come in late or not, because there is no  wang wang to ease  drive to Batasang Pambansa. Sorry guys, he came on time, briefly stopped at the Presidential Legislative Liaison Office then finally proceeded to the great hall of the Batasan.

Watching and listening to the Pambansang Awit always evokes some emotions I cannot explain, some sort of being proud to be a Filipino. Have you ever experienced that?  I am saddened though that a lot of us no longer stand up when the National  Anthem is being played specially inside theaters or in malls where it is a standard procedure to play it before opening.   It is the simplest way of  showing respect for the flag, don’t you think?

Some of P-Noy’s detractors are saying that he should not have dwelt on the past administration’s wrongs and excesses, presenting facts left and right, but he should have presented a concrete plan on how  he could solve all of those gigantic problems.  Come on guys, let’s give him a chance.  I believe that he is truly after a clean, transparent and  honest governance.  Let’s do our  share in making this country we could truly be proud of.  And I say,  stop whining and finding faults but be part of the solution.

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