Posted in guilty pleasures, journeys, tagged blogging, books, Closer to God, guilty pleasures, journeys, Lent 2015, quotes, silence speaks on March 27, 2015 |
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Hi everyone! How have you been? It’s been a while and there is no valid reason neglecting this blog except that I was just busy. It’s Holy Week next week so I have to finish everything (gardening included) so I could at least spend it in quiet reflection and visit some churches for our annual Visita Iglesia. Hopefully, Josef and I could do the Manila loop on Holy Thursday. I wish mom is strong enough to join us in the Stations of the Cross. I love visiting churches nearby during the season of Lent but I haven’t ventured in the churches of Manila yet We have done the Rizal area as far as Morong and Cardona and several towns in Laguna. Rizal province and Laguna have the most beautiful century old churches in the Eastern loop, well-preserved and they have lovely facades. One time, we tried the churches in Marikina City, Josef was driving and we got lost along the way. Marikina has a lot of one-way streets and it was quite confusing. Hopefully, we could do it again and I suggested if we could just take a commute since most churches in Manila are near each other.
I am catching up on my reading. All the Light We Cannot See is my first book of Anthony Doerr. It’s Goodreads’ choice 2014 winner. It is a historical fiction set during World War II, a wonderful and moving account on the lives of two teenagers, a blind girl from France and a German orphan boy who grew up in an industrial and mining town in Germany. I love reading about WW II, be it fiction or a true account of what happened. My parents have their own personal account of it when the Philippines was occupied by the Japanese. The book is another facet of history as told by Doerr. I love Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief (read it twice actually) and almost all the books of Leon Uris about the war in Poland and what life was like in Ireland during the Industrial Revolution, subjects that keep me awake for hours until my eyes can no longer decipher the words. Here are some interesting quotes from the book. I jot them down as I read them.
“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”
“We rise again in the grass. In the flowers. In songs.”
“I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere. White strings of gulls drag over it like beads.
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Just in case you are wondering what this is all about, I just set up a new blog. I deliberated on new titles that would somehow relate to my main blog here, something which is just as easy to remember as this one. I came up with Dreams Never End. What do you think? Come to think of it, it is even harder now to choose a free theme that has all the widgets you want to add, some don’t allow header images. Since I posted my 1,628th blog entry, I was so conscious that adding more high-res pictures would eat up my remaining free storage. I scanned the themes provided by WordPress and most of the new ones are not free anymore. In fairness to WordPress, there are new themes that are still free but not as good and user-friendly as the popular ones. It’s hard to start from scratch again, meanwhile I would make the new one as repository for future posts, if I find enough time to update it. Wish me luck.
And here’s the good news. Early this morning, our “not-so-friendly neighbor” came by. I was surprised seeing her face at our gate. She apologized and said that they are still in the middle of finishing the second floor of their house and told me not to bother cleaning our roof since they will clean it when they are through. I told her to just be considerate and put plywood to catch the debris that is rapidly filling up our roof gutter. I suggested that they consider reading the National Building Code so they would know what they should do and what they should avoid. I am not being mean but it is better that it comes from an authority than from me. I also told her that I don’t like to have enemies, besides they are my neighbors. Believe me, this is answered prayer. I prayed the whole rosary for them the night we had that exchange of ugly words. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, hopefully they would be true to their words. I told mom about it and she said, “they should have done that, informing you about it before they started”. I am glad they realized their mistakes. For those who don’t know the whole story, let’s go back to a few posts.
Humility never goes unappreciated. I am glad she is humble enough to admit her mistakes.
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WordPress just sent me this message.
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 7 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!
Has it really been that long? I remember I opened my account here seven years ago with just one post, a poem from long ago. I didn’t even know how to customize my site so I only got to update it more than a year later. The last six years was a lovely journey though. I met lots of online friends, people who love the same activity as I do…blogging. Flying with WordPress is a great adventure with 1,142 followers, 1,618 blog posts and a total of 320,456 stats later. I hope I could maintain this site for the next five years (wish me luck) probably with arthritic fingers and higher grade eye lenses. It goes with growing older and adding numbers to my age.
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Posted in 2015, blog update, blogging, guilty pleasures, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged 1600 blog post, blogging, journeys, life, the joys of blogging, thoughts on February 14, 2015 |
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Blogging about “blogging” again.
When I checked my dashboard, this is supposedly my 1,600th blog post. Of course, I would not say “I can’t believe it” because for the last five years and nine months I’ve shared my thoughts in cyberspace more particularly at WordPress. I started it more than a year before that but as we all know, when you are a neophyte at WordPress you are almost afraid to share and you don’t even know how to make your site something worth-visiting. I still believe that the contents matter more than the themes you choose. Sometimes I wonder what all those 1,599 posts are all about, the almost six years have become a metamorphosis, a kind of transformation from just sharing my plight as a cancer patient and survivor to touching on such delicate subjects as love and politics. I love blogging about what I’ve been through in the early years that I found out I had cancer although at times it pains me to remember those days. When I read the comments and sharing of some of my readers who have been and are in the same journey as I am, I am just overjoyed that this blog has a purpose after all.
I miss some of my blogging friends who just quietly left the scene and stopped writing and it is sad because I enjoyed their posts. Is it all worth it? Is it worth one’s time to stay in front of a moody computer and fill the blank spaces with what you think about the world, about life and about everything that catches your fancy? I think it is. Looking at my stats summaries, the highest views registered a total of 13,716 in the month of September 2012 and the closing of the same year yielded a total view of 97,386. Top posts remain the archives/homepage but the all time blog entry that has the highest views is our first road trip to Tanay back in 2012. I am amazed where those 314,941 total stats (as of this writing) came from because I don’t have that much followers but sometimes the search engines go crazy and point to my posts. Maybe, I am just lucky covering so many subjects almost everyday.
I joined the Post A Day 2011 the whole year. I don’t think I’ll be able to repeat that. Back in 16 January 2012, I regularly posted about the impeachment of Chief Justice CJ Corona (they were busy afternoons glued to the television screen with mom) until the time he was finally issued a final verdict of guilty on 29 May 2012. A friend even commented that I made it easy for those students who were given assignments to share their own views but came up with “copying and pasting” what they saw on the net. There were lots of comments like “thanks po for sharing” :).
For those blogging friends who are consistently making comments and liking my posts, thank you. For those who visit my site regularly, thank you so much.
Hooray to blogging! May I ask, what do you find interesting in a blog? You’re welcome to share, thanks.
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I’ve never been good at following “how to’s” unless it’s a complicated recipe that I need to experiment on. Sure, sometimes they make life easier but it is different from following rules that you have set yourself to do. The step-by-step-numbered rules bore me. I wonder if I am alone in this because sometimes I do encounter blog posts like how to learn to be happy or how to be a good writer or how to make your blog more popular(taken from the point of view of the author of course) but in real life we each have certain criteria and values that we wish to meet that we think assure us of happiness and success. It is like reading a highly recommended book but you find it boring. Short of saying “to each his own” we have our way of coping and facing what is in front of us. The way you look at things probably depends on how you view life itself. As they always say, you could see a glass half-full or half-empty. It does not matter whether you’re 30 or 50, maturity comes not in the number you add to your age but in the richness of experience you encounter making you grow and learn a little more.
Now and then, I link some posts at Facebook just to share with some friends who just want to click it and read. I was never sold to the idea though of linking it to the app NetworkedBlogs. Although WordPress is public too, it has a different set of writers/bloggers/readers and compared to Facebook which is so noisy, I feel safe at WordPress. Getting across your message to people who love the written words as you do is vastly different from seeing selfies and pictures that speak of what one had for breakfast to where they had dinner all in the same day. My wall and timeline are set to friends only and I don’t allow my updates to be made public. There are things that you don’t normally share in cyberspace.
The other day, I finally decided to export my blog and copy it to my external hard drive. It is quite scary to lose all of the 1,597 posts and all the five years of blogging coming to naught so I followed the advice of a blogger friend, looked at the tools and downloaded export file. I’d like to do the same with my other three blogs. If you haven’t done it yet, I also suggest you do, for safety.
A friend once said that blogging has become a way of life, do you agree?
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Just an observation, I know I am not alone in this. I just wonder why some bloggers always say sorry that they haven’t written a post in a while. Such profusion of apologies which may not be necessary at all. Believe me, unless they follow your blog every minute of the day and read your post every time you click publish, they would not even notice. It is so easy to click FOLLOW (just so maybe they would follow you back) but then sometimes you forget that you have followed a hundred blogs and didn’t even visit half of it except the time you admired that one particular post, except that time your thoughts were in sync with the writer’s words.
I’d rather they click like or even leave a few comments than have lots and lots of followers who don’t even give a thought to say hi or hello, (sometimes, I am guilty of this). I know, I know, you are not obliged but wouldn’t it be a better blogging world if we interact? Having a silent blog is just like keeping a private diary that nobody is allowed to read. Being published publicly is something else.
What you write defines you in a sense. One gets a glimpse of how you view things around you, how you look at life through your writings, how you share, how you express yourself. One could write simply and still deliver the message across. One could convey a lovely message in a single photograph.
Years ago I found this lovely book of Stephen King entitled On Writing (A Memoir of the Craft). I was completely enthralled reading it. It was one of the best books I’ve ever read about writing. Keep it simple without those highfalutin words.
“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up”.
“One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.”
I hear you sir! I don’t write to impress but to share some thoughts that may inspire others in the process and that alone is one big reason why I blog.
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Okay, I finally received the annual report published by WordPress for my blog’s performance for 2014. It was published late compared to the three other blogs that I maintain here. Every year since it started in 2011, I look forward to it. I am curious how my blogs performed the past year. It gives you a glimpse of what blog post garnered the most like and the number of comments in one particular post. Here it is.
Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 64,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
There were 312 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 205 MB. That’s about 6 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was September 8th with 2,045 views. The most popular post that day was Happy Birthday MAMA MARY.
This is a bit lower than what I got for the year 2013. No big deal though, at least I earned more friends in the process.
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 71,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.
In 2013, there were 240 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,361 posts. There were 380 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 239 MB. That’s about a picture per day.
The busiest day of the year was September 8th with 2,889 views. The most popular post that day was Happy Birthday MAMA MARY.
Don’t be surprised, that blog I had of Mama Mary was three years ago but I get elated every time September 08 comes and the views get crazy :). I always tell myself, maybe it’s Mama Mary’s way of showing me how much I am loved.
Thank you WordPress, I love this <3
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