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Posts Tagged ‘guilty pleasures’


Maybe those old songs that I played on YouTube triggered it. I don’t know but those times when we were kids seemed so vivid in my memory.

My two brothers and I lived in the province when we were growing up until we graduated in grade school when Dad decided to transfer us to the University of Sto. Tomas where we finished high school and  college.   During our younger  days, Mom used to go to Metro Manila to be with Dad and we were left in the care of my maternal grandmother and my unmarried aunt.  We lived in their old ancestral house with two older cousins.   My aunt just visited our house every day to water the plants and to feed  the chickens in our yard. Those were the days, I could recall them now.

I wonder what’s with Royal True Orange and crackers. I remember that when we get sick, we would have a bottle of Royal True Orange and  crackers by our bedside.  Back then,  the doctor in our town makes home visits.   I wonder how he managed to divide his time between those home visits and caring for other sick people who visits the Municipal Health Center.  There is always a ready tube of Liberol Ointment when we get colds. I wonder if it is still in the market until now but it was very effective for chest and back rub for us.  It’s been decades since I saw a tube of that liniment.

My oldest aunt (Mom’s side) had a sari-sari store in the barrio where we lived before.  Fancy having those Vicks candies with free plastic rings inside. My girl cousin and I would collect different colors and put them on our fingers. The world of kids. I also remember those crunchy but hard biscuits  my aunt used to sell per piece. They were shaped like bracelets.

I also remember this – madre  cacao. My dad used them as perimeter fence in our property there in the province. They produce lovely flowers  during  the summer months and we would use the young stems to curl our hair and make them wavy.   We had annatto seeds  to color our lips even if the fresh seeds are pungent.  Back then I didn’t even know that the dried seeds and extracted annatto oil  were used as food color.  I only knew of their use when Dad introduced me in the kitchen.

When we were kids, my oldest brother and I were fond of climbing trees in our backyard. We had guava trees, star apples and tamarind trees.  We would gather  ripe cashews and  save the seeds which contain the nuts inside.   We would roast them and eat the hot nuts.  We sometimes eat the ripe yellow fruit, slice it thinly and put a little salt on top.   Duhat fruits or Java plums are plenty during the summer months.  There will always be a duhat tree in the backyard or at our neighbor’s which we used to climb back then. Locally, the fruits  are called lomboy.

Ah, the times we enjoyed those early years and I am right here reminiscing.

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Last Saturday, Josef and I chanced upon fresh guavas in the market.  They were a bit costly though because I think guavas are not really in season now. But I was longing for sometime, Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas.  You may call sinigang fish stew or soup which may be flavored with sour ingredients like tomatoes, tamarind, vinegar or what have you.  You add green pepper for the taste. Bayabas is guava in Tagalog. Wow, it tasted simply wonderful.

I paired it with  crunchy fried zucchini as appetizer. What a lovely Saturday lunch we had.

I heard  Nate  shout over the phone “Happy Mother’s Day Nonna, Happy Birthday” early morning yesterday I laughed.  Maybe he equates mother’s day with celebrating birthdays too. We were not able to see  each other yesterday because Nissa’s family had lunch with her in-laws. That’s okay though because we will have a late family  celebration  Saturday next. Nate just finished his one-week kiddy training workshop at McDo last Friday and he was awarded a certificate being The Best of the Best. I had it on a separate blog post here. So proud o him. He did it on his own.

I so love weekends.  Family bonding is still the best.

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♪♪♫Now we are tall, and Christmas trees are small,
and you don’t ask the time of day.
But you and I, our love will never die,
but guess we’ll cry come first of May.♫♪♫

Aren’t you reminded of these song lyrics every time May comes? I am. Today is our village fiesta. There was a 7am mass in honor of St. Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of the village. A band played in some streets right after the mass.

My brother and his family fetched Mom today.  She stayed here with us for almost ten months and she was really excited to go home. Back in the province she could attend to her vegetable garden and do general cleaning in her room which was left vacant  for so long. They brought with them six dozens of Alaminos longganisa  ( our local sausage) , three big bags of  Santol  and a bag of Indian mango. Santol is  also called wild mangosteen. I already gave one bag to my other brother here, gave some to our neighbor and there are plenty yet. Our neighbor suggested that I make Santol jam  or maybe candied Santol. I am thinking about it since I haven’t  yet tried making a Santol jam or candy before.  I have a recipe though for it being made into a tasty dish. I’ll probably try the Santol candy. Would research on how to make it.

Started on the carabao grass late this afternoon. Surprisingly there was no wind so it was still hot at around 4pm. It would probably take me more days to finish the whole thing  😦

By the way, speaking of posts, this is my 1,981st for this blog. Nineteen more to go before reaching another milestone.  Did I say I am looking forward to the month of May? It’s Mama Mary’s month.  Have a fruitful and happy month of May.

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I’ve been in this blog for almost eight years now. I have excluded the first year when I attempted to open an account at WordPress and really didn’t know how to navigate much less customize a site. What I posted was a single short poem I culled from my Multiply site back when Multiply was still alive. One learns as one goes along. You learn to interact with people you haven’t yet meet. You learn the rudiments of blogging. After all these years, I am glad I started a blog though.

This morning I narrowed down the sites  I follow but was bold enough to discover more promising blogs in the process. I  don’t really follow those who have thousand and thousands of followers (in the fifth digit) apart from the previous blogs which I’ve been so faithful following throughout the years.   There is now a total of 238 blogs I follow in earnest, maybe some ten of it practically new to my site.  I’d like to think that when you click to follow a particular post or the whole blog for that matter you are also prepared to at least make some comments from time to time or maybe  just clicking like is the way to go. I am not expecting that those I follow will in turn follow me too but that happens most of the time.  Oh well, what’s the use of having a public blog if you won’t interact with  people you meet online. I totally don’t agree that you’ll just write a post and publish it on the net with just you reading it. Of course, it would make you happy  if people notice what you write about. It would particularly make you happy when all those stats relay a number you didn’t really expect. It makes you even happier when friends and fellow bloggers interact with you. That makes blogging worthwhile.

For the past years, I never attempted to make my blog a paid one. I really can’t afford the yearly subscription rates but instead I have separated my posts into five blogs although I don’t often update the other sites, not as regularly as this one.  The last time I looked, I still have a remaining 28% left to write here. One percent takes more blogs than you know sans photos which eat up a lot of your allowed free limits. I made my photo blog separate from this one but of course I still have to post those pictures from time to time.  I do write an average of 400 to 500 words per blog  post and yesterday I received another familiar logo from WordPress telling me about the spike in my stats.The exact message was:

Your blog, DREAMS AND ESCAPES, appears to be getting more traffic than usual! 45 hourly views – 7 hourly views on average
A spike in your stats.

Who wouldn’t be glad of this?  Of course I am happy about it.

 

 

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It’s always an early morning mass for us during Sundays. I usually wake up earlier than 5am to prepare for Sunday breakfast before we go the the 6:30 am mass. It s always nice to attend Sunday masses early. The weather is cool and the church is not too full. It was a good homily with Christ’ temptation at the mountain for a start. The good priest even quoted a popular song from long ago. It’s the first Sunday of Lent

It was written in Tagalog, sorry for that. It only mean that a lot of lives were destroyed because of greed and temptation. I like it though, the message is so clear. Keep yourself away from “tukso”.

Kayrami nang winasak na tahanan
Kayrami ng matang pinaluha
Kayrami ng pusong sinugatan
O, tukso, layuan mo ako

We dropped by the grocery store right after the mass then bought a kilo of sweet potato and saging saba at the wet market for snacks. Since Sunday is always a lazy day for us, and it means no preparation of elaborate meals, we also bought dinuguan for lunch from our suki (fave vendor). They sell lechon and paksiw na lechon too. Lechon is a whole roasted pig. They make the best so far.

Sundays are also family days for us. We spend them together at home reading, listening to music or just talking  or having conversations and kwentos. We catch up on things that happened during the week whether at work or at home. Sometimes, we also do grocery shopping on Sundays.

One of my nieces is getting  married on Tuesday, she’s the youngest of my oldest brother’s kids. They are born-again Christians so they have a different kind of nuptial ceremony from us. We are looking forward though to it.

Do you also spend Sunday like we do? Is it a lazy day for you too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Howdy guys!

I received three more key rings yesterday from my niece based in Bahrain. She bought them when she took her vacation in Jordan, Israel and  France.O h my, I now have  more than 200 key rings not counting those I am presently using.  Got a white mug too from the Abuel reunion held last February 11 in our province.

gifts2

There was this coin purse with a Notre Dame commemorative coin inside it which my niece attached to the package. So glad to have those lovely key rings from those places she went to last year and the other prior to that.

My collection began when I was still working at Bank of the Philippine Islands several years ago. One of my office mates gifted me with a gold-plated key ring in the shape of a T-shirt and marked No. 1. Since  then several were added to the loot once my  close friends learned of my penchant for collecting. I have  several now except in other countries in Europe where  I only have a few. It is nice to see them lined up sometimes when I clean them. Aside from the key rings, I also used to collect stationeries of different sizes but now that I am no longer active writing by long hand, I stopped buying. I still have some though in different colors and designs too.

It’s a good thing e-books have become the in-thing nowadays. My book shelves are overflowing.Double shelving is now a must for me. I tend to collect several books by the same authors once I like what their writing style. I have some signed copies of books sent by my friends from the US.  Except for those Michael Vey series, I almost have all copies of RPE books on hand. I also value my hardbound copy of On Writing by  Stephen King. It’s that kind of book where you’ll learn a lot of writing tools. I thought at first it was his autobiography but it was more on how he started writing.

How about you, what are your hobbies?

 

 

 

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This is my 3rd blog post for this month. Hopefully I would be able to  make one every day. Wishful thinking so to speak.

For the past month and the past few days, my blog post Another Year To Be Thankful For has been on my most read blog, I don’t know why. Maybe it got stuck there for a time but it earned the usual number of visits. It was my birthday post more than three years ago.  Just a simple thank you to all those who made my birthday a lovely one.

a-man-called-oveI am about to finish the book A Man Called Ove.  It is the story of a retired man who is disgruntled about life in general. He could be your typical grandfather or your neighbor.Deep within with his close friends and loved ones, he is a softie.I found out that it was adapted into a movie  but I am not sure if it is as good as the book.  I think this is one of my favorite books for this challenge, so far that is. I may encounter more along the way but this book is so good. What an excellent writing  a different kind of reading altogether. The author is Fredrik Backman from Stockholm, Sweden. The book is  one of Sweden’s most popular literary exports.  Find out for yourself, if you haven’t read it yet.

Yesterday, we celebrated Ash Wednesday. Went to mass early for the imposition of the ashes. It was a day of fasting and abstinence for those reaching 14 to 59 and a day of abstinence  beyond that.  Ash  Wednesday is the beginning of Lent in the Catholic church’s liturgical calendar.  My co-admins and I are busy at the Catholic page which we maintain at Facebook. These are those times that we could share lots of reflections, news and anything about Catholicism.

Thank you WordPress for the nice numbers. Thank you blogger friends for always commenting and liking my posts.  Love you all.

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