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Posts Tagged ‘life in the time of COVID-19’


I couldn’t thank you enough for all your greetings, comments and prayers. They have somehow lifted me up.

Special thanks goes to Elizabeth who wrote about our plight here. Unfortunately, I haven’t read her post yet.

Just to give you an idea of the flood that reached our place, I took shot of it from the second floor window of our neighbor where we transferred.

That’s our house with the red roof, it is a corner lot. I couldn’t take a full shot of it but this is on the left side of the house. The water here on the two intersecting streets were about knee-high (it has subsided a little). When typhoon Ondoy struck eleven years ago, it has reached that level of our high fence in the corner. Inside it is our grotto and small pond.

Again I wish to extend my thanks to all of you. Sorry if I missed answering your comments.

P.S.

Sorry about the missing photo, I could see it here. I re-posted it a while ago. Thanks!

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It’s raining again, that kind or rain that is light but it never stops.

We are under typhoon signal #3 and typhoon Ulysses is traversing the same path that typhoon Rolly did a week ago, some parts of the Catanduanes province in the Bicol region are now inundated, water almost reaching the rooftops of some houses.  God help us!

Supposedly, November is already our amihan season where the cold winds of Siberia bring colder nights to our shores. If not for La Niña which our weather bureau said will last till April, we won’t probably be having these late typhoons. Come to think of it, it is the 21st weather disturbance this year and we average about 18 to 20 every year.

Rainy nights (provided they do not bring flash flood) are a perfect time to read while sipping a hot tea in the process.  I went back to reading Charles Martin’s books, my 11th read since I discovered the author.

One thing that induced me to start this? It’s the cover and the title not even glancing at the synopsis of the book. I am fan of Charles Martin, a Christian author who writes such deeply memorable characters. And he blogs too  and I can truly relate.

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

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Five years from now,  we may look back and remember, 2020 was not such a good year.

It started with a fire in Australia and locally, we’ve seen the normally passive Taal volcano erupt, then this Covid-19 pandemic touched our shores followed by typhoons that brought havoc to some provinces especially in the Bicol region. Gosh, as if this is not enough, we still have this  government whose priority is not the welfare of the Filipino people.

We endure and we have to. I haven’t been out of our subdivision since February 2020. The farthest I’ve gone to was at the gate of the village where we have a grocery store. The items sold there are not complete and I kept urging Josef for us to go to the supermarket before November ends so we could buy things we need for the Christmas season.

We are still under general community quarantine although those with age 16 and until 65 are already qualified to go out to buy necessities, medicines etc provided we wear face shields and face masks. I wonder how we could renew Mom’s  social security benefits come January. She is the sole beneficiary of dad’s pension and beneficiaries are required to update their status every year so they could continue to receive their pensions. It’s quite impractical now for her to go out even with the car and a companion. I asked Social Security System (SSS) if we could apply for a home visit but they just gave a link where to write to and they never answered.  SSS has changed the schedule of dates where they will credit benefits for our monthly pension and horror of horrors, there are many of us pensioners who didn’t  receive our September pensions. SSS knows about this but they are requiring us to submit Statement of Account from the banks where our pensions are maintained. It’s their fault not ours, and they  have data base of all those pensioners they didn’t credit.  I am afraid this might turn into another hocus pocus of this government. They did that to Philhealth, 15B was lost thru corruption.

2020 is really a crazy year. I hope 2021 would be more kind to us all.

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And I don’t mean the romantic love that we all know and talk about.

Have you ever felt that certain kind of happiness that makes you smile every time you remember?  There are certain things in our lives, certain things that cost so little or none at all that make those smile painted on our faces.

I fall in love with a baby’s smiles and laughter. Those unguarded moments when he/she smiles at you and reach out his/her hands to touch, to feel, to make his/her self comfortable in your arms.

I fall in love with sunrises and sunsets. The wonder of the rising sun gently caressing your back and the beauty of the sunset signaling you to just admire it and take a rest. The beauty of an unexpected rainbow on a cloudy day. Those clouds passing by in a rapid move and you wonder what they’ll bring, rain or a glimmer of the sun’s face.

I fall in love with lovely surprises, kindness from people I have just met and thoughtful friends who never  fail to make you smile. Even meeting them once in a while, listening to their voices over the wire,  hugging and embracing them when you see each other.

Morning coffee or  tea at night while reading a lovely book and you fall in love with the characters and the place. And you wish you’ll attain the same success as they did in the story.

The heady scent of flowers in your garden  and the peace and quiet gardening brings. You fall in love with creating a lovely panorama of different plants, the wonderful feeling it brings to your quiet world.

The undivided attention you get from your pets.  The way they lick your face and your hands showing unconditional love and the non-judgmental  way they look at you. They bring so much joy within.

I fall in love with the music of yesteryears.  The nostalgic way you hum  a song because you have memorized the lyrics over the years.  The way you swing your head to the music, smiling and at peace listening and remembering those years that gave you joy.

Ah, I could go on and on but I’ll reserve them for another post. Have a great day everyone. Think happy thoughts always.

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My heart goes out to these images. I couldn’t imagine how life could be that easy again.

How do you comfort someone who has lost his dwelling because of the typhoon?

Buried deep in lahar and rocks. Photos were culled from ANC.

How can one start all over again?

Look at that raging flow of mud.

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It was a quiet quarantine birthday.  We just ordered food at home for lunch and dinner. I’ve missed Nissa’s family though. I was busy almost the whole day answering comments and greetings on Facebook and a couple of long-distance calls to boot.

I enjoyed reading all their messages. I guess that is how a quarantine birthday is celebrated. Since we can’t all go out, we just decided to stay at home.  I got a lovely surprise when someone called that he was at our gate, he greeted me a happy birthday first before delivering a big box from flowerstore.ph – a gift from Nissa. Wow! Took shots of how the day went.  It is quite touching to see  Mum smiling and lovingly touching those lovely blooms. She just love flowers.

Wohoo, that’s me at 64!

Look at the white hairs. I haven’t been to David’s for almost eight months now.

A boodle “bilao” (a big tray)complete with sisig, barbeque, tapa, fried chicken, chicken inasal and lumpiang shanghai plus a kilo of ready to fry veggie lumpia.

A birthday cake from Red Ribbon, a gift from Josef and Jovy.

Making a wish? Just for good health always!

Sunburst! A beautiful, cheery bouquet of two toned violet mums, pink carnations and a sunflower.

It came with this lovely birthday balloon.

Those carnations and mums are just so lovely.

How they look in our sala. I noticed the leaves that look like cuttings from Gardenia. Can’t wait to plant them soon.

So that’s how the day went. Glad to be 64 at last.

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The sun is showing its face again but yesterday, typhoon Pepito brought havoc to some towns in Quezon. Some roads collapsed due to heavy rain waters  which overflowed from the rivers and rice fields.  Towns affected by floodwaters were Gumaca, Lopez, and Guinayangan. The flood waters reached  as high as chest-level.

Around this time the previous years, we were on the road to the Amihan season, where it seldom rained but it slowly got colder especially at night. The weather bureau said La Niña will stay with us till the month of April. La Niña  refers to the periodic cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific. Typically, La Niña events occur every 3 to 5 years or so, but on certain  occasion, it  can occur over successive years. I hope by December we would no longer experience strong typhoons.  We were under signal number one yesterday and it rained all day.  We are just on the sixteenth weather disturbance and we average at least  twenty a year. It is during the months of November and December where strong typhoons occur.

Ah, I just smiled seeing the book I chose to read which I started the other day. It is entitled Thunder and Rain, another Charles Martin book.  I love the books of the author. When the prose is meaningful and poignant, you just can’t put it down.  The characterization tugs at you making you excited to  finish the book and maybe, just maybe start another one. I have read at least seven books by the author. He is that good.

I have a priest friend who said, “rain, a book  and coffee, perfect combination”. I agree but I prefer a spearmint and chamomile  tea on a rainy night.

I had a good chat with an online friend here who lives in Australia. It was her birthday yesterday.  I enjoyed our chat. Again, my birthday wishes to you Techie – good health, happiness and peace of mind. May you meet  more friends here through your lovely photo blog.

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So this is the official Christmas countdown here in our country as I write this post. By the time  I’m done with this post,  those minutes and seconds have already moved.

68
DAYS
04
HOURS
50
MINUTES
22
SECONDS

It used to be that I start my countdown as soon as the BER months begin. This pandemic changed everything. It used to be that I was always excited to play Christmas songs and listen to those lovely melodies of old. By this time around in the previous years, I have already done my purchase of Christmas gifts to family members. I can’t think of items that would be easier to buy online since I have no intention of going to the malls and risking myself with Covid 19.

The truth is I am not really enthusiastic to do my own Christmas countdown except today for the sake of this post. I am not even thinking of bringing out the Christmas decor to choose which to use when December comes. Another effect of Covid 19. One thing that it brought me though is that I am able to attend masses online every day because almost all churches here go live from 6am until around 9pm. I could choose which mass to attend.

The Department of Health previously said that they have no intention of zeroing out those who were found positive of the virus. To each his own? We have reached more than 350,000 cases to date. They have acquired loans by the billions but until now, no concrete plans are in place. Where did the money go? They even changed the dates of our social security pension maybe without studying the repercussions of it. Mine was late for almost a month and so were the rest of the pensioners’s. Kawawa yung mga umaasa sa pension nila para bumili ng basic necessities at gamot.

This pandemic is surely getting to the nerves of everyone. How are you coping with it?

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The other day, Nissa asked me what I wanted for my birthday.  Nothing much I said except to see them again with Nate hopefully.

But if there is something material that I really want, sets of pajamas and T-shirts for daily use. I gave two bagfuls of old clothes a few months ago to donate to those who were victims of fire.  They say that when you don’t use any item in your closet for at least five years, you have to give them away. Is that so?

Since there is no social life (because of the Covid) and I don’t go out much anyway, and Josef and Jovy staying home to work, I was saved the weekly task of ironing clothes and pants. Shorts and T-shirts  are the “in” thing nowadays in our household. Convenient, easy to wash, no need for ironing.  That’s one positive thing that this Covid 19 brought, being together except weekends when Josef and  Jovy visit the latter’s grandmother and not seeing Nissa’s family because they could not bring Nate with them. We get to update each other though through  video chats. Lately, Nate tried voice chat, leaving me some messages but always he ends up saying, “I love you Nonna”.

Mom is 91 going 92 by April next year. She’s been with us for more than a year now.  Since she is hard of hearing, most of the time, shouting to her ears is the norm. She is becoming forgetful too. She fills her time watching television and playing card games.  Even if she watches  news every day, she does not understand the implication of not going out especially  at  her age. Sometimes, Josef uses the notepad to answer all her questions, why she can’t go home to the province, why  she could not visit my older brother’s place, why she could not go out and a  hundred more, the same questions every day.  It is so frustrating at times.

We always have a choice in life, right? Always choose to be happy, seeing the positive side of things. Though it is a lonely world, I still enjoy puttering around in the garden, finding new authors to follow, reading to relax, experimenting on what to cook in the kitchen and of course keeping this blog always updated.  Dull? Nope! Simple things are enjoyable as long as your focus are on them.

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