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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts and ramblings’


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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Contrary to what WordPress says, I celebrate my anniversary here at the time I actually  published some posts and not the date when I opened an account   which was about a year before I’ve  been actively  blogging here.  Tomorrow would be my 8th year on WordPress. Hooray.

Have you ever thought of blogging about “blogging”?  Did you ever make a post about blogging?

It was a bit awkward opening an account here and not even knowing how to choose a good theme and customize your site. It was a bit awkward to post something to an audience (if there was even one) you didn’t know from Adam.  It was more awkward filling up a blank space on your computer screen thinking of what to write about. When I started here, I published some of my posts from my Multiply site. Back then, I had a premium account at Multiply  I am just a little sad, that site has to close a few years ago.  I was not so happy at the start here because no one commented on my earlier posts except for a few friends I met  earlier at Multiply. The “like” button was only introduced in WordPress last August 2010,  more than a year after I activated  my account here.  Introducing that “like” feature was an awesome way to meet new bloggers.  You get to see their Avatar on your post. I could not remember now the first “like” I received and which post earned it.

A friend introduced me to WordPress. I didn’t know about it until nine years ago when I tried opening an account here.  I’ve stayed with it ever since.  I earned a total of 469,162 stats as of this writing with 1,988 blog posts to boot. Yes, 12  more posts to go before another milestone on the 2,000th post.  If I were to summarize my total posts on  WordPress with four other seldom visited blogs  I created, I’ve reached more than that number already.  Did I say I still have 28% more to go on my free space here? I eventually cut down on posting high-resolution photos. In the past, that ate up  a lot of free space posting them right from my camera.

It is easier now to interact with online friends. It is easier to appreciate and make comments on blogs you like.  It has become a joy to blog about the daily happenings in one’s life, things that makes one happy, daring enough to share and be accepted in the blogosphere.

How’s your blogging journey?

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I seldom do political blogs nowadays. I am not just disappointed by what is happening in my country but I am disgusted with some of the elected officials of the land.  I wonder how they still manage to stay there. Or  people somehow  have become just indifferent that this could pass up as a  joke? As they are fond of saying here, “joke, joke, joke”.

There was this senator who is a member of the  powerful Commission On Appointment.  They were on the verge of finally confirming the appointment of  Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo the other day when he casually asked about her status as a single mom in such a derogatory way that it became viral on the internet.  Gosh, the nerve of this well-known plagiarist.  Clearly, he has no respect for women.  He drew flak on social media and he was asked to apologize publicly but he said the social media can’t take a joke. My goodness, such sensitive issue should not be taken as such. It is offensive.  He apologized later but said it was meant as a joke.

He said: “In the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag lang ay na-ano lang. Thank you, you have my 100 percent support, Madam Secretary”.

What is exactly the meaning of na-ano? It probably means having children without the benefit of marriage or the marriage  has gone  kaput or just something like “so, so” if you know what I mean.  Any which  way,  I don’t find it shameful if someone is single  but is taking  care of  her kids. I wonder if he has even thought of his own daughter who is a single mom as well.

Taguiwalo replied  saying: “Senator Sotto, I teach women’s studies in UP so we respect all kinds of families, and that include solo parents. Thank you.”

Just the other day, I blogged  about the gift of being a mom, a   precious gift  that all of us moms, sons and daughters and even husbands should appreciate.  I repeat, there is no shame in being a single mom.  There is no shame in telling the whole world that you are both a mother and father to your kids. There is no shame in providing for their needs and seeing to their  welfare. I  would rather prefer being single than to have an irresponsible and  philandering husband in the process.

I admire solo or single mothers.  The responsibility of  being a single parent is enormous. Such  emotional effects on the children. The  weight of single-handedly  doing the job of parenting. Salute to all single parents out there.

 

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No, no, don’t get me wrong. this is not the traditional rambling of a sixty year old me.  I’ve let go of those emotions long ago.

I am talking about the changing months. Yes, it seems like it was just yesterday when I greeted the month of April . Holy Week, Easter, Mom’s birthday – the only occasions that marked this month and it is going, going again  for us to greet another month.

Really looking forward to May. It’s the height of the summer months or as PAGASA says,  it is the height of  the dry weather here. My goodness, a 34°C is still hot but most afternoons, the wind blows north.  I haven’t touched our garden in almost a month except to water the plants every day.  One thing I like about summer though are the fruits that abound. You can buy them by the kilo but some still cost much. last week I saw a vendor selling  duhat.  In English, they call it java plum but in the vernacular, we call it lomboy.  I haven’t tasted lomboy in so many years. They were exposed to the morning sun and these fruits are sensitive to heat. Much as  I want to, I didn’t buy. I bought star apples instead.  Star apples taste great when they are cold.

Reading during these days is such a dream. Since going out is limited to grocery shopping, marketing and attending church, there is always plenty of time to read.  There are so many quotes I’ve jotted down so far. They keep me glued to those books I find at random. I am experimenting with new authors.  Are you fond of quotes?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. – thornton wilder

Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart. – martin luther king

There are more moments in life when the heart is full of emotions, that if by chance it would be shaken or into its depths like a pebble drops some careless words, it overflows and its secrets, spilt on he ground like water, can never be gathered together. – henry wadsworth longfellow

Give all to love, obey thy heart. – ralph waldo emerson

Bring your secrets, bring your scars, unpack your heart – philip phillips

I  am reading another book by Michael Palmer. Getting hooked again with this author. Really, April is rapidly coming to a close.

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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 seems like it was only yesterday  and yet it is Sunday again. Time travels so fast.

I miss reading  the Sunday papers,  I used to subscribe when dad was alive. Early Sunday mornings would always be a cup of instant coffee and Philippine Star. I don’t subscribe anymore since I always don’t get to read it anyway. Besides, when you eat an early breakfast at Jollibee, the morning paper comes free.  For so many Sundays now, we always attend the 6:30 am masses in town.  There are always online sites for national dailies if one wants to be updated with the headlines which almost always deals with extra-judicial killings. It’s not really good to be reading those news reports that only make you feel that the present government is doing nothing.  I pity my country, in nine months since their president occupied Malacanang, it’s one big ride downwards.

Today we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day in the Catholic Church.  It is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave of Easter. I will always remember my former boss at the bank, she was the one who initiated that we pray the 3 O’clock Prayer to the  Divine Mercy every day. I’ve come to memorize the prayer. This hour of Great Mercy  promises tremendous grace in our lives.

So yesterday was a  family celebration  of Mom’s birthday.  It’s one of those day worth-remembering again not so much of the food (though we have plenty of it) but more of the camaraderie and the laughter when our baby Nate is around. I think he will always be the life of a party.  I have some food magazines here and Nate pointed at one of the covers and told his dad that he wanted something similar to eat soon. It’s a colorful array of veggies and meat on the side. We laughed while he pointed at the photo.  Sometimes kids are taken by colors  although they are the first to figure out that a certain taste is not to their liking.  I am glad that Nate eat his vegetables more than her daddy does 🙂

Have I told you that I finally changed my Aldiko e-reader to Moonreader?  Moonreader seems the better option for my e-books, it is easier to navigate  and to follow.  Since I started reading e-books a few years ago, it has always been Aldiko but I guess it is no longer that user-friendly on my tab. I wonder sometimes that despite an outer device with a 10 gb to boot, I still get the message, the space it not enough to upgrade apps. The only apps I installed earlier when I didn’t have  my computer before was the BPI and WordPress. The tab comes with all those pre-installed apps that you cannot delete but are upgraded from time to time Facebook included.  never mind, I only ever use it for reading and for paying household bills online. I want to buy a camera first before changing my tab.  One of these days, maybe.

 

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Had good chats with two of my close friends last night. One of my friends who is a third order Carmelite attends mass daily at Sto. Domingo Church.  He was in doubt but he asked me if Fr. Lovell was the one who officiated the mass. He said the latter’s homily was a breath of fresh air.  So I asked Fr. Lovell later, he said yes. He  even mentioned my plight as a cancer survivor, how  having a grave ailment would someday be an inspiration to others to get well.  We talked about life and survival, we talked about our families and moving on. We talked about how life seems so hard sometimes.

I do agree, there are times when you feel so alone in your struggles.  There are times when you feel like giving up but it is not an option.  There are always instances when  you feel so down. Life is all about our struggles and little victories we gain from being brave and strong.  It’s hard sometimes to show strength when you really feel so weak. It is easier to show how you’ve become saddened and disappointed with what is happening around. Problems are part and  parcel of this thing we call life.  It may get a little  complicated at times  but trying times are not always here to stay. Our attitude towards vicissitudes in life spells the big difference between living and existing. It’s survival of the fittest as people often say. I do believe though that one’s weakness becomes one’s strength  in the long run. We learn, oh how we learn to survive. Staying positive may be hard to do but it is one moving force for us to survive and accept a particular situation not to our liking. I remember one writer (the name escapes me now) who said, “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back”.

 

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