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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts and ramblings’


There are books and there are books out there.

Funny how sometimes a certain book is included in the list of classics but when you attempt to read it, you can’t relate. One such book I really wanted to finish is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I started a few chapters only to abandon it again. Readers rated it five stars on Goodreads but how come I could not finish even five chapters? The proverbial question is, is it me or is it the book?  I love history, I admire those writers who really make those researches when writing a historical book.  Those Latin phrases really turned me off. A few months ago, I attempted to include Anna Karenina in my book challenge for this year but I gave up reading in the middle of the book. Russian names are hard to pronounce, haha.  Got confused by the story.  I finished reading  Doctor Zhivago though by Boris Pasternak. I  even watched some trailers on YouTube and enjoyed listening to Lara’s Theme. Another book that I started years ago but still pending in my TBR list is A Prayer for Owen Meany. This book got more five stars on Goodreads. A Widow For One Year  is another Irving book that is pending in my shelf.

Are you a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? We used to have two trade books of his in our small library which Nissa bought years ago, Love In The Time of Cholera and One Hundred Days of Solitude.  I enjoyed the latter but could not finish the former. I wonder why.  Enough of  Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Do you remember that famous film by Meryl Streep entitled Julie and Julia? I  enjoyed watching the film version but didn’t finish the book with the same title  by Julie Powell, a food blogger. Another book Eat, Pray, Love  is prominently displayed in my shelf but the first few chapters were a disappointment to me. Maybe one of these days, I’ll read Elizabeth Gilbert.  Maybe I’ll give the book another try.

I am presently reading  The Winter Siege by Ariana Franklin,  a book set in 12th century England.  A wonderful historical book. In 1141, England was engulfed in civil war between King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda over who would wear the crown.  This book is so engrossing. This is my book number 162 out of a goal of reading 150 books this year.

What are you reading at the moment?

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My autograph is open
Come and see
What?
Won’t you waste a line on me?
Share but a thought
A word or two
That memory may revert to you…

These  were just a few lines that I vividly remember written on my first autograph book that Mom and Dad gave me one Christmas in 1968.  Back then, the first thought that came to mind was, I could have my grade school classmates sign it before our graduation the following year.  I didn’t know that Mom kept it together with assorted toys, plastic dolls and other paraphernalia so dear to a young girl’s heart. The book was about 8′ x 10′ in size, with an inch-thick pages and the cover was  of a glossy material that easily attracts the eyes. At the center was a picture of…guess who….Susan Roces!

I was then quite excited to show it off to my classmates. I am sure you know what a typical autograph looks like, you write your name, address, age, school, ambition, motto in life and see questions like, ‘who is your crush?’ and such things like ‘define love’.  On the second page is where you put your dedication together with a small photograph if you have one.

A few years ago, I got the chance to get re-acquainted with it. The pages were quite frayed at the edges and some part of it were eaten by termites.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
May some forget you
But never shall I…

I could not help remembering James Patterson’s books with similar titles, Roses Are Red and Violets Are Blue. Do you think he got the idea of using such from some childhood quotes?  Going back to answering the question, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ A lot of them answered, ‘to be a nurse’ or ‘to be a teacher’ and most of them wrote under ambition, ‘to go abroad’ Why not ‘to be a writer”or probably the more facetious answers like ‘to be a beauty queen’ or ‘to be a Philippine president’ ? Forty years ago, being a teacher was I think the most noble ambition for a child of eleven or twelve. And going abroad was the ultimate dream of every family.  Remember the saying, “the grass is greener on the other side”.

Define love.  ‘Love is sweet’, ‘love hurts’, ‘love is a nice feeling’. Corny, you might say but those are definitely what we feel at times, right?  We were psyched  from early childhood how to give love back – be it in simple things like hugging our parents, kissing our younger siblings, making those paper flowers for our moms thinking that they are the best flowers in the world, helping them with household chores, etc.  Love is simply manifested in every gesture but probably in a subconscious way.

Back in high school during our senior year, we had those slumbooks  (is this word in the dictionary?) as we called it then. Remember those cute little notebooks  with Hello Kitty designs?  Almost every girl in class had it and we were quite “kilig to the bones” seeing our high school crush sign it.  What was important was, the complete address, birthday and the short accompanying note which we treasured.  Nowadays and luckily for our batch, we regularly keep in touch by way of frequent get-together, once in three years reunions, via our batch’ e-group and such social networking site like Facebook.

Yes, the college years  – those were the days where you probably experienced being in love for the first time.   Really, how time flies!   Slumbooks and autographs, do they still have that now?

(photo courtesy of  Witty  Will Save The World Co.)

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Sometimes  you  just feel that tiny apprehension that you  have covered all the subjects you want to blog about and there is nothing more you can explore.  Or maybe you have lost your muse in between and you don’t know how to start again.  Have I blogged about this before? You asked. Have I mentioned it in my previous posts?

One such subject that I do enjoy writing about is blogging.   How many times have I written about this topic?  It’s been there since  I started this blog.  Do you agree that the more you do something in the long run, it gets easier?

Blogging is a dream come true for me. I tried publishing a few posts at Friendster back in 2007  then a friend recommended a new platform called Multiply. Both closed their sites years ago.  I had about close to a hundred friends at the latter and I enjoyed exchanging ideas with them, talking about families, music and more on current events.  We posted photos, food recipes, songs from our  own collections, movies  that touched us at one time (copied of course from YouTube).  It was a social media platform where I met some friends personally.  It was a chat board. Then came Facebook.  I am still there even if sometimes I feel it is so noisy but it is quite easy to chat with friends from all walks of life. It is quite  easy to find old friends you haven’t seen in a decade.

Ah yes, blogging.

Sometimes I feel that reading interesting blog posts is like reading a lovely book in installment, you discover a page every day and you want to see what the next scene will be.

I miss my friends/fellow bloggers who have quietly left the scene because the chapters are not complete.  WordPress keeps on improving their site and sometimes it gets confusing to learn an added tool. I still use the old format until now. I find it easy to edit here than at  the more improved one.  I  unfollowed some blogs  in the process. Most of those bloggers who put their links  in the comments went to my spam folder. Thank you Akismet for that.  I follow a particular blog because I feel there is something there that I can relate to. I tell you, specially to the new bloggers out there,  it is not practical and nice to follow a blog you have just discovered and ask them to follow you back.  Follow it because of its own merits  and don’t expect anything in return.  I do get curious though and I visit their sites.  It takes me more time now  and more inspiring and interesting posts to follow a blog.

Blogging, sharing, meeting new friends in the blogosphere. I love it all.

 

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It’s been raining since last night but the sun showed its face for a while this morning then it got dark again.  I had time to go out  and inspect the blooms in my garden.

Ruellia in white.

I only used to have the purple flowers then some pink ones just sprouted and now these.

They look like Petunia flowers,  white dainty flowers scattered all over the garden.

It’s market day again and I bought  sweet potato for snacks. Camote as we locally call it is high in vitamin B6, a good source of vitamin C and D.  It contain iron a support a healthy immune system and is also a good  source of magnesium,  a relaxation and anti-stress mineral. Sometimes I just boil it or make it into fritters.

I only heard  of this from Nissa.  What, a bulletproof coffee?   She tells  me it tastes so good without the sugar of course but laced with butter.  She’s right now into bulletproof diet.  I could not imagine my coffee with butter.  She uses instant variety though then put it into a blender.

Have a blessed weekend.

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I remember an old friend who used to say, “The journey to life is an endless struggle on  perilous paths of treacherous stones and storms”. For one so young she surely looked at the world with open eyes and between the two of us, I was more of the dreamer than she was.  I had this penchant for collecting quotes from almost every book that comes into my hands,  filling up three full notebook of quotations my entire college life. She was really a big influence to me –  appreciating  good poetry, good books and  yes, quotes that somehow played a big chunk of what I called my “sentimental” moments. She was a friend, the big sister I never had.

“Live the dream”, she would  say. I do. I did. And I like to think that somehow, in between wakefulness and dreamland, life is  real. Why am I remembering?  Why the sudden recall?  Or is this one of those moments that makes  one wander far beyond, going far off to a place of childhood dreams?  I really don’t know. We used to walk and talk, and dream about big things that only the young would think of  and I suddenly pictured her smiling face, creating a sense of sudden longing. Memories sometimes have that power to make one lonely and alone.

I would have liked to share that I’ve through a phase in my life full of so much pain. But I can hear her voice saying,  “Life is never perfect”. And she would understand.  And I would tell her that I am brave enough to face it all.

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And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise .  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  ~Sylvia Plath

This blank page, like a canvas devoid of color , is staring at me and seems to  say, ‘fill me, fill me with your lovely thoughts’. Sometimes though, burst of inspiration comes in the most unexpected places at the most inopportune moments.  When you are ready to make do with pen and paper,  your thoughts have wandered someplace else, you try in vain to remember the exact words that played in your head – no, never, your thoughts are now beating a different drum.  You  stare at nothing, focus  on nothing but your thoughts.

And it is in doing such mundane tasks like the laundry  or watering the plants that sets your mind to wander off to so many things.  Sometimes I wish I have  a notebook always at my side to capture the essence of those lovely and fascinating dreams that I have at night, to write about  the dainty little flower which never fail to put a smile on my face when I wake up, to write about how I want to capture  the series of clouds  making a slow dance high above, to write about how ants gloriously meet each other while  traversing the long road of a rotten wood in our yard. And always, always my mind wanders!  Will I be able to capture how you looked the very first time I saw a glimpse of your face?  Will I be able to describe the exact moment when you made me smile?  Will I?  Will I?

Writing is definitely a joyous exercise when you are filled with inspiration and things to write about. You might be alone in your thoughts but you don’t feel lonely.  Your thoughts become your words and your words become the colorful canvas which a moment ago was just a blank page, staring at you, silently challenging you to fill it up.  It’s another discovery, filling your paper with your heart’s laments and joys!

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Oh  my, July is almost gone.

It’s been raining since yesterday. We have these habagat rains again because of typhoon Gorio. Gorio is enhancing the monsoon rains all over Metro Manila and nearby provinces. One thing that I don’t like about rainy days is I have to clean our small pond afterwards. We used to have Koi fish  but one rainy morning, they were all gone flashed by heavy rains that saturated the garden.

The lazy day makes me  remember those days when my eldest brother and I were in grade school. Every rainy season, we would stay with my aunt  ( my mom’s older sister) the whole five days that there were classes. My mom was afraid  that we couldn’t go to school on time when it rained hard. We lived in an upper place from the town proper and we used to cross the river  through a wooden bridge wide enough for our feet to step on. When the water is high, the bridge sometimes disappears and we would use a raft made of bamboo poles. I was always afraid to stand and balance myself while crossing.  My aunt’s place was a bit near the school  and we just walked  to and from it.  We have a concrete bridge nowadays  where vehicles could pass through.

During summer months,  we go home every lunch break and we would have a run at the bridge most of the time. We would go home together with my  cousins, neighbors’ kids and some other relatives  and go back in the afternoon  for our classes. We learned to balance ourselves on the wooden bridge  when crossing.  Those were the days, part of our grade school life years ago.

When we started high school, Mom and dad decided to transfer us to Manila and we enrolled at the University of Santo Tomas where I finished college too. I had a hard time then adjusting to high school life in the city although we spent summer vacations with dad when we were young.  Bus and jeepney rides became a necessity. I could not imagine myself now riding on buses or jeepneys.  It was so different back then, pollution was not that heavy and commuters had easy access to public vehicles. Nowadays, LTFRB is so hot on the Grab and Uber rides unmindful of those colorum buses, jeepneys  and taxis on the streets of Metro Manila.  LTFRB is requiring those private vehicles affiliated to Uber and Grab to get similar franchise but they sat on those applications for a year. I must admit, riding a Uber or Grab is the most convenient way to travel aside of course from bringing your car to work.  Most traditional taxi drivers here are arrogant and  choose riders and places. It’s not practical to ride on jeepneys on longer routes because of pollution.

The rain has stopped finally and I am here…reminiscing.

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