Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Celebrating Lucas' 77th Birthday

Last July, after the trip to Cebu, Lucas and I proceeded to be with Martha in Manila. In Manila, Martha and I planned for Lucas' birthday. Every year since we got married, whether big or small, I have never failed to celebrate Lucas natal day. This year since Martha was the only person left at my second home in Manila, it would be quite lonesome to have a dinner comprising only the three of us, so I thought of inviting my siblings and their children. With my siblings around, it would be a happy get together.

So I decided for us to go to this relatively new dinning place called Peking Garden at Greenbelt 5, Makati. The place was known for its good food and nice ambiance. Aside from that, the catch was a 50% discount if I were a Metrobank platinum card holder. Luckily as I asked around, two of my nieces were of good standing member. Martha reserved two tables for 12 persons each. The place was fully booked though. Despite the heavy traffic in Makati, everybody tried his best to get to the place early and on time.

That evening of July 12, 2017, Martha and I personally chose an ala carte 8 course dinner. The nice food made for a great celebration with a special choice of Peking duck served two ways. A beautiful and delicious cake was gifted by niece Desa where in we all partook and enjoyed. We were also served long life buns and the personnel sang the birthday song twice. Hahaha. It seemed that all the customers that night were also celebrating their birthdays. Hahaha. Some confusions regarding the cakes also added to the gaiety of the occasion. Hahaha.

Happy 77th birthday Lucas!!! No love word is better said aloud than actions. Of course you know that!!! I love you!!! Happy birthday my dear husband!

The lovely birthday cake and long life buns

Martha, Lucas and I

Happy birthday song

Thank you, thank you...from the celebrant

A great celebration, a happy group
Happy Birthday Lucas!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cebu Trip

This July 2017, my husband lucas and I went to Cebu City to visit our children namely, Tom and his wife Angel and two grandkids Dylan and Yuri, and Emil and his fiancée Suiling. Both Tom and Emil transferred residences this year, hence forth I wanted to see how they were living. I stayed or rather we stayed with tom and his family. The place of Tom was nice. It had bigger rooms and toilets compared to his last apartment. It felt a lot cooler and more comfortable too. It was also very covenient, near the mall and supermart, just across the street. Emil and Suiling on the other hand were not quite settled yet. They had a big house but everything was still temporary. They will be getting married this coming November. I discussed with them regarding wedding preparations; first and foremost I want them to be happy, healthy and safe. It will be a simple wedding event but they will be doing whatever they feel most happy to do. This I am sure will be a unique but most enjoyable affair. My husband Lucas and I have only our best and happiest wishes for both of them. May our good Lord bless them with his compassion and kindness.

In Cebu, my husband and I had great time bonding with the grown children and grand children. The first night upon our arrival, Angel and Sue and I took time to cook delicious crabs for dinner. Those live crabs, lucas and I brought them all the way from Cotabato.

We had several days and nights out eating. The family also spent two days and one night at Costabella Resort to swim and chill out.

At Grand Con courtesy of Cebu Service Parts.

 At Costabella 

For this trip, Lucas was most happy to be angkong to his grandkids.
And Lucas was most happy to be angkong to his grandkids.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Tomorrow, June 18, 2017 is Father's Day. A recent near fire incident this morning at our neighboring Shell gasoline station made me recall a courageous act done by my father (God rest his soul) many many years ago. I was in my early twenties then and my younger brothers Wilson and Ollie were in their teens. My mother had passed away some two years ago, leaving my father alone and us her children to assist in the meager family business in Cotabato City. Our two-pump gasoline station com sari-sari store (convenient store) was located at the corner of Mabini and Villaeron Streets fronting the Rio Grande River. It is called "Teksing" now a days. Our business catered mostly to Muslims: those pump boats plying the delta, the fishermen and people from the near-by river banks. The store opened early in morning and closed around six in the evening. But the lorry truck that filled our gasoline pumps would come in the evening, most of the time late at night.
One particular day though, it came earlier around 6:30 or 7 in the evening. It was already dusk and the store was about to close, but we stayed on to wait for the lorry to fill in our gasoline supply. As we prepared for it, my two younger brothers as tasked, went up to the truck, opened the lid to measure the content of the fuel. I sat as cashier. The store was half closed and I could not see from the inside. Two sale girls were also with me, while my father went out to oversee the fueling. Suddenly there was some kind of a loud sound (busuk!), then I saw my father running hastily inside the store. He quickly took the big fire extinguisher on the center post and ran outside to quell some fire outside. After sometime, he came back with an empty can and a screaming fire truck soon arrived. It did not take long for the firemen to investigate the incident. They talked to my father and my brothers. Since my brothers were on top of the lorry truck, they saw everything...... While they were preparing for the loading of the fuel, some Muslim kids at the far end of the vicinity were playing talang (lucky nine perhaps). Since it was getting dark, one of the kids lighted a small candle. In an instant the fueling hose sucked up the flame. The candle was extinguished and the flame was perilously transferred to the hose. When my brothers saw the hose on fire, they quickly jumped down from the lorry and ran towards the river, to save themselves in case things got worst. Not so far away though, they saw my father coming out from the store carrying the big fire extinguisher by himself and single-handedly hosed down the flame. Thank God, the fire was contained. Thank God! He saved us from great harm that evening. That same night, the firemen and policemen found the candle and playing cards at the far end of the vicinity accordingly. My father had to do some reporting to the police station the next day though.
But to my brothers, my father confided. That when he saw the fire and saw my brothers running safely away, in a brief moment he was tempted to let the fire burn and collect the insurance. But yet he thought about the many other lives getting lost, and so he hurriedly went in to take the fire extinguisher and responsibly braved the peril himself.
My father Francisco Ledesma was not religious, but for this single heroic act of courageousness, I believe the all knowing God has absolved him. I believe my father is now in heaven with our Almighty God who is all good, kind and merciful. It is just so timely that I am able to think about this single incident and remember Papa and his courageous deed just before Father's Day tomorrow. I love you, Pa! Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Random Things

I went to Manila last May 22, 2017 to repaint my second home. In fact to repaint the room of Roy and Emil to be exact. To date, I have been repainting one room per visit and here are the results:
Orange for Lucas' and mine room. Hehe.
Soothing green for the library/study.
Blue for the boys room

Aside from overseeing the work at home, I spent time and enjoyed walking at the park with Martha, the house-helps and Kiba (Martha's dog).
It was for walking of the dog primarily. Hahaha
Tetet and Kiba
Karen and Runa helping Martha walk the crazy dog. 

In Manila, I also met up with my siblings (sorry no pictures here) and ate out with Martha several times. One high light dinner with my daughter was a buffet at Shangrila Fort. We ate from 8 in the evening up to 10:30 closing time. I carefully chose what I like best and since most of my children were allergic to shellfish and we didn't cook them at home, so my first choice was to eat a plateful of the crustaceans first. My favorites were of course the lobsters and shrimps. The crabs and crayfish were kind of disappointing, but I used a lot of lemons for flavorful dipping. I went for second and third rounds. Hahaha. Another favorite was the peking duck. I asked for more slices of duck meat and went for another helping. Their siopao was also good. I ate few slices of yellow fin tuna, salmon and mackerel. However at the end, I opted to skip the cakes and pastries, instead I had lemon sorbet for my dessert and topped it with plentiful of big fresh strawberries. Lemon sorbet and fresh strawberries were perfect blend. It was such a wonderful dinner. I could not however eat that much and so heavily everyday. This was just a special night I randomly planned with my daughter Martha. What a lovely evening!
My first plateful! Hehehe
With Martha after a sumptuous dinner. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Beautiful May

The month of May is hot and humid here in the Philippines, more so here in Cotabato, but we love the month of May for many things:
1. It is vacation time. Parents sigh with relief and children play without care. The sophisticated goes abroad, but there are more fun with beach and sun and sand here in our islands.
2. May is the month of our Blessed Mother, hence there are also plenty of fiestas in her honor. My parish the Queen of Peace Church will have its festivities on the last Sunday of May. There are on-going catechism classes for neighboring kids. First Communion and Confirmation will be held during the fiesta mass. There will be the customary brunch fare also for the community after the mass.
3. Tomorrow May 13 is the 100 year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. I plan to attend the early morning mass and a celebratory breakfast afterwards. I will be sharing 2 rolls of Red Ribbon cakes. There will be pancit, bread and coffee, etal, as per voluntary contribution of some members. 
4. There are weddings. My husband Lucas will act as one of the primary sponsors during the wedding of the son of our employee Nestor this coming May 18.
5. Birthday celebrations too - I just attended the 91st birthday celebration of Cherry Lao this May 10th. My daughter-in-law Angel also celebrated her 38th birthday that same day in Cebu. Today is the birthday of my uncle Fernando Go in Manila. Good health, long life and a happy disposition are my best wishes for him. The most popular May birthday celebrant though is our parish grand dame Lily Uy (everybody calls her Mother Lily). She is well known for her big and varied and generous gala spread. Her birthday theme this year is Hawaiian. Lily has hired a party coordinator to teach Hawaiian dance numbers to the MMLC for her birthday programme. She also offered to pay for their costumes too. Everybody is now in a competition to be the best hawaiian dancer I suppose. I will not be joining this party though for I plan to go to Manila to continue with repainting my house before the on set of the rainy season this June. I am happy to get out of the way. I pray for the party to be a big success, only the best for this generous and kindhearted lady who is the pillar of the ladies organization of our parish. And here I also have another invitation from Juliet Tsang for the birthday celebration of her father in Davao on May 30, but which I will not be attending since I may still be in Manila. Wishing all the birthday celebrants the best of everything.
6. And by the way, this coming May 19, my daughter Marion is going to Paris for a ph.d conference from New Zealand. It is going to be a long tiring trip but may our Lady keep her safe always. I pray for her to have a safe, happy and successful journey most specially because she is doing this on this beautiful month of May which synonymously belongs to our lovely Lady.
Here's wishing everybody a happy and beautiful month of May, with blessings from the Lord.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Social Events....

My simple retiree's life looks forward to enjoying social events such as church activities and other happy celebratory occasions:

1.Last April 28, 2017, my sister-in-law Conchita Tan celebrated her 80th birthday. The gala celebration had her children coming home to Cotabato to grace the important milestone. They were George and Maria coming from Boston, Grace from Atlanta, Giselle from Singapore and Eugene and Aimee with three young kids from Davao. From the extended family, the children of Luna and Tina (Tan in-laws) also came to grace the occasion. They were Apollo and Leizle with two boys from Tacloban, Dominic and Carol and children from Davao. One of Conchita's siblings, Jose Atienza came over from Manila, her brother-in-law Chua Yu Beng and his wife from Kidapawan and his children all from Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and Manila were present too.

The arrival of kin had the Tan households and hardware store becoming busy centers for family greetings and gatherings. My children did not come though. They were all busy with their work and other activities. Infact Tom was heading his high school batch reunion in Cebu, Martha was swimming and running her first aquathlon at Ateneo de Manila, Emil busy in Cebu, and of course Roy at work in Seattle and Marion in New Zealand.

I participated as lay reader in the birthday con-celebrated mass presided by Cardinal Orlando Quevedo. I also joined the choral group that rendered two songs for the celebrant. Food were aplenty: Roasted (whole cow) beef, lechons, fresh (whole fish) tuna sashimi, sushi bar, liquor bar, buffet stations and dessert corners, not to mention the aperitifs that were laid on each table before hand. Sadly though, both the birthday mass and the birthday party were not very well attended and many fondues of food were shelved away by unscrupulous people. Other than that, the trivia game was interesting and the celebrant and her family and the party attendees, all had a good time.

2. The Sunday of April 30, 2017,  I was formally inducted together with Garland Lu and Norma Lim as lay-reader (late) inductees for the year 2017. After the mass, during the Lecom meeting, I conducted a brief English pronunciation sharing to my fellow readers. I was glad they were all interested. In general, they were happy to get updated and learned or rekindled something from their old school. During the meeting, I did not like to appear as though I was a better reader. Many of them were community achievers like a lawyer/school principal, nurse, teacher, business women, etc. The fact that I personally and brazenly volunteered to give this talk because I did think I had something to share to the ministry. I thank them for their kind attention and also for giving me this opportunity to fulfill my promise to share my humble little knowledge.

3. In the afternoon, my husband Lucas and I went to visit James and Siolan Yap. James was just recently released from the hospital for prostate problem. He had not fully recovered from his medical condition yet, and he was physically ill at ease with his movements while lying down, but he was stronger than the time we visited him at the hospital. That afternoon he was happily more audible and talkative. That for us was a good sign. We hoped he gets better soon.

4. In the evening of the same day, Lucas and I attended the birthday party of Violeta Tarangco at Connie's restaurant. Violy is  a window. She is active at church, a daily mass goer. Her party was composed of small group, mostly church members. We had karaoke singing and food was more than sufficient enough for everybody. I was kind of hungry and  had second rounds. The guests had fun chorusing and dancing to lively singers. Lucas did a couple of songs. Mostly everybody in the party was sincerely cajoling and enjoying the night away. It was indeed a happy and gay celebration!

And to think many people at times, ask me. " What do you do these days?"
The answer is "I am enjoying my retirement." Hehehe. Truly I tell you, that is not a lie!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

More Asik Asik Pictures

My daughter Martha came home for the holy week. Aside from religious observance of church activities, the high light of her stay was going to Asik Asik Falls at Dado, Alamada, North Cotabato. It was a long ride to Dado and the trek was not an easy one. Thanks to Carlo Songcayauon a professional rescuer friend for coming with us at my request. He made the trip confidently physically easy for us. Here are more pictures from the excursion:
The 600 plus steps trek down to the falls
View from the stairs
Female Gandaff leading the way down. Hahaha.
Crossing the water through the fallen down tree bridge.
Photo op at one of the fallen down balete trees.
Asik Asik Falls was discovered after a big storm. The fallen down balete trees uncovered  the beautiful curtain falls.
At the falls at last.
Martha at the falls.
Lucas at Asik Asik
Martha wading the ice cold water.
Going to the walls..
Taking a direct ice cold shower at the falls.
The curtain falls
Awesome God's work!
Clear and clean water.
More crowds coming in. After lunch we decided to head back for the sky was becoming overcast.
Half way scenery with the overcast sky. Beautiful isn't it!
After the picnic lunch at the falls, we decided to head back as the sky was getting cloudy. On our way up, there were even more people going down. I was glad we came to the falls earlier during the day. In the afternoon the falls would be teeming with people and the place getting dirtied by undisciplined picnickers which were sadly and sickeningly aplenty. People should know how to keep this place and their environment clean!!!