Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Despite Everything.......

Despite the war in Marawi, the martial law in Mindanao and the drug war of Duterte in the Philippines, I feel the country is safer these days specially in Mindanao because of a strong military presence in the area, and the fear of the consequences of punishments when caught. This is not to say there are no crimes in the city. In fact a middle aged lady, a rental collector, a kin of the Gutierez family was killed only yesterday. The sad thing is, most of the tenants in the vicinity think that it was due her because she had been a strict, hard-hearted landlady. She padlocked houses that were remissed with their payments.The gunman was not caught, nobody knew who it was. This woman had plenty of Christians and Muslims tenants, but even few Christians sympathize with the victim. Such is the mentality of many people here in the Philippines. Law and order does not matter at all.

Let me share a penny of my thoughts: I do not approve of extra judicial killings. I think many cops tend to be abusive and corrupt. Sad but true but most are indifferent to this matter as long as it works faster and better. It is because since time immemorial, all previous governments and its higher offices sucked and feasted on the country's coffer. There was no pride to be honest and patriotic. Everybody from the high ups to the lowly wanted to have a part of the loot. This corrupt system has been here ever since. It goes from bad to worst. Everybody just wants to become rich quickly. So, when Duterte surfaced, many seemed happy for a change, not knowing that one day many of them will have to meet their adversaries which are really their own shadows face to face. Duterte is not a cure all, but at least we have one president that cares for this country. He has been elected by the people. I voted for him too and I will pray for him. He needs a lot of our prayers though because he is rowdy and not too bright. But what had all the brilliant presidents done to this country?! I pray the Lord enlightens him in his governance and fight against drug and corruption. I pray for more honest and good people to help him. I pray that the Lord guides him to steer better this country for the common good of the people.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Mini Grotto

I have a mini grotto on the wall of my porch before entering my home. My family moved to this house in 1980. In 1976 after the earthquake, I went through some emotional turbulent years, so when this house was built for us to stay, I wanted my home to be blessed by God. The mini grotto with the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was set up during the finishing stage of the building. I specifically wanted it there before entering my abode. The grotto is a significant gesture of my devotion. My wanting to be connected to God. My desire to be loved and brought closer to my Lord by his very own mother. As I prayed for a peaceful loving home, of course with all intentions I have to start by being a better person myself. This house, this home, this family, will surely be blessed because I so want it to be. My Divine Mother shall help me. She will bring me closer to my God, as well as all my love ones whom I pray for everyday.

So my house is located on the second floor of the building, and since then, each day before going down the stairs to work or to go out, I pass by the mini grotto; I touch the statue of our Lady and do the sign of the cross. Likewise when I climb upstairs to come home, I do the same greetings. The grotto is lighted by an electrical light bulb at night. I adorn it with flowers picked from my rooftop garden. It delights my heart when my flowers bloom prettily to honor my Lady.

Flowers for my Lady:

Friday, August 25, 2017

Family Dispersed

My family is all dispersed: My husband and I live in Cotabato, my eldest son Roy is in Seattle, Washington, USA, Tom works and lives with his wife Angel and children in Cebu City; Emil and his fiance Sui Ling are in Mandaue City, Cebu, Martha is a six sigma black belter consultant working in Manila and Marion is currently doing her ph.d research in Wellington City, New Zealand.  However, this is not as though it is the first time for them to leave home and to live independently away from the comfort of the family. In fact, 3 of them: Roy, Martha and Marion left home to study high school in Manila at the young age of 13, while Tom and Emil left home to pursue their college education at a later age of 16.

Roy was my first born and hence the first child to leave home. He was a severe asthmatic and a sickly child but I encouraged him to apply for a national scholarship at the Philippine Science High School in Diliman, Quezon City. I was an ambitious mother. I saw his great potential as a fast learner, I was afraid he was getting tremendously bored studying in Cotabato City. In spite of his frail health, I had no second thoughts enrolling and boarding him in Pisay when he surpassed the quota grades required of the entrance examination of that prestigious high school in Diliman. I didn't care even if  people tagged me as a hard hearted mother. However before his Pisay intership, I told him. "Roy, let us agree on this...we will try this out, from day to day basis, progressing to weekly and monthly bases. If in any case your physical health will not allow you to proceed, we can easily go home to Cotabato. I am pretty sure there are many other schools who will take you in."  So Roy got enrolled, studied and boarded at Pisay. Thank God, he survived four year of academic struggles. He even seemed to become healthier living a spartan life at the dormitory. (There was one major asthma episode though that sent him to the hospital because I fed him hotcakes with pure maple syrup while I was in Manila. He was highly allergic to the substance, we soon found out. My too much mothering was making him sick I guessed.) While Roy was studying away from home, nobody and nobody here on earth knew that I was a total wreck, putting up a brave front. My husband Lucas was 101 percent supportive of our efforts though. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing.

The other siblings looking up to their eldest brother, soon followed suit in their own time and pursuits. I began to raise up all my prayers to God to take care of all my children where ever they are and where ever they go. For we can never do it rightly without the goodness, graciousness and blessings of our Lord.  I pray...Keep them always safe and healthy, O Lord! To my Blessed Mother, the Queen of our Homes, give us the mantel of your maternal protection always. Amen.

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 but 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 on second though he knew how many other lives would get lost instead, In an instant second he chose to brave the fire himself, and so he went hurriedly to take down 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.