Wednesday, September 11, 2019

My Garden

My garden in Cotabato is on the rooftop of the building.

When we put up the three storied building in 1980, the heat from the concrete on top was unbearable. Since two families lived directly below, we decided to put a small rooftop atrium and a garden to minimize the heat to our abodes. My husband Lucas commissioned his Masonic brother, Dr. Eduardo Rabago to do it. Ed Rabago did a pretty good job. He built a rooftop shade with a small garden along the edge. With it, we were able to enjoy a nice breezy green space on top and also a place for our children to play. During those days, family members went up often for a stroll or to look around. The kids of both families played and rode their bikes on the rooftop. We also liked to watch the night sky occasionally. Sometimes we held parties over there too. My late mother-in-law was happiest to have the garden. She liked potted plants and flowers. She went up to take care of them. My brother-in-law Luna and his wife Tina also got pretty much engaged with it and started planting greens around the garden too. During those times, I was the least involved with gardening. I would however pick flowers and shrubs from the plots and beautify my house with potted greens and fresh flowers for my mini grotto too. I was however very careful not to pluck their orchids or any of my in-laws favorite plants. Lest I get on their bad sides. Hehehe.

My mother-in-law passed away in 1994. Our children left home for college. Luna and Tina lost interest on the garden plot, and I became busy running my own pre-school to care much about the atrium. We left the place for our domestic helpers to keep. Everybody went to the rooftop less and less except for the helps. But housemaids ‘come and go’, and so one day I went up thinking of getting a few potted plants for my St. Martha School to use. To my dismay, the atrium was in complete disarray. Plastics, papers, styrofoam, pails, clothes pins, bottles and what not, were scattered all around. Flowers pots were broken and plants were either growing wild or whithering. Alas! It had become a dumping ground for rubbish. Yet I was still too busy to take hold of the situation. I got to tell the maids however, to clean and burn the garden trash weekly little by little on a certain concrete box corner of the garden which was safe enough; or the fire department might think the house was on fire.

When I closed my school in 2009 and retired early from work, I hired my St. Martha School helper Rowena Salac to tend to the garden. She did a pretty good job there and the garden began to bloom again. The orchids became plentiful and there were many flowering shrubs for me to delight with. I decorated my home with healthy plants and I adorned my grotto with cattleyas, sampaguitas and other blooms. But alas, few years later, Rowena could not get along with my and my sister-in-law’s other housemaids and so thus she left. After her, I took another girl who was looking for a job to keep the garden alive but woe, this girl was simply too lazy and the garden was soon invaded by weeds, rats and out growths and it became so unsightly. When I did not increase her salary for a job not well done this year, she quit. After she left, I did not hire anymore gardener to replace her. Last week though,  I commissioned  a professional landscaper to clear this mini jungle of overgrowth trees, plants and weeds. The landscaper employed a group of four to five people for three days to remove the unwanted shrubs and trees. They disposed off the rubbish too on their little truck.They also trimmed the hedges. Now, my garden looks good and civilized. I call it mine now. I earned the right to own it, I guess.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Family Taiwan Tour

Two days after the birthday of my husband Lucas C. Tan, my entire family from the grandfather to the grandkids, took an early flight to Taiwan for a 5D4N vacation on July 14, 2019. We were a family of 11 persons. Thankfully we were accommodated on a tourist bus big enough for 30 people. That was the most luxurious part of the vacation for me, with WiFi connection inside the bus, plus individual charger outlet, bottles of water and a very accommodating tourist guide.
Our luxurious bus!
And some highlights pictures below:
First stop at Yehliu Geopark.
First family lunch at Taiwan.
Taocheng Farm

Do it yourself barbecue dinner.
DIY lantern making. Marion helping nephew Dylan fold the rice paper.

Our DIY lantern ready to fly.
Farm tour
Loving all our delicious meals together.
At Xifun old town district.
Taipei 101
National Museum
Family picture before the changing of the guards.
Xiling night market.
Chiang Kai Sek Memorial
Pineapple factory

DIY pineapple pie making

 Our very own

Beautiful interactions before we enplaned back to the Philippines.
It was a fun family holiday!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Party Moments

Line dance practice before the event. Hahaha.
The emcee and the welcome address.
 My serenade to the celebrant.
Dancing with the celebrant.
An emotional hug.
 Lucas and his family gathering around the birthday cake.
 Happy birthday to you!!!
 Blowing of the candles
 Thanks giving prayer and grace before meal.
 Eldest son toasting the ideal father.
 Family line dance presentation
 Dancing with joy and gusto. Hehehe.
 The dancing family finale bow.
 The dancing instructors taking over the community dance.
 Guests and family members happily participating.
Ballroom dancing: Cerio Toh dancing with the lady instructor.
 Ballroom dancing: My daughter Marion and her boyfriend Marion Olmillo.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Family Pictures

The birthday celebrant Lucas C. Tan
 With the wife, yours truly
 With all the girls in the family
The guys
Family picture
Tom, Angel, Sui-Ling, Emil, Lucas, Heddy, Roy, Marion, Martha, Yuri and Dylan.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Art Exhibit at Crowne Plaza

 Opening of Lucas Tan art exhibit. Pinning of the buttoneer by his children.
Write up about the artist  
The artist and his paintings.
The front and side panels of the art exhibit.
The rear art display.
The artist and his sons viewing his works.
Posting some of his paintings here below:

Boracay at dusk
Maria Christina Falls
 Kusiong, Cotabato
American landscape
Angel's Falls, Yosemite in black and white
One of his rare animal paintings, from the collections of Jeannette Yu.
Orchids from the collections of Ernie Imperial.
Jean Ledesma appreciating the exhibit.
One of Lucas most recent paintings - Glacier Bay, Alaska
And one of his earliest paintings. When he was 16 years old under the tutorship of Mr. Eliseo Jose.
Copying Amorsolo
etc, etc...Thank you for viewing.