Sunday, November 28, 2010

What's New?

I have a new dog, given to me by nephew EugeneTan last Saturday. It's a female doberman but it is not entirely a pure bred dog. It is pretty big already since it was born seven months ago. They used to call her "Queen" but I rename her "Queenie", to make it easier for my helpers to call. Queenie is very tame. She responds to the call of her name. When she came last Saturday, she was without collar or leash as she was completely free roaming in her old place. However I put a collar on her now, so that she can be properly trained. My maids were at first pretty scared of her size and Queenie was very homesick during her first two days here. She laid down and would not budge from her position and howled and cried pitifully. I thought of bringing her back to her former owner but it was the Saturday and Sunday and so we kept her for the weekend. As of today though, Queenie seems happy. I hope she will like it here so that I can keep her for good. She looks very much like our first doberman dog Beauty except that Queenie is lighter brown in color. I am not much of a pet person. I let the maids take care of my pet but Queenie seems to know that I am her new master now. She responds to me very quickly.

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching. Carols are being played on the air and everywhere but there is a sadness in my heart, because I do not know what future holds for the good people of cotabato. It used to be really merry during the yuletide season. The merrymaking sometimes started as early as November but this year a lot of old folks are anticipating to spend Christmas quietly. Many a young couples and their families have left cotabato. They choose to settle in other places where they think they could survive best. Older peoples opt to stay behind. With a stroke of luck, we might still have a happy holiday in Cotabato. If not, I'll just think of the child Jesus and his holy family. They spent their first Christmas night away and alone in a stable.
As to another relevant favorite topic of the day, the lotto fever is reaching it's pitch height here in the Philippines. Everybody is scampering to the lotto outlet, hoping against all hopefuls to be the lucky winner tonight. Since I will not be praying to become the next big millionaire, I'll just continue to pray for peace in cotabato.
Peace!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Joint Birthday Celebration




Joint birthday celebration for November celebrants Anita Go, Imelda Bugayong and myself at Chef Bistro, Quezon City

My birthday in Manila




I celebrated my birthday with my husband, children and siblings in Manila. When was the last time I spent my birthday with my children? 17 years ago :)

Jack-o-lanterns 2010




Class 68 Batangas Outing 2010




My husband and I went to Tanauan, Batangas on October 30, 2010 at the invitation of my high school friends. It was a healthy farm excursion courtesy of Quan Minton. The day trip was specially organized for Robert Tan who went through angioplasty procedures some few days ago. We had nice windy farm breeze, superb delicious food, all day buko juice, a short trek, herbal tour and other activities such as singing and dancing and dart game for the boys. My husband Lucas was only able to take 4 pictures. Too bad because his camera batteries went exhausted. A happy memorable trip altogether.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Raining in Manila

It is still the rainy season in Manila. It rains every afternoon. Our clothes from the sun drying clothes lines have to be transferred indoor everyday. We improvise indoor hangers but nothing is as efficient as a direct solar heat. Our laundry space in manila is also crumpled. I am beginning to miss my home in Cotabato which has a big spacious sun drying deck and even a roof garden too.
But the good thing being in Manila:
1. I am with my family - children, daughter-in-law and grandson.
2. I shop at the nearby grocery which is abundant with merchandise.
3. I walk/ran with my children once or twice a week.
4. I go to the church at walking distance.
5. I meet my siblings often times.
6. I meet up with my friends on occasions.
7. and do other daily normal activities.............despite the erratic weather here. Hehehe.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Much Needed Break

Cotabato City has recently been a place of aversion. With daily criminal occurrences and evil apocalyptic atmosphere, most people avoid going out as early as 4:30 in the afternoon.
Living in such a terrifying place, I thought my heart could not take it anymore, so I decided to leave for a much needed vacation.
In Manila however, since we long for peace and quiet, my husband and I opt to stay at home most of the time except for a one Saturday trip with my high school friends to Batangas.
Now that we are more than a week here in Manila and avoiding crowds and malls as per travel advisory from other countries, we are feeling kind of bored already. hehe.
But life is how you make of it. It will get better I hope and pray.
God please help the good people of Cotabato. Let it be known that you are our God. That those wicked men are just mere mortals. Please let the good win over the evil, for you are a truly good and just God.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Prayers

My sister-in-law Conchita Tan was not the most lovable person in the world. We had personal clashes in the past and I tried to avoid being intimidated by her. But she is family and I have been with this family for more than 35 years now. When she was kidnapped on Oct. 8, 2010, I was severely affected. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed for her and for her agonizing family specially Lucio and Eugene.
My family in Manila was praying hard in one spirit with me. We were all reaching out to God for help. The ensuing days put us to the test. "Lord have mercy on us." We were so powerless and weak. This was a fight between good and evil, and we were becoming exhausted. "O Lord do not let the evil win over us. Help Lucio and Eugene make the right decisions. O Holy Spirit please guide them."
During these times of desperation, I requested my siblings and cousins to help through their rosary beads. I mustered prayers from helpers at home, employees at the store and friends here and everywhere. I gave Aimee, her daughter-in-law a novena prayer of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. I asked her to pray for nine days. I assured her that it was miraculous. "There will be some form of an answer within nine days. Make and take special time to pray."
I myself offered prayers during specific time of the day: my morning prayer, the Angelus at noon, followed by St. Therese of the Child Jesus 9 days novena for the intention of Conchita and her family. I participated in the 3 o'clock prayer of Our Lord of Mercy initiated by our employees and I led the rosary inside the store at 4 pm. There were personal rosary after supper and more prayers and rosaries before I went to sleep. I also followed it up with Our Mother of Perpetual Help on Wednesday and petitions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday.
God in his goodness heard all our prayers for He is a merciful God. Conchita was safely released in the evening of October 15, although I learned about it only on October 16. I haven't talked or seen her after the incident but I was extremely glad she had a safe passage out.
Yet it seems that evil people are still overpowering and the people of the city are gripped with fear. We therefore continue to pray for our own safety here. But God, I know, in his goodness listens to the plea of his good people. My husband and I felt His divine intervention during our darkest hours. As we continue to pray, we continue to get help from Him. The latest I heard, the marines are being deployed already. "Thank you Lord. Please help us in our miseries. I love you Lord!"
As of present writing, I continue to pray. Let us continue to pray. The danger is not over yet. May I ask..... Is this the apocalypse already? 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Ordeal

My sister-in-law Conchita was kidnapped last Oct. 8, 2010. It was a terrible ordeal for us here in Cotabato City :
From the telephone calls that could not wait for us to answer...and missed calls that we were trying to call back. When we finally talked to somebody at hand, we learned that Conchita was kidnapped by several gunmen in big arms. It was Friday, before 6 in the evening.
Conchita and her husband Lucio were on their way home from work, infact they were a few meters away from home when two cars (van and pick-up whatsoever) blocked their way. Men came down and pounded the car windows with hammers. Others sprayed bullets at the guard and driver  following behind in another car. My brother-in-law Lucio narrowly escaped by securing and holding tightly to the door on this side. The guard an ex-marine was killed and the driver critically wounded. Richard Emberga, the driver later succumbed from spine and kidney injuries while at the hospital.
When we reached Lucio's place, surprisingly vice mayor Muslimin Sema was already there to take hold of some accounts. The vice mayor and Lucio knew each other well. Lucio stood as wedding sponsor to the wedding of the vice mayor's son only last September. That evening Lucio's hands were bruised from hematoma. he was in great upheaval, talking wildly about the incident. To us, he blamed himself for not having some presence of mind. When Mr. Sema left, the head of the task force tugis Col. Roy Galido and his men came. Lucio repeated the incidents to him. According to the colonel, the latest report was that Conchita was already transported into a boat and that government forces were running after them. Lucio was worried because the kidnappers had big arms. When Col. Galido left, another group came: a guy from the CIDG, and some officials from the PNP and the Pacer. For me, it was really tiresome that Lucio with all his trauma and worries had to keep on explaining the incidents again and again, but I guess we had to follow investigation procedures.
During those times, I attended to small matters like telling the maids to bring water for Lucio to drink, asked his daughter-in-law to bring some medication for his hematoma arms, instructing the helpers to prepare food and warm soup. When Eugene came home from the hospital, I told them to eat. I said. "You have to eat something for you have to make decisions later. To have a clear mind, your stomach should not be empty." My husband Lucas stayed quietly beside Lucio all the time. He couched Lucio to drink some warm soup and I was glad to see Lucio did so. Then I sat quietly in a corner and prayed and prayed and prayed.
After my prayers, I was still quite upset. I went to complain to the CIDG guy as to why nothing was being done despite the call of the concerned citizens regarding safety in Cotabato City. The PNP guy beside him answered. "Actually ma'am, may response na po."
"Ano ang response nila?"
"Hinihintay na lang magchange ng brigade."
" Kailan yon?"
"This October siguro."
"Eh October na ngayon ah." I was kind of all heated up. I said quite a mouthful regarding the manifesto put up by the concerned citizens of cotabato city, the resolution to solve its problem and asking why some quarters were angry and opposing it. "Bakit sila magalit, eh may right naman kami as citizens to voice our concern regarding our safety."
When I got home that night, my heart was all pounding fast and my head was throbbing hard. I was all awake until 4:30 in the morning. O God please help us..................

Friday, October 1, 2010

Full-filling Day

Today October 1, 2010 is a mixed special day. For one, it is the first day of a-month-long devotion of the Holy Rosary. Today is also the Feast Day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. At the same time, it falls on the first Friday of the month which is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Religious observances aside, October 1st also marks the founding day of the Peoples Republic of China.
I had a relatively busier schedule today too. First, I attended the morning mass at Queen of Peace Church. After the mass, the devotees were happily blessed by the parish priest. Then I partook in a breakfast prepared by some church goers. I ate pansit with pandesal. It was really good and so I had three of them and a cup of coffee too. After breakfast, Mildred Lim, Deanna Malunes and I went to visit our retired priest Father Gerry Tiaga, DCC. I gave him a little money gift. I wished for him to get stronger from his illness.
At 9AM I had a dental appointment and spent the whole morning having my teeth fixed. In the afternoon, I went back again for I seemed to have hurt my gum. Thankfully my dentist worked like a fairy godmother. Now, I am happily pleased for having had some kind of a full filling day.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Little Bit of Science

Last night I was watching Discovery Channel featuring Stephen Hawking scientific study on the origin of the universe. I am greatly amazed by his brilliant mind despite the debilitating physical impairment. Hawking is our greatest contemporary physicist of modern time. I always marvel at such an intelligent being. My grasp of science isn't even an iota of a tenth of that magnitude. However tiny as I am, sometimes, once in awhile l just want to share my insignificant point of view. Hahaha.
1. Last night I learned from Discovery Channel how the universe started from a single light - I reflectively quickly associate this with Genesis, where from the beginning God said "Let there be light." When I was young, somebody refuted the creation. The bible, he said, should supposedly begin with the creation of the stars, sun and moon before the light. Back then, I didn't know what to say yet I kept faith, now I am happily avenged.
2. I also learned that nothing can travel as fast as the speed of light! So there is one thing that we human can not do! What an amazement!
3. Hawking gave credit to gravity for the spontaneous creation of the universe but gravity he said is not perfect, because of its imperfection thus the universe was created. Can I conclude therefore that light is more perfect than gravity? Can I also say, gravity originated from light? Or where does gravity come from?
4. From the combustion of the center of gravity, elements or compounds or matters are spewed and formed into celestial bodies. It is by a stroke of luck that earth is formed quite differently from the other planets with surface liquid and atmospheric air above,etc. And minerals that were formed millions of years ago in space are incorporated and found on earth today. "By a stroke of luck", our distance from the sun is just right to sustain life. Elements and other compounds were subsequently formed and developed into various form of life on earth.
To make things short, I totally believe in the scientific pronouncement of Stephen Hawking.
5. But agreeing with science does not deter my faith, rather it enhances my belief in God more.
6. Last night while I was watching the footage, I was taken by the phrase "by a stroke of luck".......in my mind, I like to rephrase that into..............by the word of God.........or by the will of God....... Amen.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid Autumn Moon Festival

Hello, happy mid-autumn moon festival! Today is lunar calendar August 15.
We moved in to our present abode 30 years ago. 'It is the most auspicious time of the year to move into a new home.' according to my mother-in-law who used to live with us. No need to consult any geomancer. I was not the perfect daughter-in-law but when I became the mistress of my own home, I vowed to be good. I resolved not to cause my mother-in-law any reason to leave this house due to domestic spats. I had many faults but I tried my best to be more tolerant. My mother-in-law stayed with me until she passed away in 1994.
When I moved to this new home, my eldest son Roy was 5 years old, Tom was 3 and Emil just turned 1. In the course of time, I gave birth to identical twin daughters Martha and Marion.
Today the children are no longer living with us in cotabato but they come home for vacations. The rooms are still all well kept. I host dancing sessions and conduct parties occasionally and celebrate family events. It is still very much of a lively home with me daily and loudly instructing the maids on what to do and how to cook. Every morning my helpers clean the house with the radio on full blast. At night, they watch tv shows in my sala. They have somehow become our jolly home companions.
Today, in celebration of our house anniversary, the maids and I prepared sotanghon for the employees in the store to partake. Tonight, I shall have hot tea and mooncake together with Lucas. The celebration is simplified this year because of the bad peace and order situation in Cotabato or else, we used to host pot luck dinner and dice game. Everybody in town is hoping for situation to improve.
Here's wishing all of us a happy, blessed, peaceful day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Beautiful Sunday Afternoon

I went up to the roof top this afternoon around 5pm to look at the plants and flowers on our now well tended roof garden. The garden was a small L-shaped patch along the roof edge corner, with few trees, bushes and potted flowers. It had grown wild for sometime and unattended since my mother-in-law passed away, but I revived the roof garden again two years ago by hiring a gardener. And this girl Rowena, she had done well. She used rehashed rice water as fertilizer and now the flowers specially the orchids were abloom. I happily picked 3 branches of white orchids for my vase in the sala. I also picked up red palm seeds scattered on the floor for maybe a floral arrangement. I was not much of an interior decorator but I just loved doing something different once in awhile just for the sheer joy of personal expression. Anyway, while I was about to go down from the roof top, I looked up at the sky. It was almost dusk and the clouds were kind of hanging low. I remembered one of my foster exchange students, who once said. "How come the sky here seems to be so near us." to which I readily agreed. And this afternoon as the sun was setting down, the west horizon came in fiery red orange with few yellow colors in between. Near me, the sky was a clear blue and the clouds above were in lines and rows of reflected orange. The heaven was simply magnificent! I haven't watched sunset from my rooftop for quite a long time now and have I forgotten how beautiful it is. So captivating, so grand, yet so serene and blissful. Thank you God for your beautiful handiwork! I love You so!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Over Eating

It's 11:30 PM and I am still awake. I can't sleep due to a feeling of fullness from over eating. For want of something to do because of the cancellation of our dancing activities, I have resorted to eating. There are plenty of food at home today because our Muslim friends gave out some of their delicacies since it is the end of Ramadan. I even shared the "dudol" this afternoon with our employees in the store. The dudol was cooked mix with durian and it was so sticky that I think it is still stuck in my stomach tonight. I also ate tuna spaghetti and had suman for supper. I also munched on peanuts while watching tv. Tomorrow I need to exercise and hopefully eat less. And work on my will power too!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

No more dancing....

Updating my last post on 'dancing, snacks and chika', regretfully, my friends are not coming anymore because of the down and out, dour and poor security situation in Cotabato.
To date: People in the city can't stop talking about the kidnapping incident of Nelson Tay where he was forcibly taken at gun point from his store by armed men in uniforms. He has since been released but there seems to be no police or military running after criminal elements. Instead there are more rumors of attempted kidnappings and/or surveillance made by unknown armed men around town. Texts and calls are running wild warning people of certain vehicles plying the streets of Cotabato City. Peace and order situations are going out of hand, kind of defiling the good attempts of the newly elected city mayor.
Just few days after the kidnapping, there was a broad day light armed robbery at a private doctors' clinic along busy Sinsuat Avenue highway at noon time. Then there was the holdup at Snow Queen Bakeshop during an early evening rush hour. And the latest heist was yesterday where MonteMart was divested of its goods and merchandises late at night.
As of present writing, a loud bomb blast is heard nearby. O God, when will these vile activities ever stop........
The blast came from the nearby Weena bus station's garbage dumping place, just right across the street infront of Acebedo Optical. No casualty but everybody knows terrorists are on the prowl again. The temerity of these evil deeds during the holy month of Ramadan. May God punish them severely, very severely.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dance, Snacks and Chika

Since Lucas and I came home last July, I have not missed any of my chacha sessions yet, so far. Even with the recent kidnapping incident and other rumors circulating in Cotabato City, they have not dampened mine and my friends weekly exercise enthusiasm. For it is not only the dancing sessions that we look forward to, rather it's the camaraderie of lively friends that we enjoy most.
Anyway, these few weeks, we sweated on a series of chacha line dance. We also added moves from Lady Gaga  "Bad Romance". Hahaha. (Can you ever imagine?) Hahaha!
And for every dancing session, I also create and prepare snacks for my friends. I have tried my hands on:
1. cheese cup cakes
2. chicken arroz caldo
3. bihon guisado
4. longaniza pasta
5. chicken macaroni salad
6. fried meat balls
7. misuako (Maybe embotido or  tuna sandwich for next week.)
I also serve different kind of beverages like:
1. lemon grass tea
2. cinnamon lemon tea
3. huckleberry tea
4. malt tea
5. Chinese green tea
6. earl gray and
7. sodas
My friends also bring fruits such as lanzones and mangosteen etc
Lucas says how can we ever lose weight for we enjoy eating as much right after the exercise. Haha and talking as much too! We like to keep up with the most recent:
1. business latest takeover or scam or bankruptcy
2. showbiz headliners like Kris and James Yap divorce. Would you like to know that more people are sympathetic with James Yap?
3. common friends quirks and maladies. hehe
4. Chinese tv soap opera developments
6. Healthy herbs and remedies
7. Crimes in the city
8. updates of our families and friends
9. etc...etc
We talk and laugh, get scared and frightened, learn something new and get enlightened.We mostly forget about the time until .....goodnight, till next week again, to once more dance, eat and chika. This is but life's simple joy when you're no longer one to fifty one.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Snatching at Transit Stations

My daughter Martha was a victim of snatchers at the MRT ortigas station last night. Her necklace was forcibly grabbed and pulled away from her by kids hanging around the stations as beggars. The three boys were around 10 to 12 year old. They approached as-though begging and one quickly snatched the neck piece away. Martha was stunned, called for help from a security guard. The guard ran after the boys but they quickly ran down from the stairs and were gone. It was a good thing the chain broke easily or else my daughter would have been hurt more.
There were police around but they did not even run after the boys. They just logged down the snatching incident and put it in blotter. Later they approached my daughters (martha and marion) when they were about to ride the train home and asked them what do other people say?
WHAT DO THEY CARE ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SAY?! AREN'T THEY SUPPOSED TO PROTECT THE COMMUTERS FROM CRIMINAL ELEMENTS!!!
Even the train stations are no longer safe anymore. Why do they allow kids begging inside. According to the female security guard, an elderly woman was also snatched of her cellphone by the same group of kids. The guard accordingly tried to patrol the area but the kids would run away each time they see her. HEY WHAT ARE THE POLICE DOING INSIDE?!
People, be careful of criminal modus operandi in train stations. Keep safe everybody.
Pray, may the Lord protect us from all harm and evil people.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Beautiful Day

This morning I wake up at 5:45 AM to the sound of alarm clock . I need to be at church before 6:15 as I am assigned by my LECOM ministry group to read for the first mass .
Happily today is also my grandson Dylan's birthday!
I arrive at the church early before everybody else . Today is the feast day of St. Lawrence and the reading is about bountiful blessings the Lord provides for those who give heartily . I also offer the mass for the birthday blessing of Dylan . I pray that he may grow to be strong, bright and good . May the good Lord bless him abundantly.
It's a beautiful day. Praise be the Lord Jesus Christ!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Flight Schedule Beyond My Control

I try to plan my trip many months ahead before schedule. I study mine and other persons calendar activities properly so that there will be no messing up of dates here or abroad. I give ourselves allowances in between scheduled flights so we don't get to rush and panic unnecessarily. I pride myself in buying good and cheaper fares because of my careful planning. Everything seems to be going on as planned. I now have all our passports, visas, tickets, receipts all bound together waiting for the departure day, although it may still be several months ahead.
Who would know, Philippine Air Lines decides to reschedule the flight many weeks after I have bought my tickets. Now everything goes awry. Can you imagine I have to either wait for 7 hours inside the airport for my next connecting flight ? Or reschedule my international non PAL domestic flight and pay additional 150 dollars from my own expense?
Who do you think has to shoulder that extra expenses caused by the inconvenience? If not, how can PAL ease our physical discomfort specially that we are not so young anymore?
I am so exasperated that things have gone beyond my control.
Those who are in control what can you suggest to alleviate our plight.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ten Days in Manila

My husband Lucas and I went to Manila for 10 days. Those 10 days seemed like a month for we were able to do many things aside from celebrating Lucas 70th birthday on July 11 and  July 12 which was earlier posted in my blog.
For those 10 days:
1. Lucas and I had our blood chemistry done. Lucas had his check-up and he was given a clean bill of health by his urologist. I was also able to see my ENT and my eye doctors and everything was all right too. (except a dead mosquito was found in my left ear and it was soon taken out by my doctor. hahaha. Gross!! I really did know something was wrong with my ear.)
2. I attended the wedding event of Lenibelle Taeza, now Lozano. (also previoulsy posted)
3. I more or less supervised the pest control work in attempt to terminate rats and cockroaches at my home. Martha and Marion were pretty scared to heear scratching sounds inside their ceiling for few nights. I wanted to make sure it was properly done to my Quezon city home without accidentally harming anybody in the process. The terminator guy though knew his work well. I was glad that there was no infestation yet so far. Maybe just a strayed bat or bird.
4. I borrowed my brother Wilson carpenters and was able to successfully fix the leaking third floor bathroom ceiling many days ahead, before Typhoon Basyang came howling down unexpectedly.
5. Stayed awake all night listening to the scary howling of the winds while Lucas slept on liked a baby. The lights all went out before midnight. When the storm hit Manila, the family was thankfully safe at home.
6. We commemorated the death anniversary of grandson Tyler on July 16 with a mass.
7. Went shopping and fetching children specially Martha and Marion from work.
8. Resolved our Meralco bill problem for the month of June.
9. Went to Delta office and bought international tickets for our trip to USA.
10. Lucas took down the unsightly toppled gatepost lamps knocked down by Typhoon Basyang.
11. And we enjoyed relaxing evenings with my children and grandson at home.
All in all a pleasant and fruitful 10 days vacation in Manila.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Celebrating Lucas Birthday

The family celebrated the 70th birthday of Lucas for two days.
On July 11, 2010, my husband and I and the children attended Sunday mass at 8:30AM. Then we proceeded to Tagaytay for lunch. We went to Tagaytay purposely to eat at Antonio's. It was a fine dinning place with an old Filipino ambiance that's very captivating. I was wistfully thinking how I could have a place built like this in Cotabato. Antonio's fine dinning surely it was! It took us almost three hours to finish our lunch from 12pm to three! And we didn't even feel the time lapsed by. We ate our meal course slowly from the salad, to the soup, to the main entree and to the dessert enjoying the food presentation and plating as it was served to us in good intervals. The cost of the lunch was pricey too but we don't get to have and enjoy this kind of celebration everyday. This was a special celebration for a special person!!!
On July 12, 2010, I woke up before 6 am to personally cook a birthday breakfast of longlife noodles and hard boiled eggs for Lucas and the family to eat. Everybody partook and enjoyed the longlife food heartily before they set out to work!
In the evening, the family hosted a dinner at Chef Laudico Bistro at Bonifacio High. We invited the Tan's and the Ledesma relatives to a unique supper which my son Emil requested Chef Laudico and his wife Chef Jackie to prepare for us. It was an "order all you want and eat all you can" clean plate dinning. But I guessed the chefs did not anticipate the eating capabilities of the Ledesma clan specially of the young ones. They ordered and ate almost all the food that was in the menu! I was happy that everybody ate to his heart's content! Hahaha! Happy Birthday Lucas!!! And more birthdays and blessings to come!!! Lots of love!!!  From your loving wife, Heddy 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wedding Reception at Glass Garden

Yesterday, July 10, 2010  while my daughters brought their father, Lucas, to his doctor for a scheduled check up at Cardinal Santos Hospital;  my friends and I went to the wedding of John and Len Lozano. Len was formerly Lenibelle Taeza, the daughter of my friend and former classmate Corazon Te Taeza. The bride and groom were a handsome couple, so much in love. I sincerely felt the happiness of their parents. Both families were truly happy and proud of the union and the formalization of the relationship. Friends on both sides were equally happy for them.
For this wedding event, I would  specially like to mention the place of reception which was held at the Glass Garden in Marikina. The venue was very charming, enchanting and romantic. I regretted not being able to bring any camera. I would have shared another nice place for everybody to see. The food was nice and abundant. I loved the Elar's lechon. hehehe. I sat on table 11 with my friends Imelda and Arthuro Bugayong and Anita Go. With us were former Cotabateneos Yolanda Ting, Ricky and Bing Lao and Mr. Rudy Uy.  We had a wonderful dinner and the company of good friends in a splendid wedding ambiance made it a truly an enjoyable day for me. I am glad to have come to Manila and attended the wedding.
Congratulations and best wishes to the newly weds.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Employment

Martha reports for her first job today at Meralco after several months of job hunting. Lucas and I are elated because at last, all of our children are now gainfully employed. Irregardless of how much they earn, whether big or small; it is a fulfillment for us parents to see them become financially independent. I have so much to thank God for guiding them. Not only are they able to finish their bachelor degrees, they also make good with further academic studies. Second degree study and post graduate achievements in the family include my daughter-in-law Angel, thus Marion is now greatly challenged by the people around her :-).  I am also proud to say, that my children are good conscientious workers who try to do better. Here I have to specially mention Marion who has taken up my footsteps as a teacher. She sees to it that her students' intention is not merely to pass the long accounting test but that they must also learn as much from her. At the end of the day, before I go to sleep. I say " Thank you my Lord. Keep us all safe. "

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Domestic Helpers

Today, my topic may appear boring. But since I just acquired a new helper this morning, I have decided to write something about domestic helpers. This is a write-up more on sustaining my memories of people who became a good part of my daily domestic life in the past.
As far as I can remember, ever since childhood up to the time I left for college in Manila, my meals and meriendas were mostly prepared by a fair skinned family cook by the name of Nasing. She was a widow from Siquijor who claimed to see spirits in the form of human likeness. Many years later, Beatriz, her grown-up daughter applied to become our family helper too. She washed and ironed our clothes with impeccable skills. Beatriz soon got married to Sancho, a young apprentice who was the son of my father's old driver Ponyong. Before my mother died in 1971, Nasing was replaced by small and dark skinned Laria who could equally cook as well, aside from making good homemade fishballs, salted eggs, ginamous (high salty preserves), kinilaw na uyap and other delicacies. When I came home to Cotabato during college days, our drivers were Ibarle and Rafael (from my father's trucking business). Helen and I had our informal driving lessons taught by Rafael when the streets of Cotabato were not plied by chaotic tricycles yet.
When I got married to Lucas, I could barely remember any of his family housemaids who came and left as they willed. When I gave birth to Roy and Tomas, I employed the care of professional midwives but when Tom was about 8 months old, I got this skinny girl Naning to be Tom's yaya. Since then, thin but headstrong Naning stayed with me and later with my maiden family in Manila ( that transfered before the earthquake in 1976 ) for a long durable time. She stayed with me to take care of Emil and went to Manila with Roy when I needed a good helping hand to take care of my sickly boy. While with Roy in Manila, she also became the Ledesma family nanny to Joemar, Miguel and Martin. When I gave birth to my twins in Manila, she was then working under the employment of my eldest sister Imelda/ sister-in-law Jean as a cottage industry seamstress. Fortunately she helped me took care of my twins when I needed an extra help after childbirth while in Manila. When she left for Iceland, the Ledesma family put up a sum to help her leave the country which she paid us back all in due time.
Mary, the former cook of LCT Hardware was one of the househelps my mother-in-law liked. Mary was a widow who had two daughters left in Siquijor. She was unlike the other easy going mindless singles. She worked conscientiously until she married our store driver Nestor who was looking for a more matured woman to be his lifelong partner. One of my more enduring and dependable household helps was Imelda. She was nanny to my twins and went to Manila with me for a year in 1991 leaving her worthless boyfriend behind who married another woman while she was away. I couldn't imagine myself managing my temporary home in Manila then without her. When somebody tried to intrigue her to leave me by saying "You must be very tired working alone by yourself." She promptly answered. " No, infact I am quite embarrassed because Manang ( that's me ) does most of the work at home." She was very patient with my children and we loved her. Sometimes she could be hard of hearing. She had some hearing defect from childhood I think.  It was very hard for me to let her go when she left to marry a more worthwhile boyfriend. Last but not the least was Joyce whom I brought to Manila to cook for my children. Martha and Marion were in high school then. She stayed for more than 5 years and learned not only how to cook well but make little repairs at home as well. She was able to save a lot of money from her salaries and bonuses. Joyce decided to come back home to Cotabato for good this summer. She has remained single and I guess is in search for a more meaningful personal life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Epol, Davao

I went to Epol, Davao last Saturday with my friends. We were the guests of Mrs. Carmen Tan of Oasis Garden Resort, Davao City. Mrs. Carmen Tan is the fifth auntie ( Go-i ) of my friend Siolan Yap.
Epol is a place located in the mountainous terrain of Davao Province near Bukidnon. The weather is cold, very similar to Baguio City. When we were there last Saturday, the climate changed from sunny, to cloudy, foggy then rainy. In the late afternoon, a cold mist drifted down and settled on our lodging which was situated on a picturesque high hill. Intermittently, there were also a couple of  afternoon showers and a big down pour at night. It soon became colder and everybody had to put on his sweater or coat.
There were two lodges in our particularly scenic vacation site. Both houses were fully occupied by the hosting families, their friends and helpers. Grandchildren of Mrs. Carmen Tan pitched tents on the ground. The vicinity was well planted with pine trees, variety of flowers and plants, a well tended lawn and a generator on the outskirt field that functioned the whole evening through. The main lodge's big hall was teeming with activities while the matriarch was happily surrounded by family members and friends. Household helps were brought by the family to cook our meals, attend to our needs and other beckons.
Eating activities were non stop. Each group brought their own special food such as pasta, pork and chicken viands, homemade bagoong, durians and snacks etc. Our Cotabato group contributed pastils and Bansalan nilagang mais which everybody loved. I also brought my cheese cup cakes and a box of lipton tea too. We had hot soup, broiled fish, pork barbecue, vegetables and fruits every meal besides other things. I was able to eat my first passion fruit and sayote top vegetable too. Hahaha!
Inside the big hall while the rain was pouring, indoor games were played by adults and kids such as madyong, poker and bingo. I did not participate in any of those games but watched them play and/ or chatted and read my newspapers. Hehehe. There was this endearing chubby boy named Chibby who lost at every game he played but who won the hearts of every adult there instead . I had fun watching the kids play bingo. They were so animated, so unlike the serious grown-ups who were so focus. Hahaha!
I did not have a very restful sleep the first night. My companions from Cotabato were talking so loud unmindful of the others who were sleeping already. There were 3 to 4 different types of snores in the room and one was loudly gasping for breath and talking in her sleep too. I was really afraid that Ivy was going to have a heart attack in her sleep that night. Hahaha! I also kept on going in and out of the bathroom about three to four times that evening too. Hehehe!
Next morning, My Cotabato group and I went on a sight seeing trip to Sea Gull Resort owned by Dureza, a Cotabato politician. On the way, we decided to proceed to the next barrio called Buda and even went passed through it, reaching Bukidnon boundary. What did we do in far flung Buda? We got to buy some fresh sayote tops which was really cheap. Hahaha. I bought some mangosteen too and we took photographs nearby a the roadside falls. Then we headed back to Sea gull Resort and took a long walk inside. It was an easy refreshing morning walk on the paved mountain paths of the resort hotel. It was very scenic, the sun was not too bright and the air was just cool. After the walk and a light snack, we went back to our lodging near noon just in time for lunch. I had a quick nap in the afternoon and the whole gang left Epol for Davao City around 3 in the afternoon.
Thanks to Mrs. Carmen Tan, her children and families and Siolan Yap for the invitation and  wonderful vacation in Epol and stay in Davao City, with plentiful of bring-home pa aside. Thank you very much for your hospitality.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What Do I Do?

Well, I am home in Cotabato for about 4 days now. For those who worry that I have nothing to do, here are the things I have been doing lately:
1. Rearranging the house decors. hahaha!
2. Tidying my clothes and closets.
3. Checking my bills and payable.
4 .Pay my bills. 
5. Going to the grocery.
6. Calling my friends.
7. Gossiping. Hahaha!
8. Visit the cathedral for personal prayers.
9. Do daily exercise.
10. Check on the air conditions, linens, bathroom fixtures etc.
11. Replace the bulbs on lamps and grotto.
12. Bake cheese cup cakes and will be baking more.
13. Cook soup for for supper.
14. and right now, I am planning and preparing for a couple of vacations. Hahaha! ........They may all sound domesticated and boring.......but hey, I am pretty busy! I have house guests tomorrow and I am going out with my friends this week end.
So long........Talk to you later!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 2010

It"s starting to rain here in the Philippines. In Quezon city, the down pour is sudden and heavy. The weather is erratic. It can be sunny, then dark and cloudy. Sometimes it is hot and humid, then a sudden gush of wind and heavy rain falls. I stay at home most of the time these days. I am really into a restful mode of vacation right now. Hehe. Soon I'll be back in Cotabato. I hear, it is also raining in Cotabato and flooded too. There was also an earthquake two nights ago and I worried that Lucas was all alone at home. Anyway tonight he is going to his monthly masonic meeting and I am sure he is going to enjoy the fellowship.
Summer is over and school begins on June 15. This time I really don't have to hurry home for school. I'll do take my time slowly. One thing at a time but I better think of something to do quickly! Hahaha!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Summer Almost Over

It's May 23, 2010 and this summer's bakasyon grande is almost over. My brother-in-law Domingo from Virginia is back home in USA, so is my son Roy in Seattle and my husband Lucas safely home in Cotabato. Yesterday, when Lucas left for Cotabato I was feeling a little blue for all the departures after a great summer holiday. I did say a prayer of thanksgiving though for everybody's safe trips and a good time together.
Martha is yet to go on a Sagada trip with her De La Salle friends and teachers. These vacations are her post graduation trips, some kind of a graduation gifts. I hope and pray she'll get to land a good job after her tour this month. The companies she's applying for don't know the best person whom they can hire. May she get the company that suits her best.
A prayer of thanks to our Blessed Mother - Thank you for a wonderful garland of flowers! I love you! Pray, keep them safe through our Lord for always together.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dr. Domingo C. Tan P. I. Summer Holidays

My brother-in-law Dr. Domingo C. Tan is a radiologist from Virginia, USA. He came to the Philippines for a month long vacation from April 16 to May 17, 2010 primarily for his 50th CCI (formerly CCHS) class reunion. Prior to the reunion, Lucas and I brought him to Forrest View, Binictican, Subic Freeport for a family weekend overnight stay. Then on May 22 to 25, he met up with his high school classmates for several reunion activities. Lucas and I were fortunate enough to join the reunion events through his invitation which included:
1. a welcome lauriat dinner at Gloria Maris, Greenhills,
2. an excursion to Canyon Cove, Batangas,
3. a sightseeing and buffet lunch at Josephine's, Tagaytay,
4. an eat-all-you can supper and casino at Resort World, Manila
5. and a Hawaiian reunion culminating party at the Montgomery Club House, Quezon City
After the reunion events, Domingo together with his bosom buddies Cerio To and Tonguan Ng went to Davao City. Domingo and Cerio were house guests of Tonguan in Davao and they were able to tour different idyllic spots for 5 days including the popular Samal Islands.
After Davao, Domingo and Cerio came back to Manila and together with Lucas, Rosita, Roy, Martha and I, went to Coron, Palawan for a 4 day islands hopping vacation. ( According to Domingo, Coron was the most beautiful summer vacation spot during his entire summer tour this year.)
After the Coron leg, Domingo and his best friend Cerio proceeded to Visayas. They went off to Cebu and Bohol. When they came back to Manila, they were sick and tired of travelling that Domingo and buddy opted to rest in Manila. The sweltering heat in the city though made them go forth to Tagaytay for a day and Lucas went with them as well. Yesterday we went to Greenhills for a last day, last minute shopping
This morning, Lucas and I sent off Domingo to the airport bound for USA. I hope he was able to have fun during his whole month long summer vacation here in the Philippines of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and Palawan itinerary. Do come back soon again Domingo!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Calauit, Palawan, May 5, 2010




We left Coron at 4am, had breakfast at Busuanga and reached Calauit Island at 7am for the mini safari tour. It was a different, unique experience. We had fun feeding the giraffes.

Coron, Palawan 2010




From May 3 to May 6, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hawaiian Party




The Class 60's Hawaiian party was held on April 25, 2010 at the Montgomery Club House, Quezon City.

Tagaytay 2010




The reunion trip of CCHS batch 60 proceeded to Tagaytay for sightseeing and lunch.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Canyon Cove, Batangas 2010




CCHS Batch ' 60 reunion trip to Canyon Cove, Batangas from April 23 to 24, 2010. Lucas and I joined the group through the courtesy of my brother-in-law Dr. Domingo C. Tan.

Subic Freeport Summer 2010




Overnight weekend trip to Subic Freeport with my family and my brother-in-law Dr. Domingo C. Tan from VA, USA on April 17 to 18, 2010.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Summer Holiday! Coron, Palawan

Leg three:
My son Roy arrived Manila from Seattle on May 2. He was barely over with his jet lag when we flew to our next summer holiday destination on May 3. We went to Coron, Palawan together with my husband Lucas, my brother-in-law Domingo, his friend Cerio, my sister-in-law Rosita and my daughter Martha. We were 7 excited first time travellers to Palawan. We really did not know what to expect. It turned out we were not wrong in booking for our package vacation. The stay was pleasant and packed with worthwhile sightseeing, climbing, swimming, trekking, snorkeling, and mini safari activities. The food was good, our guide was efficient, the resort owner and staff were hospitable, the town was clean and unspoiled and the town folks were friendly and honest. It was a most enjoyable vacation. Although the holiday was not considered as a laid back relaxing vacation, yet we had lots of fun testing our prowess with the wilderness and our own fitness. Surprisingly lucas, domingo, cerio, these our senior guys were still very apt and fit. It turned out rosita and I were the least fit of all. During the first day climb to Mt. Tapias, my left hip was really sore. Rosita was worse, she could not climb too far. Her leg muscles were painful and she did not know how to swim. Yet, despite my hip ache and heaviness (haha), I was able to do and finish all of the activities required for the guided tour. Rosita on the other hand despite not being able to physically participate was able to keep herself amused. Came night time, we had massage almost every night. Hahaha!
I like to thank my brother Wilson and niece Janah for recommending this vacation and the resort hotel as well. A really great holiday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Summer Holiday! CCHS Batch1960

Leg two:
My husband and I were very lucky to join a reunion trip to Canyon Cove Resort, Nasugbu, Batangas last April 23 through the courtesy of my brother-in-law Dr. Domingo Tan who invited us free of charge as his guests. The trip was well planned, well organized, as well as a well fed. Hahaha! We had great feasts starting from the Lauriat welcome dinner which was held at Gloria Maris to the return trip home 'eat-all-you-can' fete at the Resort World casino's dining. The reunion culminated its activity last night on April 25 with a grand reunion Hawaiian themed party held at the Montgomery Club House with many other invited guests attending as well.
Lucas and I enjoyed the events most. We had center front seats with no responsibility whatsoever. We were mere observers and everybody else was very kind and accommodating. We were treated very hospitably and royally by all the members of batch 1960. Lucas and I had a wonderful and great time. How lucky can you get! 
We will have a third leg of summer holiday activities this coming May. I'll post pictures when I get home to Cotabato. See you all soon!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Summer Holiday! Subic Freeport

First Leg:
Lucas and I and my family went to Subic Bay Freeport this weekend, together with his brother Dr. Domingo Tan who is currently on vacation from USA. Subic was our first destination among many other places we are going to see this summer. We stayed at Forest View, Binictican. We were initially disappointed at the facade of our rented superior villa. It was old and unsightly and the garden was barren and arid. Inside the house though the rooms were clean and well kept. It was a very hot day, and that afternoon we mostly lingered inside the house and the pool side. In the late afternoon when the sun wasn't too hot, we went sight seeing. We went down town and to the sea shore where the stretch of restaurant and bars were located. We came down to the shore and mingled with group of people catching the Bay's dusk view. There was a group of Aikido enthusiasts practicing their martial arts while nearby audible music was being played over a make up stage with glaring lights and all, in preparation for a night event. We did not stay too long at the seaside though, nor eat at the restaurant. The whole family had supper at the villa. We brought along our cook to prepare meals for us.
Sunday morning, we went to the beach. To our amazement, Camayan Beach was jam packed with people. There was no available cabana for rent, instead we went to the nearby Adventure Beach. It was smaller with less people but we had a good swim and an extra sighting of watching dolphins being fed in a nearby sea enclosure. We were able to see a lot of them jumping happily before being fed. Infact Domingo while leisurely walking around was able to cross over to the Ocean Adventure site where people were watching shows and mingled with them without realizing that it was another private paid area. He had an extra plus Adventure! Hahaha!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mangoes




There is an abundance of mango this year. I used to buy "manga manila" at 20 pesos per kilo long time ago, now a days, I have them free inside my own backyard and more!
Since last February, I had an abundant supply of young green mangoes of which I ate them everyday during meal time with soy sauce and rice (weird?). I brought a boxful of them to Manila early last March and distributed them to friends and relatives. When I came home from Manila, I further harvested a big basketful and decided to let them ripen. I have been eating ripe yellow mangoes three times a day since I came home and giving them away to friends and relatives as well. Last week, Jaymar an employee of LCT Hardware proudly gave my husband a handful from his own backyard of which we could not really refuse; and this morning Eugene, not to be out done, gave me a basketful of mangoes picked from his own fruit trees too. Hahaha!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Post Holy Week Reflection

Lucas and I observed the holy week tradition in Cotabato City. It had been a most meaningful celebration for me this year because I personally felt the compassion and saving grace of our Lord which he readily handed and poured out to enable me to attain salvation. 2009 had been a roller coaster year, without my faith I would have succumbed to despair. I thank God for giving me family and friends, without them I would not have been strong. I felt a special closeness for having understood the slightest pang of pain and sacrifice of which I am most scared of even until now. I am no martyr and I pray to be spared, yet I know God was with me and is always with me all through out my life. Even before I was born, He died to be able to save me today.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A thing of beauty...




The narra tree across the street, right infront of my room came to full bloom when I was in Manila early this March. I was so happy to be blessed to see this beautiful sight. Not everybody, nor anybody could capture and smell this thing of beauty right infront of his bedroom window all through out the day. My husband laughed at me when I began reciting "The Tree" by Joyce Kilmer over and over. I was simply stunned and captivated by nature.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grateful Homecoming to Cotabato

Summer is definitely here. Manila is hot: Cotabato is hotter! I just came home with Lucas from a three week stay in Manila; not for vacation purposes but for medical reason. I have reason to be happy coming home today despite the heat because Lucas can now see clearly after undergoing two cataract surgeries.I am thankful that both procedures went well. He can now get back to work and do other normal things. We spent three weeks in Manila without much physical activities. I did not get to see my friends and cousins or go ballroom dancing but spent more of my time at home for my husband's post operation care. I verily thank God for bringing us home today hearty and sound. I love you, my Lord. Thank You. Thank You for my husband eyesight.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Updates

It is the month of March. If I were still teaching I would be at this time extremely busy preparing for the finals and evaluating grades and the performances of pupils; but since I am self-retired, I have been of late shuttling back and forth from Cotabato to Manila, mostly for several routinary check-ups for Lucas and  myself. Results are good but Lucas needs to undergo 2 cataract procedures this March, so we are going back to Manila soon again. I am thankful that I am free to be able to accompany him. I hope and pray for the successful and easy operations on his both eyes.

There had been more than a couple of sad incidents last February though:
1. The untimely demised of Giok Lan Tansuk, the sister-in-law of my sister Helen. She died peacefully and without much pain and struggle from cardiac arrest at the age of 72. She died 2 days before the Chinese New Year, was cremated and interred in Manila Memorial Park beside the grave of her brother Felipe. She had no known relatives except for my sister Helen and my sister's subsequent blood relations. All of us siblings were there beside Helen and her children to help them bear their griefs and console their sorrows. We were sad that she was not able to witness the very soon forthcoming wedding of her eldest nephew Gary this coming March 7. She will be happy for him though and give her blessings from heaven for sure.

2. A most tragic death for Johnson and Haydee Wee and their children Kim Patricia and John Lorenzo. The whole family succumbed to suffocation due to fire inside their residential flat in  Cotabato City last February 24, 2010. My comandre and good friend Remy Wee ( mother and grandmother ) survived the fire with first and second degree burns. She was in stable condition though while still being treated at the hospital. She had hoarse voice and was coughing from smoke inhalation and being nebulized when I visited her last. I was at a lost for words to console her. I could not imagine how courageously she could endure the loss. May God give her strength. Everybody will surely miss Johnson and Haydee who were doing very well in their travel and ticketing business. They had been very accommodating in making my many travels easy, light and convenient. Kim and John were my former pupils at St. Martha School. They were intelligent, lovable and smart kids. They were still so young.......I can not understand why we lost many a good people like them.....

3. Such as Joseph Datuwata Cuan, who was gunned down and killed this February while on his way driving his kids to school. He was such a likeable person, a good businessman, a generous soul who intended to run for a seat in the city council. Johnson and Joseph were high school classmates and very close friends. They had bright and good future ahead of them. They would have been good citizens and contributors to our society. What a big lost to all of us. May their souls rest in peace.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner at Mann Hann




Evening of February 6, 2010
Thanks to relatives and friends for coming and sharing this happy celebration on the occasion of Martha's graduation thanksgiving party.

Martha's BS & MS Graduation




Martha graduated her BS & MS degrees in Industrial Engineering at De la Salle University last February 6, 2010. Commencement was held at PICC. Lucas, Emil and I attended the rites and were so proud of her. Martha went up the stage twice for both diplomas. Thanks to DOST and the university for encouraging and supporting her continuous masteral pursuit.

New Year's Eve (late posting)




New Year's Eve dinner at LCT Bodega. Lucio and Conchita hosted the Tan's family dinner. After the party, we went to mass at Queen of Peace Church, then home for the new year's count down. At home, we ate a happy hearty delicious noche buena as a prosperous starter for the year. It was altogether a peaceful New Year. There were lesser gun firing and less fire cracker accidents. A Happy Blessed New Year 2010!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Martha's Graduation

Martha graduated both her BS and MS in Industrial Engineering degrees from De La Salle University last Saturday February 6, 2010. Lucas, Emil and I attended her graduation held at PICC. We were so proud of her. She garnered two medals for her undergraduate studies: Honorable Mention and Best in Thesis, and she was able to attain her masteral degree under the co-sponsorship of DOST and her school. Infact she went to Japan under the same sponsorship with her professor and 2 classmates to present their theses last December 2009.
I was so proud of her. She looked so pretty, petite and happy. We gave her a graduation thanksgiving dinner at Mannhann Restaurant (aviary) to celebrate her special day with friends and relatives. It is a great wonder for me that Martha continues to remain shy and unaffected. She is right now applying for a job in the industry. At present she is part time teaching at De La Salle University.
Repeating my prayer before the meal during the celebration..... " For whatever Martha has achieved in her academic pursuit and for whatever she will achieve in the future, it is because of Thy will and for Thy glory O Lord." Thank you God!
Congratulations Tet!!!