Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Little Christmas Tree

Tomorrow the Knights of Columbus will be coming to carol, hence I quickly put up my Christmas tree last night, and I finish hanging my decors this morning. The tree decors are mostly objects of collections. They are souvenirs given by people far and near, from my children, from visiting relatives, from foreign exchanged students, etc. Others I acquire them from my travels, and some others just chance to be there as items given to my children. I cherish all the memories that come with them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Banana Pecan Loaves

This yuletide, I am giving my friends my very own home-baked banana pecan loaves. They are now all wrapped up and ready for dispatch.
The family cook and I tried 'Arroz Filipino' dish for dinner this evening. It turned our okay but I was not able to take a picture of it. It was kind of paella-like but topped with vegies instead of seafood.
The down side is, Lucas and I like eating my own home cooked food. And I really have to watch out for myself. I mean, watch out for my diet in preparation for my forthcoming reunion next year. Hahaha.
Happy holidays!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Christmas Decors 2011

So I have recycled my Christmas decors again this year. I delight in relocating and mixing them up, so they'll appear new and interesting. The Christmas tree will be put up last, I like it to look fresh when the guests and children arrive during the holidays. I'll have a separate picture page for it, as my tree will tell a lot of story. Below are few pictures of my decors this year:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ayala Light Show 2011

Yesterday November 27, 2011, my family members Tom, Angel, Emil, Martha, Dylan, myself and the newly wed couple Junie and Letlet went to the Fort, to Greenbelt, then to Ayala for the light show.
The Nativity display this year is not as good as last year. But the light show is definitely more awesome.
I took some pictures from my phone camera. We were glad Junie and Letlet felt the early Christmas Spirit here before they leave for LA this week.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Forthcoming Class'68 Reunion

In the process of preparing for our forthcoming high school reunion, I have been meeting with my high school friends more often than not these days. We have had several group dinners since last year to discuss about possible dates and venues. After several brainstorming, we finalized our plans during the birthday party of Robert Tan last October. I wrote a class letter to inform all members about the general details of the affair. The letters were sent through emails, facebook, via classmates and through forwarders. Follow-ups were done through calls and text messages also. There was of course a few dissension,  but the organizers were firm with the majority's decision.
At this point, plans are already on the process. Imelda Bugayong, our class treasurer is the busiest person of all.
Mobilizing some few things this week, at ramdom:
1. Last Tuesday, we went for ocular inspection to many other possible party venues here in Quezon City. We have so far chosen one particular venue which is really pretty and functional.
2. Counting more than 23 classmates who responded to attend.
3. My daughter Martha has agreed to emcee the party for us.
4. Planning the trip and discussing about the programme make us all pretty excited.
5. Dateline for submission and confirmation of attendance is so close now, which is this November 30, 2011. Many of us in fact have submitted our contribution already even earlier before the dateline.
6. There are lots of things to tackle yet with the travel agency once attendance is more or less settled.
7. We need to communicate and meet more often.
8. So far everything is going smoothly until the big event......
9. On turning 60 this November, my friends Imelda, Anita and I are seemingly the happiest persons; we can now avail of fare discount for our trips, free parking, discount for food etc. A lot of help for our meetings and the forthcoming reunion!
10. Don't forget November 30, dateline for submission and confirmation of attendance.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Birthday, Wedding and Other Events

Hello! I am legally a senior citizen now. I celebrated my 60th birthday with a dinner in Davao City last Thursday with my husband Lucas, daughter Martha, nephew Eugene and his kids, and niece-in-law Carol and her kids at Garden by the Bay, Sasa, Davao City. The place was quiet and breezy and the food was good. It was a simple intimate dinner among family members and I love the serenity and normal atmosphere of the occasion.

Actually Lucas and I went to Davao for purpose of attending the wedding of Junie Ma and Honeylet Yap on November 11. They are officially Mr. and Mrs. Romeo Ma II now. Both the newly weds hail from Cotabato and both their parents are our good friends. The bride's father Efren Yap was my classmate at CCI and my late mom's first cousin too. (That makes him my uncle to the second degree. haha) The Ma's family on the other hand has been our long time neighbors and friends. The wedding was well attended. It was great to see the big contingent of Cotabatenios and those who used to live in Cotabato long time ago. It was some sort of a reunion of people from Cotabato. Two of my children, Emil and Martha enplaned from Manila to be with us for the occasion too.

Next morning, after the wedding, my family went to pearl farm resort for a day tour.

In general, my family loves the beach and we always take occasion to swim on the blue sea if ever time allows us. I have been to pearl farm with my family for more than 4 times already always on a day tour.

This time around I was pretty disappointed with Pearl Farm because their Mandaya beach was really murky. The other beach at the resort front, although better was itchy, swarming with jelly fish. I actually did not mind the little stings as I was used to beach swimming, but that day, I was painfully bitten by some sort of animal in the water. Where I was bitten, a spot on my leg became reddish and swollen. I swam in the pools too. The eternity pool was okay though, but I saw this slightly hunchback attendant supervising the pool and spitting on the water. That was around 3 in the afternoon when we were almost ending our swim and day tour. Next time I go to Davao for a swim, I would prefer to go to Paradise Island instead.

And one big sour note..............I booked my family for a 3 day stay at the Pearl Farm Marina Inn for the convenient location of the place. But the inn was under renovation when we arrived. Although I made reservation a month ago and I called them up for confirmation the night before our trip; yet they did not inform us about the renovation before hand, not until we arrived that very day. When the front desk offered to help us look for another hotel, we were just too tired from our long trip to go looking for another place to stay. By evening time, when they realized that we could not get any rooms around the vicinity for all hotels were fully booked that weekend, they decided not to give us any discount after the initial stay. Mind you, they did not even make any amends for not being able to serve us the package breakfast. There were also a lot of malfunction in the rooms and noise of renovation. It was too late for us to do anything anymore or our vacation will become a total wreck.

Lastly, this I would say to anybody..................................Don't stay at Pearl Farm Marina because the owners, the operating manager and the reception staff are vicious people. They are totally not customer centered nor customer friendly. I wouldn't want to go back there in 5 to 10 years time.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cakes. Suman, Etc

I bake cakes for sale and prepare other food stuffs in preparation for the observance of All Saints Day which is tomorrow.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Long Weekend

It is the semestral break here in the Philippines, hence many families take the opportunity to go on vacation. Others take advantage of the long weekend (Oct. 29 to November 1) for a provincial haul. During these holidays, I observe All Saints Day on November 1st. My parents are buried in Manila and my parents-in-law in Cotabato. I visit the graveyards whether I be in Cotabato or Manila. This year I am baking cakes and preparing suman to take to the cemetery. At the cemetery, friends and relatives, priests and their retinues pass-by the graves to light candles and say prayers. I always prepare some refreshments for them. This year the weather is so hot. Don't forget to bring your umbrellas.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Life's Simple Joy

1. Writing letters
2. Looking at pictures
3. Creating silly comments
4. Eating meriendas
5. Cooking and baking
6. Sweating from exercises
7. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
8. Doing crosswords puzzles
9. Reading comics
10. Visiting churches
11. Sunday mass
12. Afternoon nap
13. Planning for trips
14. Playing simple piano pieces
15. Dancing
16. Green and dried mangoes
17. Young coconuts and coco juice
18. Coke regular
19. Christmas songs
20. Christmas decors and lights
21. Parties
22. etcetera, etcetera

Friday, October 14, 2011

Writing Letters

I have been writing a lot of letters lately. Last month, I sent a hand written letter to France through snail mail. Then I wrote 2 letters, one to Lisieux and the other to Prague care of my sister Helen. Since my daughter Marion is in UK, I email her now and then. As of late, I have been writing letters to my friends regarding our forthcoming reunion for 2012. I make use of the internet but for local dissemination, I use Microsoft Office Word, my Epson LX-800 printer and Sharp copier to facilitate a good memorandum letter. I use big font for we mostly have weak eye sight. Gosh....My printer's ink needs replacement, my copier's toner is running low and to top it all, I have been making typographical errors. This morning I accidentally spilled my breakfast drink on my keyboard and alas, it got short circuit. I have it quickly replaced with a new one, so I am using a new keyboard as of this moment. Despite all the clumsiness, I still love writing. Would you believed that I had secretly wanted to become a journalist or a writer in my younger days?!. Hahaha!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Yesterday, my friends Imelda Tan Bugayong and Corazon Te Taeza and I went to Greenbelt, Makati. Aside from shopping and eating, we enjoyed an afternoon of marathon talking, most specially plans for our forthcoming reunion next February. When my good friends and I get together, time goes really fast. We can't seem to have enough of it. Hahaha!
This time around though, we have one long time high school friend who missed meeting us. Anita Du Siy is currently in the Philippines on vacation from New York. We haven't heard and seen her for so long. I was able to talk to her though over the phone the night before, as her schedule was quite hectic. She left for Boracay yesterday, and I may not be able to see her when she gets back next week. Because she hasn't communicated with us for so many years and may not be that enthusiastic to meet us, still I want to revive communications with her again. In light of friendship, I remember a quotation which we used to write at the back of our pictures. (When we used to give away photos of ourselves to our friends.)
The dedication goes this way......
"Friends are like melons, to have a good one you must a hundred try..."

And I like to add some more:

- You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming really interested in other people, than you can in 2 years by trying to get other people interested in you.........Bernard Metzer

- We can not tell the precise moment when friendship is formed.......Drop by Drop

- In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter and sharing of pleasure....Kahil Gibran

- Your friend is your needs answered.......Kahil Gibran

- Wishing to be friend is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.......Aristotle

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Devotion to Mother of Perpetual Help

The family devotion to 'Mother of Perpetual Help' started with my late mother. She was in Manila vacationing during the time when the 'Supermarket' of Cotabato City was in construction. In Manila, she was brought to Baclaran by her kins. They told her to make a wish inside the church. The story was...... before she went to Manila, my mother Mary Go Ledesma  made an offer to buy a lot in the up and coming market site. But the property being so hot, she was turned down by Mrs. Martinez the lot owner. So while she was asked to make a wish in Baclaran, my mother then prayed for a miraculous intervention, promising that if ever her wish would come true, she would light candles of thanksgiving. To her surprised, when she came back home to Cotabato from her vacation, Mrs. Martinez the lot owner had a changed of heart, came to see her, asked her if she was still interested to buy. My mom's prayer was thus answered and her wish came true.
Today, the devotion was transferred to her children. I have become a devotee of "Our Mother of Perpetual Help." I have come to her for help and intervention and thanksgiving. Not every prayer is being answered as I hoped it would, but somehow it has helped ease my pain and anxiety and in some instances, I have come to accept the will of God. The most important thing is....through her, I have come closer to my God and Creator. I hope to ever remain faithful.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Marion and Dylan

The morning before Marion left for UK, Dylan asked his soiko (youngest aunt) to dance. This was the Maguindanao Malong Dance that Marion practiced at home incase she has to showcase Philippine culture abroad. Dylan was her greatest fan.

Ayala Family Day 9/30/11

Today Emil brought us his parents to 'Ayala Family Day Around the World Celebration' at Le Pavilion, Manila. Lucas and I enjoyed the company's fun fare. Infact Lucas even won a bottle of red wine being one of the senior attendees of the affair. Hehe. As I walked around the different international food and booth stations; I got a free bracelet from China, two straw hats for lucas and me from Vietnam and two Thai dye scarves from Thailand. For snacks, there were hotdogs from usa, enseymadas from spain, siopao from china and sandwich wraps from India etc. Also free flowing juice and bottles of water were served to the guests. There were many photo ops inside the booths, henna paintings, art works etc too. But the pavilion was so cold, that we opted not to eat our evening meal there and went somewhere else at the Fort Bonifacio to take our supper. Lucas and I enjoyed however the day's event. It was a pity that we didn't anticipate the coldness inside, henceforth didn't bring our jackets with us. But thank you anyway Ayala for the family day. We do appreciate it very much.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Preparing Myself

Every time my children pass through hurdles and achieve a milestone; I am always filled with great pride. But somehow, I don't know why, in every commencement towards a new undertaking, I have always experienced some kind of a deep pang and become teary eyed. Is it due to the knowledge of their coming independence? Knowing that they will soon be departing from the comfort of my wings? Some such occasions were:
1. When Roy entered Philippine Science High School.
2. When he graduated.
2. When Tom and Emil (at different times) left for USA for their student exchange program.
3. On each occasion of my children's graduation either BS and/or MS.
4. When Roy left Philippines to work in Singapore.
5. When Emil left for work in Cebu.
6. When Tom got married. ( This even surprised me, I just shed tears uncontrol-ably when I saw him marched towards the altar. )
6. etc and many more....
Presently, I am now preparing myself for Marion when she shall leave for her one year study in UK next week. Even though I am a bit of a paranoid mother, I hate over thinking things. I trust my God to take control of the reins. I pray that He will have pity and compassion on us and give us his blessings abundantly. May I request my readers to please pray for Marion's safe and successful journey too. Thank you.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Marion Went Home to Cotabato

Marion went home to Cotabato last September 10. She had not been home for almost 3 years. She was busy working her head off ever since she started work at CITI Bank. Now that she teaches at Ateneo and is embarking on a further study, she took a short vacation opportunity and went home to Cotabato briefly for few days.
Home it was for her. She rested and slept well in the sleepy atmosphere of the abode.
People pampered her with Cotabato's favorite food. She was served dalag fish soup on her first dinner at home for purpose of invigorating her strength. Her aunt Conchita brought her home-grown lanzones which was a rarity because the fruit was not in season yet but the backyard was already in bountiful harvest. Her uncle Lucio gifted her the third durian fruit of his first orchard pick - the flesh was so thick and creamy and yummy. Marion snacked on fried banana and violet colored kamote. She also took chicken soup cooked in Chinese herbs to further boost her immune system. She got to enjoy the family's all- time-favorite banana soup, green mongo and lomie, and she was able to partake most of the comfort food that she craved for as a child.
It was a homecoming event : She played her piano pieces, learned basic cooking, practiced some dance, attended mass at Queen of Peace Church, visited the cathedral, enjoyed the roof top garden and watched tv with her parents at night.
Sadly I did not bring her around the city nor to her alma mater. Many friends were away and it was the time when Secretary Robredo was visiting, and the city was threatened with bomb explosions for consecutive days.
I prayed for all our safety everyday and I gave a big sigh of relief and thanksgiving when Marion safely left Cotabato. Dear God, please continue to watch over us everyday. Bless all my children. Thank you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Events

Here is a list of events for this month of September. I pray for great blessings from the Lord for each one of them:
1. My uncle Ernesto Go will be celebrating his birthday in Quezon City come September 3 coinciding with my alma mater CCI founding anniversary day in cotabato city.
2. September 5 is the birthday of my son Emil Gabriel Tan. I have been offering rosary prayers for him for the whole month of September ever since he was born. I could have lost him during my pregnancy several times, specially on two occasions when I fell down hard on my buttocks. Once from from a slippery waxed floor on my fourth month of pregnancy and another time on a staircase during the eight month. I am forever thankful for this precious gift of life and protection from our Lord.
3. September 8 is the birthday of Our Blessed Mother. We human kinds are so blessed because of her.
4. Auspicious Chinese moon festival on September 12. It is our Magallanes home anniversary. We have lived here since 1980. May the Lord continue to bless this home.
5. Come end of this month, my daughter Marion is embarking for UK for further studies. I pray to the Lord to take good care of her on this one year academic journey. May our blessed Mother take over my worries and supervision and guide her in all her ways. May she be strong and healthy and may the Lord protect her and bless her always.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Braised Pork Leg

I was never satisfied with my own braised pork leg recipe. It was never brown enough even though how much soy sauce or brown sugar I added to the concoction. It would just get sweeter or saltier but never my desired colored. But with the help of Conchita Co 2 days ago, I was able to perfect my recipe. She instructed me on how to brown my sugar preparation, and wallah, it was successful! Last night I invited her to come over for supper and we finished our braised pork leg up to the last bit of morsel. Now I have a new recipe to add to my notebook. Hehehe.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I have done only two sketches so far and they were pretty good. Although both time, I copied the faces from the photographs, l was surprised that I could get a good semblance of the pictures.
The sketch of Julia was done long time ago when she was a little girl. I was trying to show my husband that could do better than his sketch and I think I did. That of Dylan was done yesterday when I was feeling pretty bored inside the office. I saw this nice picture from my husband's desk and out from the protective cover of Time Magazine, I doodled on it. Lucas was surprised at the outcome, I was too!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Group Hysteria

When I was in high school (long time ago), I knew of a group of boys who belonged to the higher batch. They were quite good looking but extremely rowdy. Whenever they grouped together which they usually did, they would loudly cheer and jeer. You would think they were the spirit of the school. I was so afraid of them. Whenever I passed by and heard them laughing, I used to think they were laughing at me. They made absurd remarks about people appearances and made fun of them. Yet surprisingly if you met anyone of them alone, one on one, specially the heckler and noisiest of them all alone at school, his head would be bowed, his eyes down cast and he appeared to be as timid as a carabao.

The above personal experience of how a person reacts differently when in group is a simple example of a psychological factor called mass hysteria. It gives a person a feeling of overpowering strength when he belongs to a raucous group of people and he tends to be abusive because he thinks and feels euphorically strong and un-reproachable. Remember Jesus Christ, he was crucified by mass hysteria through the instigation of the pharisees. Hitler also maniacally made use of mass hysteria to get support for greatness. Now this recent riot in London is also a result of group hysteria. They are caused by a bunch of weak, bored, undisciplined motley group of people who become thieves, looters and robbers at night, covering through a lawless hooded form. I am dismayed that the media even gave them some social and/or political colors and excuses. What is wrong, is wrong. A thief is a thief. No matter what!

Introspective to my own life. I hate big crowds. I am paranoid. I tend to anticipate troubles in crowded area. I stay away from sales in malls and department stores. I never join any rallies even during the heydays of my youth. I associate crowds with pick pockets, sudden commotion, stampede and riots. I am embarrassed to say that I even intentionally stay away from organized groups. The only organization that I am semi involved with is my parish ladies circle. Some people think I am haughty, others anti-social. But I guess I am just being cautious. I simply don't like to get involved or get dragged into group hysteria. I'll rather stay safe than be sorry.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Sunday in the Life of Lucas and Heddy

Last Saturday evening, I fearfully learned that a certain 'friend' would not be attending the Sunday mass because she had information that there would be bombing at churches in the city. Infact she had not been attending masses for a long time already. Rumor has it that she has reliable information. Here in Cotabato, to go to Church is always some kind of a safety risk. But my husband and I decided to go anyway. That evening I prayed an additional rosary for all our safety.

Sunday morning - My husband and I had eggs over-easy for breakfast at 7 AM. We went to church at the usual time. I wore a white dress as I was going to take my oath as a member of our parish Lecom community. Most members wore a uniformed white robe garb though. ( Hehe I am always some kind of a rebel in my own right.) The mass and the induction went well and uneventful. After the mass, my husband and I and a couple of friends took our mid morning snacks at ChowKing. Lucas had congee while I had chicken noodle soup and we shared a dish of tofu. Our snack with friends was always lively. After the snacks, together with our friends James and Siolan, we decided to visit a newly constructed mall near the old airport called Alnor. The mall is owned by an upcoming muslim businessman. Here in Cotabato, it is always a welcome addition to have new infrastructure in the city. Alnor's mall houses a Bo Coffee shop, a Chinese fine dinning restaurant (that doesn't serve pork) and other stores and establishments as well. It also has a hotel and a convention center. Pretty impressive. We did not actually get down to walk though, we just drove and park around. In addition to the mall establishment, there is also a new Jollibee on construction nearby. The franchise is owed by the South Sea's family complex.
Coming home, I was thankful for the peaceful outcome of the day. Lucas proceeded to the store to do some work in preparation for Monday, while I checked my email, surfed the internet and then practiced my piano pieces. For lunch we had lomie and fried chicken and string beans, and then off we went for a long Sunday afternoon siesta. At 4PM, Lucas and I snacked on toasted bread with cheese whiz. Lucas drank hot chocolate and I had tea for beverage. At 5 PM, we did taichi together. We did one round of warm-up and I did three rounds of taichi. ( Lucas did two.) When I finished my exercise, it was almost 6 o'clock. Since Sunday afternoon was also Sunday day-off for our housemaids, I took it to myself to prepare a fish dish. I cooked steamed lapu-lapu with ginger, black fungus, dried prune, red chinese herbs seeds and leeks soaked in rice wine. I have been inspired to cook since I had been watching and following up Master Chef Australia on tv. Just so timely, it was the final competition last night. Lucas and I watched the interesting finale episode. All in all, it was a restful, peaceful and interesting Sunday after all. It could not have been any better

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ramadan Bombing

Today August 2, 2011 is supposed to be the 2nd day of a month long purification and fasting called the Ramadan. But here in Cotabato City, defying whatever religious practices, a bomb exploded at around two plus in the afternoon. I was at the time on my way going to the Philippine Air Lines office, Almonte Street (near the corner of Parang Road). I was inside the car keenly listening to the radio broadcasting the bad weather in Manila. As my car approached to park at my destination, I saw people in commotion. They were running from Parang Road towards the market area. But people near and around my vicinity came out curiously looking towards a site were smoke was still smoldering. I did not hear the bomb explode maybe because of the radio broadcast inside the car, but everybody else said it was so loud and vibration so strong.
Apparently a bomb was placed on a parked motorcycle infront of a building owned by Atty. Eugenio Soyao along Parang Road. According to reports, several people were injured. Seriously injured were children inside a public van passing through the place. As of late this afternoon, a child was confirmed dead.
I am so angry at these terrorists! May God punish them severely for their wickedness done supposedly during this observation of their holy month. They seem to be provoking God. Last year they started their string of kidnapping activities during the holy month of Ramadan too. I am positively sure God knows what to do with them.
Lord, I pray, please keep us safe from these evil doers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kitchen Helpers

Yehey! I got 2 new kitchen helpers: a male stay-out cook (meaning he doesn't live with us) and a stay-in female assistant. The female assistant helps out and sees to it that the kitchen stays clean. But hmmm....this is the first time for me though to hire a stay-out helper. I have to see if this set up will endure. I hope it will. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Unofficial Family Cook

Since our cook left first week of July, I have been the unofficial kitchen helper of the Tan family. The Tan family comprises of 3 main houses: those of Lucio, Luna and Lucas. We have one common kitchen that prepares for our lunch and supper. Our food aren't anything special. They are mostly the usual meat, veggie and carbo viands. We are not picky eaters too. But I guess working in the kitchen is not an easy job, so occasionally the family encounters a change of helper now and then. Our last cook was the worst of them all. She was uninterested to learn new recipe and because of her religion, wasn't able to taste all of her pork dishes. (not a muslim by the way). Our meals are kind of scheduled for MWF and TThS. Sunday fare was always the same all through out. Haha! Worst than a school cafeteria. Even that, Lucas and I were always happy, thankful and contented of our three-square meals everyday.
Anyway, since I am the only member of the family who doesn't work in the store, so I tasked it to myself to help in the kitchen while we look for a more fitting cook. Honestly, I kind of love to work in the kitchen sometimes. To be a good cook though, one must need an abundance of good ingredients to make the food delicious. How I wish I can have a great kitchen too, so I can concoct good dishes like a seasoned chef. Hahaha!
I guess I'll just make the most out of everything and do my best. Hope to get a good helper soon

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Whirlwind Path

My husband was only able to take 2 pictures, although we saw more of the devastation. Scary climate change!

Dylan and Yuri

Taken on June 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Whirlwind (ipo ipo) in Quezon City

Friday, June 24, 2011- It was a lazy rainy day. My cousin Adele was coming over to visit my daughter-in-law Angel and the new born baby Yuri. Adele arrived around 11:30 in the morning and stayed for about 30 minutes or so. When she was about to leave, the rain started to get stronger. I walked her to the gate, thank her for the social visit and told her to be careful for the weather was getting bad. Then before I sat down for lunch, the lights went off. Although it was the noon time yet the sky was dark and so was the house inside. Lucas, Marion and I took our lunch in candlelight. I always had handy candles for emergency.
We didn't even notice anything wrong until about an hour or so when Martha and some of my daughters' friends began texting them to inquire about our safety at home. It seemed that a baby whirlwind had traversed several streets in New Manila and caused havoc and the disruption of electricity. I estimated that the baby tornado began sometime after my cousin Adele left. Scary to think that her car passed through the vicinity and she was that close to getting harmed. Thank God for protecting her.
The whirlwind incident was freaky because there was no wide open spaces for it to begin with. And in New Manila, there were aplenty of shrubs and trees growing around. Weird! According to news report, the whirlwind lasted only for few seconds, but the property damage was pretty bad. A lot of shrubs and big tree branches fell down on the roads. Fences were destroyed and roofs blown away. I saw uprooted trees and toppled down electric posts. To think that it was near our place. ( 9th Street, Balete Drive, Camias St., Poinsettia Street etc) No wonder electricity was cut off. This weather disturbance was really weird. It happened during a storm season.The typhoon did not even make a land fall, none the less it rained the whole day through. The rain was continuous and the weather was bad that Lucas and I were kind of worried about Emil who was enplaning to Manila from Davao from a corporate business trip. Emil's flight was delayed. Thankfully, the rain stopped late at night. We fetched Emil from the airport around 11PM. Thank God for his safe flight home. And thank God for keeping us all safe that day. We thank you O God.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Repairs .........

A lot to repair:
1. Leak in our water pipes. We need to re-pipe the whole water system. Work on going. Urgg!!! What a mess!
2. Re-tile some toilets and bathrooms. Work also on going.
3. Lucas supervised the repair of the front gate yesterday. The gate was so heavy that my brother Boy provided me 5 men to do the task. The back laundry gate was done last month. Thanks to my brother Boy for the men and the use of the welding machine. They could not have been done without his help and concern.
4. Lucas fixed the loose plug and electric wire of our living room stand fan.
5. Changed the blades of two other electric fans in the house.
6. The helpers unclogged the kitchen sink.
7. Lucas saw a mouse inside the house this morning! Help!!! We bought catch papers to possibly and hopefully catch the mouse. I hope there is only one mouse to catch. Help!!!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yuri Isaiah Tan

Yuri Isaiah Tan is my second grandchild from Tom and Angel. He was born on June 18, 2011, an 8.2 lbs and 51 cm baby boy. He has round face with big cheeks. I thank God for the safe and smooth delivery of Angel. With all my heart I have been praying for the safety of both mother and child. Thank you Lord for this wonderful gift! May Yuri grow to be strong, healthy and good. May the good Lord bless him always.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cotabato Floods

In 2008, I blogged about flooding in Cotabato. 3 years later, today, the flooding has become worst. Local officials have not really solved the problems. There may be intermittent reliefs but that was because of the dry weather or season. The waterways have not really been cleared to prevent flooding.
Notre Dame University suspended the opening of classes due to its low lying location. All the areas around it are swamped.
My alma mater CCI suspended classes today because the school quadrangle was wet with water seeping out from the ground. I knew all along that it wouldn't take long before the school has to suspend classes. For one the kindergarten lawn will be the first to get flooded. The toilets there will be smelly and non-functional due to overflowing of septic tank. Really, we don't have to wait for the Matampay Bridge to break from the high rising of water and current.
Water level is high in Cotabato City due to rains and the clogging of the Delta Bridge from hectares of waterlilies that have formed into some kind of a land mass and water barrier.
If you want a clear picture of the extend of flooding in Cotabato City, Know that Notre Dame Avenue? This morning, the whole street was flooded up to Charley's Bakery area. 
I offered Jean Valentino to come stay with us and also my sister-in-law Rosita Chua to stay dry here on higher grounds. But they all prefer to stay inside their own homes, fearful that their properties will be stolen once they leave. That is another sad truth.
Poor Cotabato!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Meeting Rita

Despite everybody being busy in Manila, my friend Imelda and I scheduled a lunch date to meet Rita who came home from Canada. Rita was going to leave the Philippines in two days time. We had to meet despite all our busyness. So we decided to have lunch together in the nearest vicinity which was at Greenhills. Rita, Imelda and I, we all grew up in Cotabato City. We shared cherished childhood memories of a well loved hometown and school which is sad to say, have seen a lot of deterioration these days.
Most of my high school friends are no longer living in Cotabato but they keep abreast of the latest news and we keep in touch with each other.
And so we met, chose a quiet restaurant, shared paella valenciana for lunch and had chorus con chocolate for dessert. It was so nice meeting one another and sharing our personal life experiences. We had so much to talk about that our lunch lasted from 12:30 to 3 PM. If we could only stretch our time but all of us had to leave because each had other appointments at 3:30PM.
"Next visit," I said. "We have to spend one whole day together. One lunch is not enough."
Rita's next visit will be next year which is our 44th year class reunion. Time really moves so fast. Have we even noticed that we're getting old?! Hah!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Everybody Is Busy

So I come to Manila for a lot of things: personal follow ups of documents, make important inquiries, visit my children, commemorate my father's 20th year death anniversary etc.
People may think that I am busy but not quite. I finish half my errands in two days time. My children, they are the real busy ones. They work hard and are very conscientious with their responsibilities. Before I get up in the morning, they are already gone from home, on their way to work. Last Wednesday, when I came home from Baclaran at 1 AM in the morning, Tom was still up doing his homework. Even my friends here are all preoccupied. I don't get to see anyone of them this time. What I hear from my friends, kins and siblings, and what I get most of the time here in Manila are domestic help problems. For me, it has always been an un-ending one problem after the other. One of these days, the young ones should try to be self reliant and not depend too much on them like me. Domestic help it seems is everyone's household problem these days. Everybody is busy at work and at home too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Long Trip Home/ Stranded in Honolulu

We left Seattle for LA on May 1. We had 7 hours lay over at LAX for our connecting flight to Philippines that same day. The 7 hours waiting inside LAX was not so much of a problem because we had prepared for it. But unfortunately when the plane took off and landed in Honolulu for refueling, for some mechanical or technical reason, it was not able to take off as scheduled. The sad part was, the passengers were kept inside the plane waiting for 4 hours before they finally announced that we would be stranded in Honolulu for a day. We were further kept in Honolulu airport holding area for an hour or two before we were finally released for transfer to our hotel. We were more than 300 passengers all in all and you could imagine the queue and the many frantic people trying to get ahead of others. When we finally got our room keys and food coupons, the sun in Hawaii was already near mid morning. I opted not to eat breakfast and lunch and went for my much needed sleep. I woke up in the afternoon and was kind of recharged for another adventure. From my first travel to Hawaii where I was billeted at the same hotel, I knew that Hotel Ala Moana was located near a big mall. With a renewed adventurous spirit, I first explored Macy's alone by myself but later egged on my family to go with me farther to find the huge Ala Moana shopping center and together, we all went out even further down to the beach. I felt sorry for some passengers who stayed all day in the hotel lobby, afraid even to go to their rooms, lest they be left behind by their flight. Getting supper at 5:30PM, was a long chaotic queue; as well as returning back to the airport at 9 o'clock in the evening. The epic wait for our next flight at 3AM/4AM was a total nightmare. My family and I, we tried our best to make the most of this trip. We befriended people and chatted with them to make the waiting bearable. We arrived Manila on May 4. Thank God we're safely home!

Saturday afternoon at Kirkland Marina

We were leaving Washington and USA for the Philippines on Sunday, May 1, 2011. That Saturday, we took our time inside Roy's apartment to eat breakfast, wash our dirty clothes and ready our things for departure. In the afternoon, we went to St. Jude Parish for our anticipated mass at 5 PM. After the mass, Roy brought us to Kirkland for a serene afternoon stroll at the Marina.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ballard Locks

After Fremont, We went to Ballard, to see the Locks and Botanical Garden. According to attending personnel, Ballards Locks operate in the same manner and system like the Panama Canal. We were really curious. Just then a yacht came in from the sea and we saw how the Locks opened up to let the yacht enter to dock. This was educational.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fremont, Washington

The State of Washington allocates budget for public art work which is very commendable. And in Fremont, you can freely see the artistic display of expressions. It is a place for artists!

Gas Works Park etc

Marion was going to meet her high school friend Jackie who was schooling at the University of Washington. The meeting place was set at Gas Works Park, so Roy drove her and drove us there. It was called Gas Works because the place used to be a facility for converting coal into gas. Now that the plant was no longer at work, they converted the place into a park. Ingenious idea as it was really a nice place with good view for a run, walk, stroll, chat or meditation.
After which when Marion left with Jackie and her friends, Roy brought us to a real diner's place for lunch.