Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Summer

Summer in the Philippines is:
When school year ends
And graduation is on the air
When fasting and abstinence are borne
Of the Lenten season, here we observe and pray
Some parents and children pack their multicolor bags
Off to Boracay, Bohol or Puerto Princesa's land
To Hong Kong, Japan, China, maybe USA they say
Any better places their money sure can pay.

Many summers I did all these in shorts and jeans
Hauled my young children on buses and planes
With plastic bags, water and crackers inside my pack
We stayed in crude inns or some semi luxurious bins
No matter where, I must spend my two month's break
Off to the beach, the sun and the shore
To the mountain, to the sea for asthmas cure
Not only to read and write yet climb and swim
Thank God for your summer's surviving skills

Motion sickness, fever, there were more to bear
As Emil threw up from trail to trail
How Roy messed up my brother's car
And sleepless nights we fought
With coughs and whizzing gasps
But on we throve in nature's lure
To find some cure and hopes endured
We roughed it out and survived despite the odds
For God's Spirit was there to accompany us.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Recovering From All My Local Trips

I came to Manila last February 16 with my husband Lucas. Together we did a lot of things here, such as I accompanied him to his routinary check up at Cardinal Santos Hospital and went to the DFA office to renew our passports etc. His doctor gave him a clean bill of health and renewing our passports went on smoothly without any problem.

Then on February 23, together with  22 of my high school classmates, I embarked for an early morning flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan for a reunion trip. It was a blast. We had lots of fun for 4 days and three nights. We went on a city tour, sightseeing, shopping, eating and tasting exotic food, swimming, snorkeling etc. We talked and teased and enjoyed each others company like old high school days. I slept late, woke up early and laughed so much that I lost my voice on the 2nd day of the trip. It was fun though and now everybody is looking forward to another reunion trip in the future.

I came back to Manila once more but briefly and on March 1, I took an airplane flight to be in Dumaguete City for the national convention of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Catholic Women's Organization. The hosting chapter led by the abled hands of their priests was very well organized and hospitable. I had only good praises for all their programs and arrangements.
Cotabato City was one among the biggest contingents that was represented during the convention. We were composed of 34 delegates. However the internal divisiveness and personal aggrandizement of  many of our chapter members made our own group so topsy turvy. Our accommodation placement was a mess. We had to share different roommates on some occasions and transferred to other rooms and hotels on succeeding days. I tried to make the most out of the situation but complains were running high and there were burst of temperaments from some quarters. I was lucky enough to share my first night with Rosalinda Masot. We got a small room but with separate beds. Others got bigger rooms but with 4 or 3 persons sharing and some people did not like sharing beds too.
The next morning prior to the convention proper, we had time to tour the city on our own. Because I was her roommate, Rose Masot invited me to join her on a sightseeing trip courtesy of her niece and nephew-in-law. Together with Gloria Lu, her own relative, I had the good fortune to see Dumaguete City and it's surrounding towns from a good touring perspective.
During the convention, I enjoyed all the meals and meriendas prepared for the delegates. I loved celebrating daily eucharistic mass. The first evening of the convention, we rendered our Filipiniana dance and people lauded me for my dance performance. I did not think I danced to perfection though. Hehe. During the healing session of Father Faller, I was emotionally touched by the passing of the Blessed Sacrament. For a moment I thought Father Faller was coming towards me because he swirled to my direction and he came so close, almost right in front of me. I silently cried to God and asked for mercy for me and my family. I asked to be loved and healed. The next day however though, I intentionally escaped and cut the afternoon talk of Jean Goulbourn to take a long needed nap in my hotel. Haha. ( I took a tricycle by myself to get to my hotel in pretense that I was not able to bring and take my medicine which was really true. I was dead tired when I reached my room. Because of the noontime heat, I was but all yearning to go to sleep. Everything  happened so easy and fast. I just went to sleep. Hahaha). Anyway to make the narration short, I survived the convention by taking care of myself and enjoying and learning to the fullest. The last night of the convention was a concert performed by the New Priests on the Block. I had a blast swinging and dancing! Near the end of the sessions, the priests came distributing red roses. I got two: one from Bishop Jausian and the other from Father Eking. I believed my prayers were answered by the significance of the roses. (By the way, I also got a long stem rose from Robert Tan during the last night of our reunion program in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Thank you Robert for acknowledging all the girls present.)
After the convention was over, the Cotabato chapter members took a side trip to Siquijor. We were around 30 persons. All the while I think the organization of the trip was poor and inefficient. The tourist bus cost us 6 thousand pesos when we could have saved more by hiring 3 vans that cost P400.00 each. Upon reaching our hotel, there were more flare up of temperaments. But we mostly took care of ourselves upon arrival at Coco Groove. The first thing everybody did was to get a good shut eye. Siquijor was a lovely place. We got to enjoy the beach and the pool before sunset. We also got to see the Cambugahay falls and went to the top of the mountain for the nice breeze and wonderful sky view. All in all it was a worthwhile trip.

I came back to Manila on Monday evening, all so exhausted from all the recent trips. Home for three days, I seemed to be so hungry and sleepy all the time. I slept from 9 in the evening to 9 in the morning. I am still recovering until now, but I am getting back to my normal activities little by little. I thank God for these travel opportunities and also for keeping me fit and strong and happy and wholesome all the while. I thank the Lord for keeping my family safe while I was away. I am so grateful for indeed a lot of my prayers and concerns were heard by my Lord. Thank you O my God. I love you so.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


The Cotabato delegates after the convention in Dumaguete went on a side trip to Siquijor. We took the 1 hour supercat boat ride to the exotic island.
Siquijor if you must know is known for its infamous barangs (black witchcraft) and albularyos or magagamot. The people in the island mostly observed or practiced some kind of local alternative healing and/ or vodoo practices. Many has claimed a high level of effectiveness though. Contradictory to such beliefs, the local folks are also very religious. These days, the place has found a good claim on it's white beaches, resorts and exotic-ness. Many foreigners have set foot on the shore, married local girls and invested on its potentials.
I took a few pictures...but I was not able to take the breathtaking sky view from the mountain top for my phone battery was running low. I like to go back to Dumaguete and Siquijor again if given another year maybe?.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Convention in Dumaguete

I captured a few pictures from my phone camera during my first national convention for Chinese Catholic Women's Organization at Dumaguete on March 1 to 5, 2012. The pictures were mostly from sight seeing trips. I was not a good photographer. My reflexes were simply too slow for photography.