Monday, September 23, 2013


Three things I admire in a person:
1. Good in math - due to my disinterest in numbers, I so idolize mathematicians, physicists, businessmen and those people whose careers depend on daily dealings with calculations. For one, my husband is good with numbers. Together we taught and guided our children while they were growing up to do better with their math subjects in school. Thankfully today they are all doing good in their own field of mathematical works. Sometimes at home, when my husband and children dwell and speak in numerical figures, my heart swells just listening to them. Their conversation may sound alien to me but I do feel so very very proud. My own admiration and fulfillment in my own family.
2. Ear for music - People say this is an inborn talent. My maternal side of the family seems to be more inclined to this ability but it did not pass on to us the next generation. Many of my siblings are tone deaf, so too with some of my children, haha! I am the only person among my siblings who knows how to play the piano and I learn mostly through persistency. Despite it, I remain so below average. My husband though has an ear for notes. He knows how to play the tune by just simply listening. He used to play the clarinet with the school band. At home he can play the piano with his right hand. I so envy people with an ear for music. I marvel at musicians, singers and gifted people. Why can't I be like them!
3. Linguistic ability - My late mother was a linguist and I idolized her so. Although I can speak three languages fluently: English, Chinese (Fookian) and Tagalog, yet my Mandarin, Bisaya and Maguindanaon are barely passable. My brain and my tongue are quite stubborn and slow. Hahaha! On the other hand, Lucas, my husband is good. He can speak more than 5 dialects/languages. He is just not showy infront of other people. Sometimes he can even mimic the accent and tone to certain degree. I find it very funny! Lucas is quite interesting, he may not be the handsomest guy and the sexiest person; but I guess, now they understand the reasons for the admiration :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Auspicious Day

A happy prosperous auspicious day to everybody!!! Today September 19 is mid autumn festival day. If I am right, South Korea is also celebrating its new year's day today. A Happy New Year to the Koreans! Elsewhere in Asia, people are celebrating (good harvest) with dice game, prizes, plenty of food and mooncakes and tea. 

We used to do that here at home when it was relatively peaceful in Cotabato. But now a days many people have left or are not around. Yet I have high hopes that maybe things will change for the better next year. Today though, my spirit is high. I wear red for good fortune. I cook lumpia for the Tan family dinner. I have a box of four mooncakes which I bought from Cotiongbon Store. It is quite costly but there is no other store that sells this kind of delicacies here. (They are actually brought from Manila.) Tonight I put on my lanterns and multicolored lights for the occasion. I brew aromatic jasmin tea to go with my mooncake and Lucas and I will snack on it while watching television at night. Hahaha....what a romantic celebration, so rightly for a full moonlight night! Happy mid autumn festival to all!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wanton Thoughts

These few days I have so many frightening thoughts and also some insights to ponder.

First of all, because I again almost caused a fire outbreak at home because of an unattended home cooking. I was steaming my siomai (dumplings) and while waiting for the water to boil, I went to play on my piano. I got so engrossed on practicing a new piece that I forgot about the double boiler in progress on the stove. After sometime, I smelled something burning. I jumped out of my seat, ran to the kitchen and quickly turned off the stove. The bottom layer of the steamer that was supposed to contain the water was totally dried out. The cloth that I laid out on the second surface of the double boiler (so that the dumplings won't stick on the pan) had patches of burnt spots. The burned cloth emitted the odor. If not for the smell, things would have gotten worst. That unattended cooking almost caused a burst of fire in the kitchen. In my stupor, I poured tap water on the heated dried out aluminum pan. My maid admonished me that it will cause the pan to warp, and indeed it did. All of my fault and stupidity! The dumplings though were not totally lost. They were still moist but they had burnt after taste. Despite everything, my in-laws, my husband and I consumed them all.

I got lingering shocks after the incident. It made me think about all of the other missed accidents I almost had. I had been reckless and careless. I thanked my guardian angels for protecting me and my family. I said a prayer of thanks. Many things could have been worst. I must be more careful. I am terribly sorry for being so careless.

Then this recent outbreak of battle in Zamboanga City between the muslims rebels and the government troops. It has been 5 to 6 days already since the standoff but things have not been solved until now. Many people are afraid that it will spill over to Cotabato. Although I am confident that Cotabato is safe, yet I lay awake at night thinking of the worst. To add to my apprehension, two nights ago, I watched this History channel entitled "After Armageddon" and it scared me to think that human beings can be so ruthless even in the brink of calamity and at the threshold of extinction. Contrary to that documentary film though, I did not experience such a scenario during the 1976 big earthquake in Cotabato City. I agreed there were no electricity nor water on the tap but stores were open the next day for people to buy medicine and food. Afraid of strong after shocks, the Tan families slept on a truck parked on an open space.(Tires party embedded on the ground due to the movement of the earth). People slept on the streets and houses were not locked because homes and doors were destroyed. Everything was in a disarray but fortunately there was no looting or robbery. Maybe people were better then? But that was more than 35 years ago.

Then I begin to think about my children, those who are still unmarried. I hope and pray that they will not have to be so all alone. Everyone of them need to have a wife or husband to take care of each other. I don't want them to worry about us here and I pray that they will all be safe.

Then I say to myself.....We are always afraid something bad is going to happen, why not anticipate of good and beautiful things to happen instead. God is beautiful and good and I am sure, he wants us to be happy and safe too. God will bless us all and He will make good and beautiful things happen to us.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Happy Birthday!!!

Yesterday September 8 was the birthday of our blessed mother. It was a blessed happy Sunday of thanksgiving because God had chosen the perfect lady to be the mother of our Savior. Without her, how can we human kind ever be saved. Jesus  gave her to us before he died on the cross. Together with the apostles, the Holy Spirit descended upon her during the Pentecost. We honor her today with many titles: Queen of Heaven, Queen of Angels, Mother of our Savior, Queen of our Homes, Mother of Perpetual Help, Queen of the Family, Mystical Rose, Health of the Sick, Help of Christians, Queen of Peace and many many more..........

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy September

Today September 5 is my son Emil's birthday. I offer a birthday mass intention for him at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral here in Cotabato City. Emil Gabriel Tan (his full name) used to be so naughty and happy-go-lucky, but I thank God because He gave this boy a guardian angel and also his name-sake the Archangel Gabriel to watch over him. Honestly, he grew up bearing the brunt of my disciplinary actions, my prayers and tears for him too. He left home for college at the age of 16. He attended school at Ateneo de Manila not without a lot of hardship. He mostly learned and survived from his mistakes and difficulties in life. After college, he worked in Cebu for 6 years. Then he left Cebu to take up post graduate study at Asia Institute of Management. I continued to follow him up and to pray for him at the Cathedral specially if I knew he was encountering some kind of a problem. Thank God for listening to my prayers. Today, Emil has become a more responsible young man. He now acts as a guardian brother to his younger sisters Martha and Marion. Sometimes I am dependent upon many of his concerns for us and heeding some of his good and wise advice too. Thank you Lord for giving me this child. Please continue to love and bless him abundantly.