Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hong Kong Today

Silly Hongkongers! They do not know how lucky they are!!! Until maybe one day should they lose their financial stability, peace, order, safety, progress and achievement. Maybe they prefer chaos to security. The Filipinos haven't even attained half of their country's advancement. Actually I like Singapore better.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bucket List?

But I have no bucket list, yet I had been to places I never thought of going before. I just took and grabbed opportunities when they came. I am going to cite some of the more impressive places I never dreamed of going because of the distance/cost of travel. And yet I was fortunate. They were truly beautiful. Thank you God for your kindness and blessings:

1. Seoul, Korea - My friend Remy Wee got this cheap package as a travel agency operator. My sister Helen and I and another friend Ivy took chance with her. This happened on a lean travel season. Wallah! I got to see beautiful autumn foliage for the first time in my life!

2. London -
3. Paris -
4. Lourdes, France -
5. Monet House, Normandy, France - These places I was able to visit when my daughter Marion was in UK taking up her masters degree at the University of Warwick. The family went to see her after her course study for the simple reason that we wanted to be with her, specially her twin Martha. It was also an opportune time to travel to this far flung continent. If it wasn't for Marion, I would not have really come. Roy also flew from USA to be with us. The children were resourceful with their information. We picked up specific sites to visit. I did a Marian pilgrimage in Lourdes which was closest to a bucket wish list I thought I never had.

6. Tulip Festival, Skagit, Washington, USA - During one of our trips to USA, my son Roy brought us to see this wonderful place in Washington during Easter Sunday. The weather was cold and nice. And the fields with rows and rows of colorfully well planted flowers were simply awesome and magnificently beautiful. I need not go to Holland to see the sights. I never dream of seeing such wonderment. And on Easter Sunday too!!!

7. El Nido Resorts, Palawan, Philippines - One of the costliest places to visit in the Philippines but my son Emil was able to get us a 50% discount. I suggested a "Dutch Treat" fare expense procedure, to which everybody agreed. The whole family including Roy (on vacation from USA) and Tom with his wife and children went to El Nido for a great family holiday.

Thank you for the blessings my God!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Durian

Durian is a tropical fruit. It has sharp spiny prickling hard shell cover. It smells pungent, tastes fleshy and is very potent. One has to get the acquired taste to like it or love it. My late mother and some of her siblings used to eat durian with their meal, like eating meat with rice. My siblings and I on the other hand used to share and eat it like halo-halo by mixing it with lots of ice and milk and sugar, as our dessert.

Durian used to be seasonal and costly but now a days you can have it all year round and costs less. I am not as fond of durian like my siblings and other relatives. The fruit is believed to be very potent and I easily get migraine and sore throat. Until now I have to drink lots of water after eating it to keep my balance. There are stories about people getting sick or dying from stroke after eating durian. On the other hand, there are stories about it as antidote for dengue fever. It is said to stimulate the production of blood cells. It is also thought to act as an aphrodisiac. I don't pay much attention to folk tales but I don't like getting sick, aside from the fact that it is difficult to pry open the hard covering. To open one, you have to use a butcher knife or bolo. I hate to hurt myself because of it.

My husband and I seldom buy durians. Most of the time, they are given to us by customers from Upi or Lebak or Parang where durians are plentiful. These days they are given to us by nephew Eugene who traverses from Davao to Cotabato. But these few months, I have been eating more durians than usual because of the bountiful harvest this year that makes them really really cheap. Because of it, as I don't turn down gifts, I have become adept at opening the hard shell. I have eaten more durians recently than the past 3 years combined. My husband and I are trying  to control our intake though. Each time we open one fruit, we would eat 3 pieces of the flesh and store the rest in the freezer. But I tell you, it is even more delicious and tasty when frozen. It is like eating ice cream. Yum, yummy. Now, I have to worry about my cholesterol and weight gain. Hehehe.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Blessed Sunday

Yesterday, September 21, 2014 was a Sunday. It was the adoptive birth date of my father Francisco Ledesma. Adoptive, because he did not exactly know his natal day and hadn't celebrated birthday in his life time. The date was only used for legal purposes. In 1991 though, we the children made plans to surprise him with a birthday celebration. Sadly it didn't materialize because before his birthday came, my father Francisco suddenly passed away on June 5, 1991 of cardiac arrest. The children laid him to rest in Manila Memorial Park.

In a different situation, place and time, my mother Mary died on January 28, 1971. Her body was buried in Cotabato City. But on September 21of 1991, we transferred her remains from Cotabato to Manila to lay my parents together side by side. This was in fulfillment of my father's wish to be with her and coinciding this event too on his adoptive birthday instead of the planned celebration. These days, some of my siblings commemorate September 21 in memory of them.

Yesterday, September 21, 2014 was also the death anniversary of my father-in-law Mr. Tan Kian Lee. He actually died on October 16, 1971. But since my late mother-in-law had been commemorating the anniversary following the lunar's calendar and the Chinese tradition, so the family does it so until now. This year my father-in-law's lunar calendar death anniversary falls on September 21.

Yesterday, Sunday morning, I was assigned to be the commentator for the second mass. I offered the holy mass for the souls of my parents and my parents-in-law in remembrance of the coinciding double occasions. During the mass, I coordinated well with the  priest, the readers, the pianist and the parishioners. I was proud I did a good job. I did pray to the Holy Spirit to guide me.

Yesterday also, was an important church event because it was the feast of Our Lady of Penafrancia. After the mass, I had a meeting with the Catholic youths. I gave a short talk about English Communication. The children were attentive, they laughed at my jokes, stirred when I posed them a challenge. Near the end of my talk, I was pleased to see that some of them were quickly copying items written on the blackboard. All in all, I think I did well. I was pretty sure they learned something from the short talk yesterday.

Thank you God for your peaceful and blessed Sunday.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rain

It's raining. I love the weather since I stay home most of the time now. The down cast atmosphere makes me feel sleepy, if not hungry. On rainy days, I like to cuddle up on my bed and read a book. Few days ago, I just pick an old detective book from my children's bookshelf entitled "Gambit". I actually haven't read one about Nero Wolfe, the detective yet. This book must have belonged to either Roy or Emil. I have been reading it too slowly. In my younger days, I could have finished this in one day or one night. Anyway, aside from reading, I enjoy drinking my tea with this season's mooncakes. They go together so well. I like playing the piano too. Unfortunately my piano sounds thin and weak. The higher do sharp is not working. My old tuner did a very poor job. At present I am trying to contact a new tuner from Davao who keeps on promising to come but has not visited me yet despite all my SOS calls. However poor the piano condition, I continue to tinker with it daily, playing a lot of my newly learned beginner's pieces. And since it is already September, I have also started reviving my old Christmas carols. It's never too early for Yuletide to start here in the Philippines. It may sound weird, but I seem to enjoy doing all these trifle things more on a rainy day. It must be the sense of peace of being home. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mother of Christ

Today September 8 is the birthday of our Blessed Mother. This year, it happily coincides with the celebration of Mid Autumn Moon Festival which is one of the most auspicious days in the Chinese calendar. Today is also our house anniversary. We moved into this abode in 1980. We have lived here for 34 years already and  I have so much to thank for. Thank you O God for your mercy, love and blessings; thank you O Holy Mother for being with us. O Lord, please continue to love us and bless us; O Blessed Mother, please intercede and pray for us always.

This morning, I attended first mass at Queen of Peace Church. Many parishioners were also present. I woke up very early to personally cook and I brought a casserole of congee to church for the after-mass breakfast sharing. The atmosphere was gay for this was a special event. It was the beginning of our redemption by choosing the right woman to be the mother of Christ.

For this afternoon, I will treat our employees with pancit guisado. I have already instructed our cook to prepare 3 kilos of noodles. It will be served as special snack at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Tonight, my husband and I will enjoy our television shows with mooncakes and hot tea. But not to forget to say the rosary first for the intention of our most holy mother for the salvation of the world. O Lord, do not forget the people who call on you my God!!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Movies

After visiting my nephew Joemar's site on facebook where he listed 15 movies in 15 minutes to which they would always stick to his mind .....Well, I list down my own favorite movies too, they come to me beyond 15 minutes time of completion though. Hehehe.
1. Gone with the Wind
2. Sound of Music
3. West Side Story
4. My Fair Lady
5. Godfather I
6. Godfather III
7. Night of the Generals
8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
9. Les Miserables
10. X Men 3
11. Stardust
12. Serendipity
13. Legally Blond
14. Jesus Christ Superstar
15. Moulin Rouge
There!!!

Updates: How did I forget my favorite James Bond films:
1. From Russia with Love and 2. Dr. No
:)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Reunion Frenzy

CCI Batch '68 is going to have a mini reunion this year on November 2014. The venue is Cebu City. I am acting as the coordinator of the class but my close friends are also helping me in the dissemination of information and contacting others as well.
Last year we had our get together at Tagaytay. After the successful event, we discussed about this year's reunion. Our class president Joe proposed Cebu City, and Imelda and I began working around it. We held informal gatherings in Cotabato and Manila. There were other proposals, preferences and suggestions too. My job however is to communicate what transpired during our meetings and relate messages to and fro and get reactions from eager friends and not so eager ones. I further follow it up and confer with others through emails, phone calls, text messages, chats, etc. When a consensus is made, the class adheres to majority rules and the final solution is always decided by the class president Jose Lim. Joe is our class president. He has been our class president since high school. We declare him president for life. We force it upon him because Joe is such a calm and level headed person. He cares about the attendance of the less fortunate members and he also contributes the bigger, if not the biggest sum to our coffer. Our last class project was a gift of P100,000.00  to our former teacher and principal Mrs. Milagros Velasco on her 100th year old birthday celebration this year. Thankfully the old lady is still healthy and keen of mind.
Now, since I am also going out of town soon, I have thus begun my information campaign. My communication crosses Manila, Iloilo, Davao, Cebu, Cotabato, USA and Canada. I receive replies and begin counting attendance. I am very pleased, we have exceeded more than 20 persons who will be going to Cebu this November. Yehey!!! See you all soon!

Correction please: We gifted Mrs.Velasco P68,000.00 for Class'68 and not P100,000.00 for 100 years old. My mistake. Sorry.