Monday, March 30, 2015

Mementos from the Shores

Since summer is here! Below is a seashore arrangement from my many travels to the beaches in the Philippines: The souvenirs were picked mostly long time ago from combed and uncombed beaches of Cotabato,  Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Bohol, Bantayan Island, Boracay, Puka Beach, Puerto Gallera, Hundred Islands, Bicol, Sorsogon, Pagudpud, Palawan etc. I used to pick up little things from the sand after my swim. The fine sands you see on the tray are from Boracay though......my children now a days would not let me bring home anything from the beach anymore due to nature conservation efforts. Hehehe....luckily my long ago mementos are still intact.........






Monday, March 23, 2015

Home Sweet Home

I was in Manila for 3 weeks:
1. Primarily to oversee the repair of my downspouts (of my second home in Manila) which were found leaking since last year. Good repairmen were hard to find. My roof was high and steep. It would be difficult for anybody to do a good job. I desperately prayed to St. Joseph for help. Coincidentally my sister Imelda heard my outcry and recommended a good repairman. I made appointment with him to do the work. We set a schedule for the repair and I flew to Manila to be there. Thank to St. Joseph, that this person my sister recommended was specializing in roofing work. His fee was reasonable and I trusted him and his company.
2. Another concern was the lavatory faucet in my children's bathroom. I had the old broken down faucet replaced. I bought a new set to be installed but alas, after the installation, the connection was found to be leaking. I had the plumbers came back more than four times to redo the work. I even paid them for their back job, but the leaking problem always resurfaced after a day or two. I was in despair. I prayed to St. Joseph again, to Mother Mary, to the Holy Family, even to my father who used to take care of my childhood abode, to please help me restore the leaking faucet. At a certain point, after the plumbers had left the fourth time, I asked my driver to disassemble the entire unit. I decided then to buy and replace it with a better quality one (made in usa). I also requested my brother Wilson and his son Martin to lend me their plumbers. Thankfully with the new team and a new set, we finally solved the bathroom lavatory problem. At the end of my stay, in thanksgiving, I treated my house helps and driver (for they were equally despairing with me) to take-home Jollibee food. Yeah, I even included the neighbor's helpers too.
3. New roller shades were installed in the master bedroom window. I found out that now a days they don't do aluminum blinds anymore.
4. I also had the brakes of Emil's car fixed. Almost had a heated argument with my son because of it. I was depressed for I was alone doing all the fixing without my husband's help (He was in Cotabato by the way). For three weeks I was so impatient, so high strung and so in despair. Whenever I had nowhere to turn to, I walked to church, attended mass and asked the Lord and his mother and foster father for help. As I said before in another blog, St. Joseph must have been a very patient man and he was teaching me to be one too.

After three weeks, I am now home in Cotabato. Thank you Lord for the " Home Sweet Home ".

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Imelda's 70th Birthday

Yesterday, March 13, 2015 was my sister Imelda's 70th birthday. Her children sprang a surprised birthday party for her. In full attendance of course were her family, her husband's relatives, her Neo Catholic spiritual group, her siblings, her nieces and nephews and the ever supportive Go cousins (from Data Street). The event was held at Barbara's Restaurant, Intramuros, Manila. We were told to be at the venue at 7:30PM, before my sister could arrive at 8:00PM.

So we all made preparations for my sister Theng (Imelda's) special day. My son Emil could not come to the party since he was working late on Friday evening, but my twins Martha and Marion promised to come home early after work, so we can get to the party on time. I prepared a gift basket of snack items composed of long life noodles, K.Roger's cookies, UCC instant coffee, Lyon's tea bags, honey, Swiss Miss dark chocolate cocoa drink and Ritz toasted chips. I put them all together and wrapped the present in red cellophane sheets tied with red ribbons. I placed my well wrapped gift on the center table at the sala. Not long after, that day around 4:30 PM, I suddenly heard my sister Theng's voice downstairs calling me to come down from my room. I did not know she was coming to my home, so I was taken aback. I was instantly apprehensive lest she might have seen her present at the sala and took a hint about the surprise party. But I came down calmly. Apparently she brought me two siopao to eat. She was also thirsty and asked for a glass of water to drink. Surprisingly I was very composed. I told her it's Friday and I wasn't eating meat. She answered. "We're all old and exempted from the practice already." "No," I said. " It is still necessary." Then she said. "Anyway, you can keep it and eat it tomorrow."
On her way out, I handed her my gift. "It's so timely you're here. I have prepared a gift for you" I said. " I was thinking of bringing it to you tomorrow but since you're here, I'll give it to you now, so you can take it home. Happy birthday!"
She replied. "I must look crazy. I come here as though asking for a gift."
"Of course not. The gift is really ready to be given." I said.
When she left, I quickly called up my sister Helen for damage control. I narrated the encounter, but Helen thought I reacted quite all right. Theng would not think otherwise.

My girls did come home early. We had to move fast because we can never estimate the traffic in Manila.  Our reliable family driver drove us pass-through relatively smooth traffic and we arrived at Barbara's early enough. Cousins Nelly, Adele, Gina, Sharica were already seated but non of Imelda's children were there yet. I sat temporarily with my cousins to catch up....then the celebrant children Greg and Donna came. They quickly went to change into red birthday clothes. But Imelda's eldest son Dennis and his family weren't there yet, so were all my other siblings. The few of us were all hoping that they would come soon enough. While Nelly Adelle and I continued to talk, Abraham Co, the husband of Nelly came and sat beside her. As it was still early, we cousins continued to catch up with one another. And so while we were talking.....all of a sudden we heard somebody said almost in a whisper. "Why are you here?" Clearly it was the voice of my sister Imelda. We were all taken aback, turned around and there she was! We were astonished to see her inside the restaurant earlier than expected. She came in all alone by herself. She thought she was going to meet up with her children for dinner. She was surprised to see me there. She even held her finger to wave with her question. "Why are you here?" Initially I did not know how to react. Then I laughed aloud, called her name "Theng" and greeted her a happy birthday. Nelly went forward to kiss her and everybody else followed suit. I began singing happy birthday and then the restaurant blasted the birthday song. Soon after I began laughing my heart out. Too happy for all the surprises. Happy for my sister Theng!!! Hahaha! It was all a pleasant surprise for everybody.

After the meal, the audience were asked to say something to the celebrant. This was my short message....
"You know the celebrant Imelda or Theng Theng is my sister. She is the eldest in the family and I am the youngest sister. For me, I always consider her as my second mother. Imelda is always very caring. She is always concerned about us, brothers and sisters. She is also very forgiving with regards to my temperament and to my many outbursts. What can I say to her on this her 70th birthday?....Theng, I wish you a happy birthday. May you have many more birthdays to come. Have a long, happy and blessed life. May God bless you always! Happy birthday!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My Help Comes From the Lord

"I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
  From where will my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord,
  the maker of heaven and earth.

God will not allow your foot to slip;
  your guardian does not sleep.
Truly, the guardian of Israel
  never slumbers nor sleeps.
The Lord is your guardian;
  the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
By day the sun cannot harm you,
  nor the moon by night.
The Lord will guard you from all evil,
  will always guard your life.
The Lord will guard your coming and going
  both now and forever."........Psalm 121

Friday, March 6, 2015

Well..........

Well, things are getting done...... My window shades are installed. The downspouts were checked and roof was repainted. The plumbers came back to reinstall the leaking faucet. They worked hard yesterday afternoon. Despite my confidence, I found two droplets of water underneath the faucet counter this morning. Maybe from some remaining remnants, I don't know. But I am not scared anymore. I have two new plumbers whom I can contact if ever there are anymore problems.

I thank St. Joseph for helping me with the many house repairs and also for calming down my nerves. I realized I have to be more patient. I guess St. Joseph was a very patient man and he is teaching me to be so.

Now that the many housework are done. I go now for my own yearly check up. O, Blessed Mother please pray for me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Argh...argh...

So the repairs are on going.......things seem to be getting done, one at a time, but......argh! argh!.....the lavatory faucet is still leaking! Although the plumbers have installed a new set of faucet and they have come back several times to repair and re-fix the newly installed unit but until this morning, the leaks continue. The workers themselves are in a quandary and I am getting hysterical! Should I call a new plumber? Should I buy a new set again? Argh.....argh......
O, St. Joseph, I need your help!!! Give me your assistance!