“I’m Busy Now”

How many times have you received this response from someone you’ve been counting on – for company, or support, or a listening ear?

Perhaps not just once, and most likely, you might have also given such response to someone you want to fend off.

Yes. This is often the lame excuse we give anyone who we deem as a burden on our time. Most of us are guilty of doing this – rebuffing someone. Continue reading ““I’m Busy Now””

On a Sunday Morning

I go to have brunch at one of my favorite hangouts, right after church. Being Sunday, the small cafe which serves breakfast meals 24/7 is filled and people keep trooping in. Diners already taking their meals do not seem to hurry.

I order an egg & mushroom omelette meal, a mug of brewed coffee, plus a slice of tuyo. As I wait, I become a bit self-conscious, as I didn’t bring my mobile phone to keep me company. Continue reading “On a Sunday Morning”

In the Stillness

The depths of the human heart always long for silence and solitude. ~~ Felix O. Magallanes

I speak for myself and these words ring true for me. I need to connect with my inner self for my spiritual nourishment. It may be because I’m reflective by nature. My energy easily depletes when I cannot find even a little time for silence. Silence.

But I believe that for most people this must be true as well. We’ve heard of stories of the rich, the famous and beautiful, the accomplished, who at the end of the day find themselves feeling empty. Continue reading “In the Stillness”

On Self-Giving

The simple gift of self is the greatest gift of all.

The above quote is from a reflection contained in the book, Thoughts In Solitude: Capturing the Essence of Being Human” by Felix Berto O. Magallanes, in which the author speaks of sharing oneself to others not just utter words, communicating our very being, and expressing our inner feelings, to share […] as we would to one who is not totally “other,” but is part of oneself.

Self-giving water

The most profound example of this giving of self is God’s self-giving – sending His Only Begotten Son to be born in a humble manger to become one of us. And again, as the Son’s total obedience to the Father, Jesus Christ gave up His life on the Cross in atonement for our sins and to redeem humanity. Continue reading “On Self-Giving”

Taking Selfies is An Art

It’s May, my favorite month of the year! And what an apt theme to go with my favorite month – Photo.

I’m not a pro, I’m not even half as good as the younger ones in my family/clan who are amazing with their photography skills. But taking photos is my passion – and with the coming of the age of Selfies, I’m drawn to it more than anyone else of my age, methinks.

Do you like taking selfies? Why or why not?

I do not find taking selfies bad at all, so I shall disagree with the supposed findings of the American Psychiatric Association that taking of selfies is a mental disorder.

Taking of selfies is an art form, not a mental disorder. Continue reading “Taking Selfies is An Art”

Life is a Dash of Spice & Herbs from the Garden

Life is a dash of spice and herbs, so if I could grow a kind of food and be successful, I’d love to grow a spice-and-herbal garden….

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I love food with spices and herbs; a simple everyday dish, sandwich or soup becomes a gourmet adventure, not to mention their medicinal benefits.

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I fancy growing a spice-and-herbal garden, fragrant, vibrant and blooming – a feast for the senses, a feast for the soul, and a feast for the tummy with the yummy soups, dishes, and salads I can prepare for my family and friends, with freshly picked spices and herbs from my own home garden: basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, ginger, spring onions, red and green chilli, to name just a few…

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I also imagine my lovely spice-and-herbal garden to turn into a cozy nook where I can read or write in solitude while inhaling the mix of aromatic, tangy, sweet, lemony, spicy, peppery scents wafting from my plants…

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Or a snack corner for my family and guests, so preparing tea would be fun and delectable with the many choice herb leaves to add to our cups…                Image Source

Or into a perfect outdoor dining area, right in its midst, with white-painted trellis in the perimeters, skylight, old style iron-wrought chairs, some soft settee and a long heavy wooden table. Hmmmm…

Spices and herbs are a delight indeed to have to perk up our meals and moments with loved ones, add zest to everyday rituals, and give a bit more life to our surroundings!           Image Source

 

My Simple Garden

I’m just glad I have this small, unassuming place where some green plants grow alongside one wall. They were just sparse the first time I moved in, yet now they have grown and their thick foliage partly shield my porch from the gate.

Just a simple home greenery

It delights me each morning as I look through my front window, which faces the morning sun, to see the varying shades, shapes and sizes of my home greenery and my sole yellow hibiscus.

My Garden Collage

I love gardens, and how I wish I had one as lovely as this one I photographed on an out of town trip…

In a highland resort south of Manila

Yet the simple garden I keep, including the few potted plants I have at the back of the house, just gives me as much pleasure.  Tending my plants – watering, pruning, propagating and watching them grow, seeing little brown maya birds, even a few butterflies fly about, uplifts my spirit because this affords me a space to commune with nature right in the middle of the city, and a welcome respite from my work-at-home-job and house chores.

For me, gardening is my special form of praying, so I feel one with God’s creation.

Even with such a small garden as mine, gardening is almost like taking care of a child, or a pet….and I realize a creative project as well. It isn’t as simple as it seems, as it takes time, diligence, and love to keep a garden, nurturing it to growth.

Yet the joy it gives is so much more than the sensual pleasure you derive from it – for when you nurture a garden, you also nourish your soul.

My Garden Collage 2

In My Garden Collage 2 are a picture of my citrus plant, in the bigger box above, and of a young “lanzones” fruit tree, as well as the other green plants in my simple yet refreshing garden.

 

*Note: If you notice, my images here no longer appear — since I changed my theme, I lost them and still need to go over my files to recover them. But I’m keeping my post as is — nice to see what I wrote at the time.

The Home That Nurtured My Dreams

The apartment where I grew up with my parents and eight younger siblings was a corner unit in the 1st building complex inside a huge family compound belonging to a clan from up north of Manila.

And this little space which my family occupied was home to me from the time we moved there shortly before I entered kindergarten until I got married. It was my home for 19 years, the home that also nurtured my youthful dreams.

“It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.”
Peter Buffett, Life Is What You Make It: Find Your Own Path to Fulfillment

Continue reading “The Home That Nurtured My Dreams”

Giving Thanks for All God’s Gifts

It’s Wednesday and I’ve been thinking of what to write when I noticed that most posted statuses today on Facebook were expressing “feelings of being blessed.”

I do believe God grants each and everyone of us countless blessings, great or small, that come in many different forms. And blessings do not necessarily come in ways that make us happy, joyful or feeling rich.

Blessings are also packaged as pain, sadness, frustration – like an illness, death or separation from a loved one, loss of job – but they are blessings too. Continue reading “Giving Thanks for All God’s Gifts”

Loving Me, Loving Mom, Loving God

Picture this: a thin, brown-skinned girl, not exactly kayumangging kaligatan but darker and taller than most of the fairer mestiza kids in an exclusive all-girls school, with thick white-framed eyeglasses, black hair pulled into a neat ponytail pinned with a big blue or black silk ribbon on top.

This waif of a girl would also speak so softly almost like a hush that her teachers often coaxed her to raise her voice a decibel higher.

She didn’t wear boy shoes as most of the girls did, and which she too wanted, but always wore her black ‘Mary Janes’ to go with her bobby socks trimmed with lace.

In other words, she was the 1960s’ version of a school nerd — the odd girl out, so she thought.

Now don’t get me wrong – but my being conscious of my brown complexion was only when I did not know any better; my mother would often tell me my complexion was something to be proud of. As I grew up, I disliked using whitening lotions and the like.

Me in grade school as a shy “nerdy” pupil…

And that was what made me so terribly shy in grade school. Dared I not join a group during breaks unless one classmate would call me in or was with me. And in the class, I’d often wait for the teacher to call on me to recite even though I knew the answers well.

Yet, in a strange way – my shyness would also lead me, at times, to venture out with courage to play all by myself in the school playground, or enjoy fun rides with schoolmates from other sections during our school fairs. Or to sign up for a drum and bugle class, a singing group, and a painting class in high school.

You see, I could never carry a tune ’til now, and I could only splash a mixture of colors on my drawing pad – my idea of being a future Picasso or Monet. But I still surged ahead with doing all these. Just because.

I remember the look of stunned disbelief of one particular  talented young boy upon seeing me on our first day in the painting class, like he saw his dog or cat taking up the brush. I sensed a note of contempt as he asked me why? He seemed to think based on his self-righteous standard, I wasn’t meant to be there. SO… what?

The spirit of that young girl from way back still lives in me — as I pursue my passions with a mix of confidence, audacity and spunk. And that is what I love most about myself – because it’s what makes me unique, what gives me the courage to learn new things, cultivate new interests like blogging…a late bloomer in the field of writing.

That lakas ng apog  was sparked by my Mom’s own passion for living, for she indeed was a woman oozing with confidence and grit, inspiring in me and my siblings to achieve our goals, test new waters and scale the heights.

And that is what I love most about her, my dearest Mom, even if she’s no longer with us. To her I will forever be grateful for this, and whatever I achieve, to God be the Glory!