Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our childhood friends were here

We have lots of memories that the whole afternoon was not enough.

There were four of them and their mom.  They were siblings.  But now, they came with their sons and daughters, and their grandson and granddaughters.

The youngest was a balikbayan from Denmark and he was determined to see us before he goes back in January.

They were our summer friends.  And they were distant relatives from the family tree that I didn't and won't even bother to trace.  But at that time (especially during those times), wasn't it that everybody knows everybody in town and almost everybody was related to anybody in one way or another?

My sister and I were brought to Pateros when the school year ends.  When summer is near, we look forward to it and can't wait to see them.

That's how we became friends.

We can't help but look back.

We played patintero often.  At times, we played until it was almost midnight.  That was of course, with the permission and the presence of one of our parents and guardians.

We had picnics and picnics were a simple baon which we ate somewhere near our homes - under the acacia tree not far away from a friend's house, the irrigation somewhere near the street or just at the back of the house.  That was already picnic for us.

We joined the Dios de Salve prusisyon when May comes.  Afterwards, we got to play a little bit more.  Sometimes it was Cops and Robbers, patintero (again) and more games.

We were full of memories of our  childhood.

I was so happy to see them.  They drove from Manila to our town just to visit us.  And we couldn't even remember when was the last time we saw each other.  It maybe more than five years since or even more.  We sure don't know when we will see each other again, but definitely this is another day to remember.

*I didn't put any effects on the photos.  My guess is that my camera might be on its way to retirement.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

So, this is what they call the glass harp.


Sesame Street was a big part of my childhood. It was where I got to learn a lot of words that helped me through school when I grew up a little older.

But, I didn't need to see big stars to help me out. In fact, if they've been doing it since, I haven't noticed. Maybe I just didn't know who they were at that time. Especially those who were the "Nicole Kidman" during those times. 

But if I am a kid now, would I know who Nicole Kidman is? 

Maybe one of these days, when I see a five-year-old, I'll ask if they know who Nicole Kidman is.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Iligan City: Sendong's aftermath

In cases when you are not sure where to bring your donations - since there are so many these days, I still think that the best organization to go to is the Red Cross.

"Five hundred million little bells"

I thought I finished all my books here in the house.  But I remembered this book which I bought way back in 2006... during my call center days.  I remember starting to read it but couldn't grasp whatever it was trying to say.  It's probably the environment I was in or the atmosphere... whatever.

It didn't change much though when I tried to read it a few days ago.  But a lot of things have been clearer now than before - at least on those parts which I have read.

I thought I would be carefree when the little prince was leaving and going back to his planet.  But like the author, I was saddened that he had to leave, for there were a lot of lessons in life that we both learned from the little prince.

The most important were probably these:
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"But the eyes are blind.  One must look with the heart."
"One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed."
"The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen."  
The little prince liked to speak in riddles.  It's probably the reason why I had a hard time understanding what he was trying to say.  One thing that struck me the most is his encounter with the fox.  "One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed."  The fox wanted the little prince to tame him, and since the little prince didn't know how, the fox taught him.  I suggest you read the book to find out how this part was very touching.  The book is short; you can finish it in a day... and probably read it again to find the answers to the little prince's riddles.

Sometimes, its good to see this when you're not on board

*Thanks to Ella for posting this on her Facebook wall.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Say What?

I've seen this movie for like three times and this is the part that I couldn't understand. Good thing we have YouTube! I don't need to rent the movie just to decipher what John Travolta said as he fell down.

One day...

*Thanks to my BFF for sharing this.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What? "AE" is a word?

Yes, it is!

According to

ae [ey]
adjective Scot.

Okay. So, today I am one word richer.

So are you... in case (like me) you didn't know that this is a word.

Pasalubong #42

Monday, December 19, 2011

To Everyone,

My cousin's birthday


I am the eldest of two siblings, therefore I don't have an Ate.

On my mother's side, I am the eldest among my cousins.  Therefore, I don't have an Ate.

She's the eldest among the offspring in my father's side.

Therefore, she's my only Ate among the family.  And a very wonderful one.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ATE NEMS!  Thank you for sharing us all your blessings all these years!  May you have more birthdays and more blessings to come!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pasalubong #41: Souvenirs from The Holy Land

Holy water, frankinsence, olive oil, holy soil and genuine olive wooden cross

Olive leaves from the tree at Gethsemane. The tree is 2000 years old.

Ref magnet from Mt Nebo

Pasalubong #40: Fish Oil Gels

My mom's hometown

This was a painting of the Pateros River in the late 19th century by Jose Honorato Lozano.  It is my mom's hometown, Pateros, Rizal.

And this also reminds me of a lot of my childhood days.  After the end of the school year, I was happy that we could then go to Pateros and spend the summer there.  It was kind of ironic because we live in the province and was on vacation in a town near Manila.

Although this was not as I remember it, it reminded me of how laid back the town was during that times.  My lola cooks bibingkang itlog on some weekends and was using wood to cook our meals.  Once, she called me to buy 'casa fuego' and asked what that is:  posporo.

When May comes, we get ready at night for the 'Dios de Salve,' which was actually the 'Santacruzan.'  It is also ironic that in the province where we live, this tradition does not exist.  I remember I was always in a hurry to finish dinner and to wash myself so I can join the prusisyon.  After that, if it's still early, we can still play patintero sa kalye using the lines of the streets as our markers.

Pateros now is very different from this photo, as well as how I remember it from my childhood.  Sometimes I wish that some things do not change... like this.

After all, she has a family.

If you saw this on Facebook, you have probably thought like most of us did... that she doesn't have a family and left along wandering in the streets.

Then, the media found her.  After all, she has a family and just isn't used to being idle and not doing anything. She was stripped off of her kariton by her own daughter so she would stop peddling the streets.  But because of that, she didn't eat, got sick and didn't get well until she got her kariton back.

Pasalubong #39: Home-made Maki

Friday, December 16, 2011

Somewhere in Scotland...

They have this to move boats from one water level to another.  I thought it was something of the future, but it really does exist now.  In fact, it opened back in 2002 and connects one lower canal to another higher canal.

Photo and story from

More of The Amazing Falkirk Wheel of Scotland.

Via Air Mail

I got this from the mail yesterday.  Very few people do this these days.  Thank you tomal for the thought!

Time's POY 2011

I've been reading the tweets about Time's Person of the Year 2011.  The tweets says something like: Time's Person of the Year 2011 is The Protester.  I had no idea who was that.  I thought it was someone from somewhere trying to make a difference in his/her country.

But, grapeshisha, a blog that I follow,  led me to the story.

Read more about The Protester.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pasalubong #38: Christmas package from the hospice

There were three packs of rice but the third was big that we feared the glass of the table could not carry the weight
This is the card from one of the sponsors.  The other was on the bag: 'CSI shares His blessings.'

The Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation held its Christmas party today somewhere in Los Baños.  My dad went there as my representative since I am not that confident enough to engage in long trips.  Yeah, yeah, I know it's just a few towns away.  But the farthest I've been to since I got sick was not even at Pila, Laguna. I know I could make it to the venue.  But I could not assure it that I won't feel tired by the time I get there.  Not to mention the fact that I should have the strength to make it back.

The hospice offers pallative care mainly for cancer patients around Laguna.  I have been a member since I was diagnosed and I am overwhelmed by the support that I get from them.  They visit our house once a week to ask me how I am.  Sometimes, they even have some pasalubongs not only for me but for the other members of our household.  One time, they brought a small packet with stuffs but what I remember the most is that it has Vitamin C which we think is meant for the ones who are taking care of us patients.

Thank you to the efforts of the volunteers, Geove Iglesia, Jen Rualo and Jackie Lerado for the effort of trying to make it almost every week not only to my household but to also to those others suffering from cancer.  I may not be vocal about how much I appreciate your efforts but I sincerely appreciate each visit you made to our home.  Also, I would not forget that time when you stayed with me while my dad went to buy food and I was chilling because of my infection.

Kudos to the efforts of the whole foundation!

Meanwhile, in the land of Brodingnag

Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot where  only one grew before would deserve a better mankind and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians altogether.
~ Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

And considering what's happening to our country's politics right now, don't you sometimes wish it to be either the land of Liliput or the kingdom of Brodingnag?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Once upon a time, in the land called Liliput...

Ingratitude is amongst them a capital crime, as we read it to have been in some other countries:  for they reason thus; that whoever makes ill-returns to his benefactor, must needs be a common enemy to the rest of the mankind, from where he has received no obligations and therefore such man is not fit to live.
~ Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

But what if gratitude leads to something like what is happening right now in our SC?  That this certain Corona is paying his debt of gratitude to that little girl that is being threatened to put to sleep?

What I'm reading right now

Photo credit:

It's Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.

So, he was really there...

Tom Cruise shines on the red carpet in Dubai.

I haven't been following this news but since he's a big star and it's Mission Impossible shot in Dubai, I got kind of curious and read about some of the updates.  Although I am not there already, I was thinking that blogging about this will tell my friends that he'll be there.  My curiosity originates from the fact that this series was such a big hit during my video shop days, but I am not really a fan of it.

Photo credit: The National Newspaper

So, he made it to the opening of the Dubai International Film Festival.  [It seems to be a big news that he made it..]  It was said that he was at one of the most beautiful hotels in Dubai, the Madinat Jumeirah for the opening, then, of course, at the Burj Dubai Khalifa (because I still prefer to call it Burj Dubai) as seen on the photo above,where parts of the movie was shot.

And all the while I thought, it would be the premier of the movie.  And I guess I was wrong.  I keep track of my Dubai friends on Twitter and Facebook and none of them has expressed yet that they were to see the movie this weekend, considering that this news was last December 7, 2011.

Up to this point, I still couldn't figure out why I seem not to comprehend the news when it is from Dubai.  Most of the time, I feel it lacks content and they seem to be not direct to the point.  Sometimes, it felt like there should have been more to the article than what is said and frequently, it lacks a lot of details.

Is it the papers?  Or is it really me?

Pasalubong #37: Three-in-one tissues

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tell me if this is urban legend

It was very timely the other day that one of the topics on Twitter was urban legends.

My friend told us the story of her sister and how she had this fish bone stuck deep in her throat.  At past 10 that Saturday, they have gone through all the emergency rooms of hospitals and no one could take away the bone.  All the ERs that they have been told them that their instruments are not capable of reaching that deep.  And that this calls for an EENT's instrument.  She tried calling all ERs of nearby towns but they could not promise her anything since they all tell her that they would need and EENT and his equipment for the process.

And Saturday was such a bad time for that.  After the phone calls, her hubby told her why not try the cats?  And she reacted:  it's 2011... do you still believe that?

Urban legend says that cats have the power to remove fish bones.  All you need to do is have their paws stroke the affected area and it's going to do the wonders.

So, she called her sister to tell her that it wouldn't be possible to do anything that night and they may really have to wait until the next morning.

She, then, made an appointment to a nearby town where she found an EENT working on a Sunday.

But before she called her sister, she got a text message from their mom saying that her sister is now having breakfast and the fish bone was gone.

So, she asked their mom.

What did you guys do?

Mom said, "Well, someone suggested that cat-thing.  So, we had all the cat lined up (they have at least eight cats, I think) and had them stroke her throat.  That's it."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Book Notes: Around the World in Eighty Days

I randomly selected these books in the wealth of free downloads from  And I didn't regret one single page of reading the book.

Image copied here
I guess it suits me perfectly since I could not go out these days.  The effects of chemotherapy actually hampers me to go out at least at the mall.  Not to mention the fact that it has been raining almost the whole day for the past number of days.

There were days that I so wanted to go out but could not because of the rain.  There are no storms, but the rain fell hard.

The adventure of Mr. Phileas Fogg to go around the world was to be accomplished within eighty days.  Back then, who would have thought it would have been possible?

Based on what that they discussed before he left London, it was really mathematically possible.  But considering other outside forces like storms, typhoons and other man-made destructions, it was really hard to tell.

There were actually some outside forces that delayed his trip, but as in other people, there are times when the winds are on the right side of our sail.  He overcame them.  But there is a question that I kept in mind as the whole journey progressed.  If not for his fortune, I have doubts that he would have overcame those misfortunes.

Here are my notes about the book.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My most popular posts

Based on the meters of this site and, my most popular posts are those about CityVille.  There is actually one post that is on top of them for all time.

This wasn't and isn't strange to me since I see it all the time.  But yesterday, it mattered because I had the urge to visit my city again and play.  I suddenly missed playing the game.  I think it was at this same time last year when I started and I stopped when I started my chemotherapy treatment.

This is what I consider my city's center

I could have been back playing again since yesterday morning, but the loading takes forever and it beats me to the bones.  I started to recall the things I do when I play, and I now have the thought of sharing some tips just in case you still don't know them after playing for a while.

The first thing that I noticed was the 'Visit Back' button.  This is really unneeded.  I suggest that you visit your neighbors' cities at a separate time, like before tending to your city.  This way, you've maxed out all the coins you can claim from taking the trip and you now have more money without tending to your city yet.  This way, you have extra  money coming from those visits instead of coming from your city and your limited energy.

One tip that I want to share is when you start clicking these neighbors' icons and you start collecting your prize.  At this point, there are items that come out.  You should hover over each and every item as much as you can.  If  you haven't noticed, hovering over these items as they come out (goods, XPs, coins) activates that meter on the right side of the monitor - just below the XP meter - and starts going up with words like, Amazing, Awesome, Excellent to Holy Smoke.  These gives you a lot of extra coins as the meter rises.  I remember earning a lot of points back then doing this trick.

The piece of land that I bought yesterday

Maybe there were a lot more tricks that I did before.  But I really couldn't remember now.  Yesterday, I bought a piece of land without having the need for a zoning permit.  I wanted to turn that land into a farm so I could harvest more crops.  This is also a way to go.  You should have as much crops and storage as you possibly can because not only you need it in your city but you need this to supply your franchises.  Just in case you are taking these franchises for granted, I suggest that you focus on them, too.  It earns you a lot of coins outside your city, meaning, you don't have to expand yours to earn more coins.

Oh, and when you visit your neighbors, which I also you do so everyday for extra coins and popularity, try that trick of hovering those items as they come out.  That also activates that meter on the right side, giving you more and more coins as the meter rises.  But this, I couldn't verify for now since I didn't visit any of my neighbors yesterday.  But this was a trick I used to do.

The bottom line is to get as much coins from those tricks.  That way, you get them coins without having to expand your city all the time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the same boat

This is truly the season for eating and parties.  And I am glad that I already have one on my list.  Our high school batch's Christmas party.  And I was told that there is yet another one before the year ends.

Well, I must admit that I already miss not only being with people but also talking to people.  Admittedly, too, I got another invite for a cup of coffee the day after the christmas party.  I did not resist the invitation because I know that this friend of mine just came from a trip to the Holy Land and there are a lot of stories to tell.

But in the midst of all the topics, they could not avoid but ask me every now and then about my sickness, how I deal with it, what happens with this and that, what is not there that used to be, what is there that isn't supposed to be and all that stuff that sometimes you cannot imagine one might ask.

Most of the time, the questions and the stories run from direct experiences of people.  If not, it's something someone said, or someone heard from someone.  The trail could be long and sometimes not precise.  

But still, I don't really mind these things.  I actually think that with these questions and stories, I learn about my situation.  And the more I learn about my situation, the more I learn how to adjust myself and accept those things that in the first place I thought was only happening to me.

It pays to know that I could be in the same boat, I AM in the same boat, and I am in the same boat as someone has been.  This makes me feel less alone.  And that somehow, these things that happen to me is really what happens to someone who has cancer.

The best example I could give today is the taste buds.  I learned from one of my friends that her dad also had gone through what I am going through right now.  I lose my taste buds for a few days and gain it back slowly, almost in proportion in gaining back my strength.  She told me that her dad once told her that he couldn't taste the salty flavor of the food, then asked if I ever experienced that.  I said yes and told my story about how I cried over a breakfast of tocino and couldn't eat because it doesn't taste anything at all.

Upon learning about my friend's dad, I don't think I would cry over that tocino again.  At least I know that it happens to all of us who has cancer.  It makes me feel less alone and that someone has been there, tasted that.  

Now, I am brave enough to tell of my ordeal through this blog, twitter and other social networks not because I wanted sympathy.  I didn't start this blog to whine about the pain, but rather to make people know that we can fight it.  I didn't start this to scare but rather, to make you see that there is hope even after all the pain.

I just wanted to be an inspiration.

More photos from the party

Another set of photos from my batch mate's Christmas party.  And I believe there are more to come.

As always, I have my camera with me, but I never got the chance to use it this time.  There are a lot of them around and it's enough for the fun that night.  

Thank you, Daniel and Becca Cailes for the shots!

Pasalubong #36: Usong bracelets ngayon

These are the 'welcome bracelets' (courtesy of Kapitana Lea) that my sister and I got from my batch mate's Christmas party.  It turned out that  uso pala ito ngayon.  

I found out when we were at the mall the other day and saw our neighbor's kid and her friend wearing this.

Pasalubong #35

Monday, December 5, 2011

Batch 1984

This is one of those few occasions, few nights that I get to be with them. This was last December 3, 2011.

Thanks to Yna and Romer Romero for the photos.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I wish it's always these happy for each and every OFW

It was back in October 2009 when I finally went home as an OFW after two years of staying in Dubai.  Two years ago.  I can identify with the guy with the father going blind.  I wanted to be home while my father could still see me.  


When I went home, it wasn't the usual homecoming.  Not a vacation or a back-for-good kind of a decision. I was diagnosed with a medical condition that made me HAD to come home.  

Instead of making arrangements for beach resorts and parties, I had an appointment with the hospital for clearances and other medical procedures.  

And a lot of things have already happened ever since.

My father's cataract was extracted so he's got better vision these days.

But if there's one great thing that happened is that I am still here!  

Far from Thomas' Rainbow

It was a tough book, and here are my few notes about it.

I hope that there would come a time that I'll be ready for this book.  That I'll remember that here, Mexico is a name and not a place or a country.  That I need to remember the name of the psychologist and his girlfriend, or if Mexico is the psychologist with a girlfriend.

3, 4, 5, Alice and the Knave

I remember the first eBook I ever read.  It was "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer.  Someone gave me the complete series (as of that time it was one to four:  Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn) all on eBook and I got to read only the first.  And it was I guess about two or maybe three years ago.

Image copied here
This time, having running out of books to read, I opted to try reading an eBook and to make the experience not really that dreadful (since with Twilight, I preferred to read the printed word), I opted to choose just a short, classic story, just to have something to read, to past the time, and to experience eBook once again.

You might call it weird but I randomly chose Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at   I discovered that in that website, there is a wealth of book titles as well as eBooks that are ready to be downloaded and read.  One good thing about it, too, is that you won't be mislead in tracking down the pages if you downloaded the book on the website itself. 

The other good thing that I discovered on the website is that you can embed the eBook itself on your blog so people could see it and maybe download it for themselves.  How cool is that is so cool to me.  

Anyway, as I have started with my last few books, I am linking those few notes that I have written about the book.  As I said in my book blog, I do not make reviews since I believe there are already a wealth of sites that are offering reviews for millions of books.  So, I decided to give it a little twist by incorporating it with my life, or sometimes being an extension of it.

Here is the link to my notes on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

To give you the experience of having the book embedded on a blog, here is it:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

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