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Happy wife, Happy life

….musings of a happy wife & more….

2nd chances, new blessings…

 YES to second chances! But wait – I’m not talking about love and broken relationships here. By “second chances”  I mean – life after retirement. This fact remains: Life does not END after retirement. Maybe life after retirement is not really about second chances but more on “discovering NEW blessings.” I am pretty upbeat to be in this stage now. So, what do people DO after retirement?

  • Enjoy a second career (if health still permits).
  • Enjoy the things missed out while working.
  • Enjoy going on adventures.
  • Enjoy by staying home and doing nothing (for how long it doesn’t matter).
  • Enjoy being creative and busy in NEW endeavors.
  • Enjoy reconnecting with old friends and colleagues.
  • Enjoying giving back to their community.
  • Enjoying their love ones and making lasting memories.

Uh-oh! ☺ I am doing ALL of the above except the 1st one (a second career where I’m gainfully employed in a corporate setting, that is…😉).This phase is a chance for me to embrace and fulfill God’s purpose in my life and begin a NEW life altogether. I am inspired to reinvent myself. My daily grind has ended but my journey re-discovering LIFE did not. 😍

Back Track from the PAST    I’ve retired as an Operations Head about two years and two months ago. Mine was not a typical retirement with the traditions of speeches of a gratitude and all that mushy stuff, hugs and tears and applause-filled farewell parties. Our company was closing down. Bought out by another company in the same industry and most of employees had to go. My whole Team and myself were no exception. We were notified already way ahead of time so when it FINALLY happened – I guess I was prepared. We were prepared. I was kind of psyched already to what life will be onwards. I have had a full circle of the corporate life — mostly in Customer Services and Operations in a highly dynamic telecommunications industry. I’m truly grateful. I have learned a lot, worked my way up and just too content and ready to go. Besides, I’ve already crossed the 20-year mark of service. Great years of work and learnings, mind you!🤓😌

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Ohhh, the joys of retirement! (photo from Pinterest)

Fast Forward to the PRESENT    As I lingered in my present state, there were a lot of pauses. My primary consideration is to MAXIMIZE this new stage of my life. I don’t expect and yearn for “all-glory” days. I don’t even regret and fret at what could have happened. I am not discouraged by the unfamiliarity and uncertainty of the future either. I am eternally hopeful and optimistic. Constantly looking forward to making beautiful, beautiful memories with my love ones and taking better shots at LIFE now — meeting more people, exploring more places, doing whatever I like and  doing it WELL. Hopefully – been there, done that…life goes on!

Exactly on the 11th month of my retirement – I figured deeply that I wanted to do something NEW. Guess what? I’ve always known I wanted to write. WRITING is one of my passions. I launched my WordPress blog. I had too many apprehensions then. How do I start? Will people bother to read what I’d write? I went ALL out for it with a myriad of different emotions. There was unexplained joy afterwards! Then, I went into freelancing work as a writer a month or so after. I mustered enough guts (and humility and pride combined) as I transformed into a “content writer-slash-article writer-slash-blogger.” So it’s true what they say that novelty and challenge keep you happy. Unexpected stuff will not only surprise you but will bring happiness. When you hurdle any unfamiliar situation, no matter how tough it is – there is a deep sense of satisfaction AFTER. Makes you treat each day as more fulfilling and richer. Oh, time seems slower, too. Everyday becomes too exciting. You look ahead to what God has in store for you in so MANY ways in this new challenge. Aawww. I am feeling IT!!!!! A new challenge gives you also a new sense of identity. It helps you GROW. So, what became of ME? I am not just a retiree or a homemaker or anybody like that. I’ve expanded my horizons. I have a new identity, a new set of skills, new experiences and new people I am meeting along the way. I.AM.A.WRITER.

NEW Life, NEW Blessings

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Retiring early?!? Relaxing all the way but taking the TIME to start anew! (photo from Pinterest)

How I did it:

1) THINK of one passion or NEW skill you want to pursue or learn. Check your community for groups that might be offering trainings on what you want to pursue. Read up online for courses – whether free or not. Take the plunge. Or do it through “self-learning” like what I did. Had read and watched online tutorials on starting a blog and writing in general. By some good stroke of fate, I met some seasoned bloggers in our city and got good pointers. I followed their blogs, too.

2) FOCUS and FULFILL that passion. Concentrate on making yourself good in that skill once you’ve chosen it. Some people have the mistake of learning two or maybe more, all at the same time. Focus on just ONE. If you’re just starting, devote ALL your energies on what you’re after and build up your name. Read and learn more until you have enough knowledge. Remember, learning a NEW skill is a task that you want to be good at. Make use of TECHNOLOGY. I can not overemphasize its importance. There are a lot of available articles, blogs, webinars, and tutorials to help you out. Invest in building up your skills. You can never go wrong with it.

3) EMBRACE fully your NEW passion. Be confident about it. Don’t underestimate the power of SOCIAL MEDIA nowadays. Show off what you’re up to with all your family, friends, new online friends and followers. Who knows, you might even turn these new passions into something that’s income generating later on. Yay!

SECOND chances? NEW blessings? Whatever!?! ☺ ☺ ☺

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Live the LIFE…live with PURPOSE! (photo from Pinterest)

Just FOLLOW what’s in your heart, mind and soul. Continue to walk out God’s PLAN for your life. It will undeniably keep you excited, energized, inspired and always ready for LIFE!

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to 
prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
                                                    Jeremiah 29:11
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summer thoughts…..

Hello, SUMMER??? Am I late?  😜  In our part of the world – summer usually begins  by end of FEBRUARY towards this whole month of MAY.  When I was a kid, I always look forward to the beginning of summer. Obviously – because we’re off from school and it’s vacation time. I guess our generation then were not so much on gadgets ( if it was heard of that time, hehehe….)  so we were ALWAYS OUTSIDE playing and doing our other activities that we get to enjoy to the hilt. Perhaps – climb trees, catch some butterflies, grasshoppers and dragonflies ( are there still to catch  of these nowadays?!?😀 ), or go out and stay for a day in our neighbors’  or  friends’ homes just doing nothing and playing all day long. We played  the usual board games like Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Jackstones, Dominoes or Pick-Up-Sticks  inside the house but we were more on the “rough and tumble” local games of our time like Piko, Patintero, Tumbang Preso and Agawang Base. I know – millennials may not be aware of these stuff so better ask your parents about it. Haha! The games outside were kinda’ physical but too exciting! We were never tired then and our bodies were so limb. Ahhhh….those were the days!😆

Cherishing these summer memories of my childhood….then reaching adolescence  until we were all caught up in “summer puppy love”  this time.😍  Haha!

Don’t you just love reminiscing about summer?  I. DO.  But more than that – summer is really a break for us to rest…refresh…recharge….renew our spirits. Thank God for those bright rays of the sun! I just love summer! 💛💛 💛

 I ended up scribbling a few notes here and there and came up with a poem.  I wanted to have something for this SUMMER so here it goes…..

In the quiet, tacky midst of summer,

Against the blurs and lights of the flower;

Cotton-candy clouds in the bluest skies,

Telling me there are a million miles,

          To dream on, look at the rainbows and  discover.

 

      Butterflies and birds chirping a-flutter,

Going through the leaves, the grasses and flowers;

Rays of sunshine beaming upon them,

Brightly echoing the music around them;

        Until I yearn for that splash of water that makes me ponder.

 

Why, oh summer why ….you are but a wonder,

Captivating my heart to think and blabber.

As I lounge in my hammock in surrender,

          To the sound of the waves, looking for memories to gather,

Staying calm and cool as if nothing else matters.

 

   When summer ends, thoughts of it make me quiver.

 Those lull moments when you just wait and stutter;

As the days begin to fall short, nights are longer,

I smile and begin to be as hyper as ever,

        For  I know summer will come back so never, ever falter. 

 

 

Have a happy life! 

 

 

 

Psalm 74:17...."You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you 
                have made summer and winter...."

 

back to basics….

Last Holy Week, the Husband and I were at a place called Datu Salumay somewhere  in the outskirts of our city. We were set to spend 3 days ( before Easter ) in this place  known for their locally-owned resorts where you can actually feel the BEST of both worlds – scenic hills & mountains and the refreshing springs and waterfalls ( though in small-scale only). This was our 2nd time here, the first one was many years ago when we camped out and slept in our tents. We did the same  thing (that is, sleeping on tents…) except that there are a lot of provisions NOW than before like we had a dining hall and a makeshift kitchen in one of their big cottages where we prepared & cooked our meals which the owners unselfishly offered us. This resort is owned  by a friend from the church who has lived here for a number of years already being empty nesters though they still have their house in the city.

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Datu Salumay – a perfect place for unplugging!

The resort is actually a “no-frills” place with just nature  at your midst. What you can see are a lot of GREENS –  rows of trees, small grasses with flowers, wildflowers of all sorts, unfamiliar plants and flowers of all colors and in-between :  some chickens, black crows and dogs. These animals are friendly and ensure you wake up so early in the mornings with  their varied tunes and sounds. Haha! But the selling point of  this mini-resort is a spring set  in a “semi-forest” ambiance. Just a small hike from the entrance where you’ll pass along rows of trees is what you’ll do to be able to get here. Don’t worry, it’s just about a 5-minute walk. 🙂  On summer days like this on a tropical country like ours, every Holy Week makes for a perfect time for family and friends bonding over anything –  but always, a trip to a body of water is surely a welcome respite in the sweltering heat  – could be a swimming pool, beach, river, sea, waterfalls or spring as long as you’d get refreshed and cooled down. Beating the heat, as they say!

So, when the resort’s spring was all to ourselves on a Friday morning – we took that  dip and yes, the chilly air added to the easy breeziness of the place with more plants and trees around you. Well, the ferns are BIG literally!  It was FUN – much like when we were young kids taking a bath in the rains or  our backyard’s  inflatable pool while we exchange stories and sometimes,  fight over silly things! We didn’t take long  in the water as we were quite cold, haha. Oooopppss….seems “age” is showing a bit, LOL! 🙂

Cold shower, anyone? Hamming it up with church mates on this spring…..ohhhh, so refreshing! 🙂

 


It was a worthy, fun and meaningful break for us.  It was just “back to basics.”  Life on a slow lane. Enjoying what you have, living the LIFE! Waking up early with God’s wonders around,  finding mist in the grass or just watching  the crows fly by is just pure bliss! How often can we experience that? Mornings have become too ritual for us, ‘right? We need to get up early or we’ll be late for our work or the day’s appointments.  We need to do a lot of chores before we can ENJOY the day! We nearly catch our breath and before we know it,  we could not EVEN enjoy that cup of coffee.  Ha!  Isn’t it just so nice that we slow down enough to notice and appreciate the gifts God puts throughout our day? We should do MORE of that. Better said than done, I know….but the best thing is that it can be DONE! Agree? 🙂

It was a recharging full of surprises! Sleeping in tents under a full moon is a BONUS! In much the same way  that I was able to bond with people who matter, sang familiar songs of praise, had time to talk and just be able to relax and unwind in a different setting.

Thankful to God for this time….going “Back to BASICS” is certainly therapeutic.  It is healing. It is restorative. It brings one renewal and recharging.  I am refreshed and energized  for the next adventures!  LIFE – bring it on!

        Relaxed, renewed, refreshed – all set for life’s NEW adventures! 🙂

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE!

 

 

 

1 Kings 5:4 "But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side.              There is neither adversary nor misfortune."  

wait, wait, wait…..

 

Waiting is one of the most usual things we do in our lives. We wait in line at the supermarket,  we wait at the bank to have our transactions processed, we wait  in the clinic for a doctor’s check-up, we wait for results of a medical procedure we went through, we wait for results of what we’ve done or made – like baking a cake or planting  crops and so on and so forth.  Waiting has become a huge part of our lives, indeed!

 What are we WAITING for in our lives? God’s PERFECT timing, that is! We could not move ahead of His timing or else, we are going against God’s plan and like taking the matter in our own hands. But if we miss His timing ( could be that we fell behind or didn’t go through the waiting…  ), then we might not be able to ENJOY the blessings altogether that He has for us.  Walking with God clearly gives us the wisdom of knowing when to wait and how to wait. Learn to wait on Him as it brings Him HONOR while giving us our own PEACE. Ever heard of the ART of waiting…or rather,  the JOYS of waiting?  🙂

So wait, wait, wait – WE all MUST

*** (…. in the “POETRY” mode these days, wrapped up a limerick… so here it goes…)***

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Photo taken at Christchurch Botanical Garden – Christchurch, NZ/ Autumn 2016
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Waiting is wanting to shout “why, oh, why”?

Is there a reason not to whine?

Be still.....be quiet that’s what,

Or else – you’ll feel flat.

Just be patient - it’s gonna be alright.



Sometimes we wait a while,

At times it doesn’t feel worthwhile.

But waiting teaches us somehow

That whatever happens anyhow.

It is God's WAY - so just look up and smile.



We seem to wait for long over some stuff,

Don’t scoff as things might puff.

Be surprised at what LIFE might pop -

Either you’d flop or end at the TOP,

Whatever it is – don’t let the waiting stop.



Waiting makes life a bit exciting,

Makes our hearts skip a beating.

But when the PERFECT time comes-

Just marvel at what GOD faithfully does,

Wait you must... but worry you should not.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

 

 

   "Wait for the Lord, be strong, and let your heart take courage;
                                             wait for the Lord."
                                                       ~Psalm 27:14

#love@20

Last year, the MOST popular post in my blog was the one I wrote for our 19th year wedding anniversary. Yay! 😊 I was pretty new in this field of blogging then and admittedly, I was not expecting to have the kind of response it had that way. Totally elated will be an understatement. 😊😊😊 My heart was FULLLLL!❤

Today, FEBRUARY 28 – much as I wanted to write another long post to mark a MILESTONE of 20 years, I decided to give “poetry” a TRY. Haha. Yeah – poems! 😁 I know I’ve tried doing poems before — back in school so many, many years ago. But sadly, I haven’t finished ONE or TWO poems which could have been published then…in school paper that is! Hehehe.😁 But I dreamt foolishly of having my own poems published in a book or magazine, too. But the thing is – I just tried and tried but NEVER finished.

So, to Mr. Google I went last night and researched for these types of short poems. Came across the type known as “Limerick.” So, I FINALLY made one whole poem dedicated to my dear husband of 20 years, Butch – my Papa B. 💕💖

( I showed it to him this morning as we woke up in a “surprising” kind of way – how??? He was in our study reading something from his laptop. Requested him to open the printer as I’m printing something from my laptop (I was in our bedroom). So, lo and behold – when it was printed, he got hold of it, read it and then came up to me and asked, “Did YOU write this?” Hahaha! 😁 Suspicious!!! 🙄 Then he goes, “Let’s frame this with an artwork or something?!?!” Or maybe “put it in a taaarrrpppp”! LOL!😁 I guess that means he liked (or loved?) the poem. I’m glad he did!). 😊❤😊

So, here it goes :

PHOTOS of THE DAY! (…20 yrs ago…)


A woman said she’s destined to live alone,

Planned to leave and go outside her time zone.

Alas, one day without any word, 

Someone made her a sounding board.

     And so life made sense and turned into a different tone. 



He followed, befriended and wooed her to no end,

Until she cannot do anything until the very end.

Gone were her plans of going abroad,

Stopped her dreams of living in the first world.

Guess LOVE – that’s what made her decide in the end. 



She thought at first they would not make a good pair,

He is formal, strict, always precise - so would she dare?

But GOD showed her that true love is like that,

You love the person despite of and no matter what. 

And so their love grew and together prayed for a future.



She made it through in a city that’s refreshing & true,

Enjoying a life that's simple but definitely not blue.

After TWENTY years, her heart is full and thankful,

Amazed by GOD who made it colorful, so grateful!

Making the years count was not an easy goal to pursue.



To dear husband who I am celebrating this twentieth,

Excited for what’s going to happen next until the fiftieth.

Love is old - but seems always new,

Love is ALL – it is really about YOU.

♡♡♡ I love you ALWAYS with no breadth...but with MUCH depth.♡♡♡

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*So thankful & grateful to GOD for 20 years! We love because He first loved us!*

Have a HAPPY LIFE!

 

 

 

 1 Corinthians 13:13 "So now faith, hope and love abide, these three;                           but the greatest of these is love." 

one year & grateful….

ONE YEAR. Wooohooo! I started blogging at WordPress about a year ago ( and 2 days, to be exact…) and there’s no turning back. Ahhhh!😊 Flashback to that pretty fateful day as I completed my very 1st blog on a cafe in a hospital while waiting for my doctor’s appointment ( which incidentally is where I also completed the final draft of this post — the only difference is I was at a waiting area for a medical procedure…). Armed with my laptop, a small notebook, a pen and yes, a cup of coffee (~wink~) – I finished the draft in just one sitting. I had 5 more blog posts after that…all in the SAME month. What a 1st month….yeah?!? Can you believe it? 🙄 I know, I know…I’ve regressed so much during the past year (~sigh~)….but hey, no regrets for now. Hopefully, THIS YEAR is a better one! Hello, REGULAR posts??? More frequent, no matter how short they may be. 🙂 After all, writing should not be forced. Or treated as a “push-button-let-those-ideas-flow” kind of thing. I believe it just hits you in a perfect way at a perfect time. So, WRITING is like LOVE. ♡♡♡ Hmmmm. 😄 You have to really love it to be able to MAKE those ideas come to life….to connect, to feel, to give it ALL and to share and bring your purpose to your readers.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

My 1st year was nothing sort of overwhelming and outstanding but I’m content and very pleased that each piece was written just the way I’ve wanted to DO it. Some posts were left in “Drafts” for sooooo long, but somehow I managed to have them published in the end. Ha! There were hits and misses, surely…..but the good thing is that while learning the nuances and getting the “feel” of this thing called “blogging” – I just embraced everything that went with it. As in EVERYTHING! I gained a few followers, met and connected with people from different places on this entirely NEW platform. I also began following & reading a number of blogs. I admit I have favored a few over others. Some of them with their blogs existing for so many years. I can ONLY imagine how they’ve kept up with their “followers-slash-readers” faithfully and eagerly anticipating their NEXT posts, so much like when you’re waiting for THAT serving of your FAVORITE food on the table! I hope to be like THEM as I go along this journey ( yes, trying to be positive and optimistic though half-heartedly at that ‘coz i have some doubts, TBH…). They’ve been doing THIS for YEARRRSSS yet I wonder how they’ve managed on WHAT to write next and yes, how to write so beautifully at that consistently ( as having MY own bubble thought: How can I do that as ‘easily’ as them? Seems “second nature” eh? HOW???😶).

Well, on the same period last year – I also went into “freelance content writing” so that explains why I was not as “focused” and maybe, I was not as determined because I have another platform to look at. Blogs have no DEADLINES, unlike the writings you do with clients which have assigned contracts and milestones within them. With freelancing, you sell your skills to your clients and they get you if they find you to be a good fit. I had mostly ups and downs on this platform but I know that this is what I would rather DO for now than anything else. I’m enjoying the spontaneity and freedom of work hours. I am up to the varied writing challenges which somehow keep me constantly on my toes (with googling or giggling in between… 😉 ), LEARNING new things everyday and getting THERE….in time, perhaps! When I usually get bored or stuck, I do a LOT of other things to perk me up, keep me sane and a little more creative — whichever way I fancy at the MOMENT : read a book, watch TV, get to my social media or word games, listen to Spotify music, tend to the plants in the garden ( be it the dried leaves or the wilting flowers), walk around the house a few rounds, or maybe play with the dogs on very rare instances ( yep- not so much of a dog lover). Or take a 30-minute nap. SIMPLE AS THAT.👌

So, there are TWO “1-YEAR” milestones to be grateful for :

BLOGGING & Freelance CONTENT WRITING.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

Thank you for following and reading my blogs for the past year. Thank you to my freelancing clients as well. SPECIAL MENTION to the one who mentored me on my very 1st writing assignment, Mr. C. I had to make 2 revisions before it was finally approved. I didn’t know better then but I’d like to believe that I’ve taken all those HARD lessons well enough to be able to last for a year. Ha! So much hope for BETTER things to come as I continue. But for NOW...

I WILL KEEP ON WRITING and BLOGGING!

HAPPY 1st YEAR ANNIVERSARY to ME!!!!! 🙂

Have a HAPPY LIFE!

 

 

  "If you surrender to your passions, you will always shine bright."

clean slate….

I am so BACK,  it must really be the New Year! 😊  The last quarter of 2017 had been pretty “crazy-busy” with life matters  taking priority over writing in the blog. I swear I had the pure intentions of doing it with 1 to 3  topics that have been initially thought of, outlined and composed but the drafts were left as they ARE until….it’s Christmas! ⛄🌲

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Time to “smell the flowers!” ( location: EDEN NATURE Park, Davao City, Philippines)

And so it has been a slow, easy and pretty awesome few days into 2018. I’ve been in the thick of writing the articles I was supposed to finish before the year ended but because it’s the season, I had to slack a little (you know what I mean🙄). For the start of this brand new  year, there were more lumps of  languid time just trying to focus on what needs to be DONE at the moment.  My goal is really to slowly get back on track (albeit quite reluctantly at first…) and trying to make each day BETTER. After 5  days, writings have been completed. It was a triumph of sorts admittedly  over some struggles. Now, what’s NEXT? 😊

First, I vow to spend time for books AS MUCH as gadgets. Or MORE THAN is what my real OBJECTIVE is. 😊 I have books still unwrapped for years  that I might finally, FINALLY read this year. Fingers crossed. I still have an unfinished book I was reading from last year, some half of it still. And so I guess it will be a READING year for me. Aside from a little lingering here & there…. plus more WRITING, of course!

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photo credit: IG via @redbookmag

The 1st few days had me spending time in a bit of everything I like to do (and not) as I know embracing the year ahead means I have to take care of that gift called “TIME.” After all, New Year means TIME and being READY for a lot of things. Time to learn. Time to upgrade. Time to heal. Time to forgive, time to start anew. Ready to grow. Ready to improve. And really get better. And I’m so ready for NEW energies, new passions and maybe some creative pursuits, too. We’ll never know. Let’s see. Anything that will excite me to shove, push, jump, kick, shake, run, bend, twitch, snap, and move forward on this YEAR.OF.THE.DOG.  Nope, it IS  the YEAR of the LORD. ALWAYS. 🙏

How is my year going, so far?  The 1st day of the year was nothing short of being happy when surprisingly,  we had a bowl of fruits harvested from a 30-plus year old tree in our backyard. Totally unexpected but we were so elated and thankful at the fruitful blessing, literally & figuratively.🤗The day after I spent doing a bit of gardening – the usual pruning, weeding, clearing and re-planting. Just like in LIFE – maybe we all need to make a clearing out of all our worries, struggles, anxieties, disappointments, regrets, insecurities  and fears from the past year. Had to be purged  from our minds and hearts. IMMEDIATELY. Letting go of what’s negative, bad, wrong, harsh, false, sad, loudhard, difficult and all the stuff that hinder us so we can make a way for all things NEW, positive, true, good, gentle, peaceful, kind, beautiful, encouraging, uplifting and promising.✔ A kind of stepping-up! Replace your mental closet with thoughts that would enable a mindset on growth, learning, success, excellence and a POSITIVE difference to make this world a much better place to live in. How TRUE is that? I know I’ve learned a lot of these from the perpetually inspiring words of Francis J. Kong, one of our country’s best inspirational speakers, a personal favorite.

I had to declutter a portion of my closet ( among the many to come, haha..😄 ). There were a lot of trash filtered and discarded – old bills, receipts, flyers, travel guides, tickets, travel notes, mundane writings from slips of paper.  There were some gifts from recent years that were left untouched  but found a way to be used now, maybe not ALL for me but I know there’ll be people who will be only too glad to have them.  I had to do this more frequently to create a BIGGER space for the “more useful” things or those constantly being used. That new SPACE certainly becomes beautiful and attractive to the eyes! How refreshing!

Aside from the mental closet, we also need to ponder at  the kind of relationships we share and build with OTHERS  – the friends and the people we usually have as company. If their values continually lead you to unhealthy or “difficult-slash-toxic” lifestyles and if their core compromise on both issues of integrity and trust, then it is time to LET GO. Stay clear of them or else, you might suffer the consequences. As Albert Einstein advises, “Stay away from the negative people. They will always have a problem for every solution.”  Enough said.

As the NEW YEAR unfolds, resolutions are coming in. As resolutions fold, CHANGES  are in. But it takes TIME  and we go back again at IT.  Isn’t this the MOST predictable thing to do at the start of every year?  But life moves quite fast now, that if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could MISS IT!  

There will ALWAYS be a deadline to meet. A  train to catch. Errands to tick off in the list. Chores to finish. There’s a project to fulfill. Another meeting to attend. Writings to complete and research on. A nostalgic reunion of family and friends to catch-up.  Another top, pair of shoes, a bag or accessory to order ONLINE.  Oh yes – a LOT!!!! 😊

But for now, I will release whatever is not needed, what is cluttered. I will MAKE room for small, BEAUTIFUL things, MOMENTS and yes, PEOPLE. Maybe explore more places (again!), meet new friends, be more of ONE seeking  risks and also courageously taking them well.  A few random thoughts to check or ignore. I will continue to create “pauses” in my life’s routines, but ALWAYS turning to music (Hello, Spotify!🎵🔊🎶)  when everything seems to be in a haste and will just be soaking it all in! I will be  incessantly grateful for life’s wonders and surprises — the perfect and not-so-perfect layers of life which find me then and now, putting a VALUE to who and what matters to ME, most of all.

And amidst all this,  I will take MOREEEEEE time to smell the flowers!!!!! 😊🌷🌺👌

Happy New Year everyone! Excited to what’s in store for ME for the rest of the year. I hope you are, too! 😊

♡◇☆GOD is forever faithful! ♡◇☆

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

 

"...But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against
such things there is no law..."
                                                     GALATIANS 5:22

 

of science, selfies and memories…..

 

How often can you attend your secondary school’s 50th year? Secondary? Or…simply  HIGH SCHOOL.  Not often, I guess. It sure is a “ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME” event! So, I did went to ours 2 Saturdays ago. 🤗🤓👓📝📚 As early as the start of this year, I knew it was something worthy to attend but being based now in  the far South part of the country – in the islands of MINDANAO, I admit I was a bit reluctant at first to GO for it. I had my second thoughts, 3rd or 4th thoughts even.🙄😔 Hey, but at the back of  my mind were these ‘bubble thoughts’  – “I’m out of work, just retired,  with some “manageable” freelance work ( ‘small writings’) and has NO definite scheduled activities nor visitors yet for mid-September – why could I not go? Then, out of the blue – a very good friend, a “barkada” ( or ‘squad member’ of today’s millennial language, hehe…) sent me a Private Message at FB. It was J. Being an anesthesiologist, this lady is a busy doctor, balancing work and career and yes, a rather reluctant FB user and for her to message me asking me to join the school’s 50th is quite a “tall order.” Frankly, I am REALLY surprised!  Peace, Dra! 🙂 I didn’t give  a commitment that time  as I was not yet sure of my schedule or the hubby’s. Things might come up! But deep in my heart – it’s telling me: GO…by all means!!!! Soooo….BOOMMMM! 💥 Early JUNE – there were PROMO fares from a favorite airline. It seems the stars are aligning to my universe….so why not?!?!

I immediately booked a DAVAO-MANILA roundtrip…as I was early and I really waited for the 1st day of the promo period – I had a very easy time.  It was a fare I couldn’t resist – P3,150 when the regular fare would usually be close to 10K- 14K depending on how early you get your tickets. It’s almost 78% OFF – okay, do the math ( thanks to my HS science education…I can still do it…but I hate Math, haha!). NEXT AGENDA: accommodation. Of course, I can always stay at my Mom’s house in Quezon City but I figured if I can get a good price, why not stay at the venue (in a 4-star hotel…) so it will be more convenient with me. You know how it is in MANILA now – going from one place to another. Got it?!? Not used to it anymore. OK – don’t even get me started  on that…please!!!!! 🙂 It was a good decision after all! In fact, I stayed at the hotel for 2 nights!  It was  on PROMO, too! Talk about BLESSINGS IN TIME!  I also requested my nieces, K and B to join me on my 2nd night. Both of them are from the same school I attended so there was some  sort of “synergy” among the three of us! 🙂

 

The EVENT – what happened:

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Although the program was supposed to start 5PM, it didn’t…. till 8PM. But we were not mindful at all!  It was a rather “short” catch-up with the doctor-friend as she had to go to a family commitment – watching a daughter act in a play! But I was happy we shared some moments, hehe.  Short and sweet. 🙂  I could only hope we will have a  longer talk next time. Either here in Davao or in Manila, whichever. Another friend, C,  was coming from the far South of the metro and also had to do some ‘mother-errands’ that day….but the good thing is that we’ve reconnected already (albeit, unexpectedly) late last month so we just moved on from where we left off the last time. 

Well, I guess the HIGHLIGHT of the evening was the awarding for some alumni of the school (different Batches at random) who’ve made an impact to the community and the country. Our Batch is no exception.  Our awardee, Dr. R,  is a distinguished geologist who has both  Masteral  and  Post-doctoral fellowships in his line of expertise from the University of Tokyo. A multi-awarded geologist and a recognized authority in nickel laterite ( what, yes…aaahhh ok….nickel something…whatever it really means, hehe…). He has also done pioneering researches on Philippine rocks and soils and has been a guest speaker/lecturer in many international undertakings, to say the least. WOW…just wow! 🙂  But to us, he will always be the quiet guy in our Batch – ‘Puge’ as we call him   –  unassuming, witty, funny and serious at the same time.  Happy to know he loves to study and research. 🙂 So really proud of him….WE all are!!!!! 🌟🏆🎖🌏

But do you know the the “real” highlights? They’re the small, random moments which are left to memories that one day we would want to relive and share with the rest of our  batchmates in perhaps our  NEXT homecomings: 

  • Shrieks of “surprise” and “happiness” upon seeing classmates for the 1st time after HS ( well,  some are really like that – no sightings ever until this event –  although we’ve had regular meet-ups in the past when a classmate out of the country comes home and we also had our 25th year about 12 years ago…) ;💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼
  • The shrieks will turn to laughs when suddenly one realizes she blurted out the “WRONG” name, haha ( and this actually happened…);
  • Lots of  stories about what’s present and what have been – mind you, some are in the “second wind” of their careers proving that we always remain competitive and productive; 🤓
  • Some of us went to our teachers’ table and went guessing who they are, the  subjects they taught and what year we were when they taught  their subjects….ahem (with all humility) — I got it quite perfectly; ✔️💯🙌🏻😝
  • Taking selfies or groufies were the most in-demand (or enjoyed) activities during the event ( but mine was updating my IG stories, haha – *wink*) as expected since we weren’t born with this ‘thing’ and so we’re keeping up with the times…. but most will say – “Where do we look?Hahaha! 👯👭👬

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  • When time came for the BATCH cheer – ours of about 24 people didn’t feel too “small” compared to other Batches with a lot  – maybe about 3-4x more from us. We agreed to stand up and shouted at the top of our voices “BATCH ’80!” It made quite an impact and every Batch thereafter followed suit – they also stood up! But we were the FIRST to do it. Yay!!!!! 👏🏻👏🏻✔️🤗😅😜🙌🏻🙌🏻
  • Had “goosebumps” while everyone was singing our “Alma Mater” song! This is really  an “iconic song!”  The melody and lyrics stuck to my MIND up to this very day! I’m pretty sure I will never forget this song till I’m 84! 🙂
  • We planned to have a quick “after-event” catch-up of  maybe more chats (and “harmless” drinks…) but sorry we didn’t know of any good place near the venue. Hehe. Had I known  that  there’s a McDonalds nearby – we could have done with burgers, sundaes and french fries that midnight! So the plan went pppffft! Everyone was too-tired and some  had to wake up early for some appointments for early Sunday morning so maybe next time…..we can plan ahead for that! 😁

All in all, it was really worth the time….nothing compares seeing people from your past  – people who have shared the same struggles (keeping up with the “QC GOVERNMENT SCHOLAR” tags…), hardships, joys, triumphs, milestones, defeats, crushes, Science Fairs, CAT trainings, most favorite teachers and most feared ones ( yes, there was – ahhh, Practical Arts, hehehe…), class  anecdotes, extra-curriculars, organizations and our sprawling school grounds where grasses grew TALLER than us (Aren’t we lucky SM NORTH EDSA was not built yet (which is literally a few steps away from school…)  – or else, most of us would always cut classes, hihihi 🙂 ). Ahhhh, memories. Too bad – “no Facebook-slash-Instagram” yet to snap and post  those pics of priceless moments! 🙂 

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Photo source: Pinterest

We were honed to be “analytical-creative-imaginative-logical-inquisitive-systematic-critical”  yet we were also “studious-cynical-adventurous-rebellious-carefree-persistent-responsible”  AT THE SAME TIME – these were   traits formed when we (the girls) were in our memorable white tops and blue-plaid skirts and the  boys in their  white polos and blue pants. The DISTANCE and YEARS apart were never issues when we get together AGAIN and AGAIN – it’s as if we’ve never left our dear Alma Mater. Forever SCIENTIANSYES we are!!!!! ♥

Have a happy life!

 

 


"...To distant lands we may go, searching for truth and the unknown,
    To thee we pledge our loyal hearts and souls..."

                 -excerpts from our QCSHS Alma Mater Song by A.Sison- 

 

 

my happy place…..

1) Genuinely warm, friendly & helpful Davaoenos (translation You will always feel “at home” here).

During my first few weeks here, I rode a jeepney  ( hubby usually would drop me off at a mall in downtown as our offices are quite far apart and getting around the city in a public transport was not that difficult either…). I was seated to a young lady who very graciously pointed out to me each  one  of the names of the streets we passed by as we did. So vivid in my memory was when we were at Cabaguio Avenue and I saw the old Assumption School building.  Then we realized….alas, I rode the wrong jeepney. It was a different route from what was I supposed to take. The same lady, without any hesitations, directed me to where am I supposed to ride again. So, my famous statement as I was about to get off- Manong, ‘gar lang!” only to find out when I reached home that it should be “lugar lang… ” or “sa tabi lang…” as the usual  phrase to say in the vernacular ( English translation: “Please stop by the side, I am getting off…”) . You see, the regional dialect mostly spoken here in Davao is Cebuano which I knew nothing then.  What I did was just repeat what I heard from the other passengers. Darn! 🙂 At least it sounded pretty much the same and the driver understood. Ha! Okaaay,  I was able to reach the office in one-whole  piece  after that quite long, roundabout  trip!!!!! 🙄

 

2-3) FAVORITE Fruits : Mangosteen and Durian ( in that order )

One night going home from the office, the husband stopped by McArthur Hi-way, got off  the car,  bought something from the side of the road and guess what?!? He made me taste THAT durian straight from the shell. Oh my!!!! It was heavenly despite the pungent smell! Haha! 🙂 I know some locals are still averse to it even now,  but not ME! It was really sweet, fleshy and has a kinda’ tangy taste  to it but this is what makes DURIAN what it is! 🙂  Ohhh, MANGOSTEENS?  I would always crave mangosteens and eat a whole bunch in one sitting, too. It seems I will never get tired of it. I love its “sour-sweet” taste. Imagine buying them at 20-30 pesos per kilo at a time  when the supply was in abundance years ago…..and how I would buy them by number of bags till  they filled-up  the back compartment of the car. No kidding! 😱😱😱

 

4)  Paradise Island Park & Beach Resort –

Paradise in Davao – yes, it IS! Imagine going to the beach in the morning, eat your breakfast along the beach, swim, explore the mini-zoo, walk along the shore and you’re back home by lunch. You can always go here in the “spur-of-the-moment,” too, and enjoy as much! So very near, accessible and convenient (as comparing it when I used to live in Manila and I had to wake up really early then travel long to our destination for a dose of beach and nature… ). I love that this place is also clean, has nice & polite staff and has many things to offer other than the beach. Good food from their restaurant, too. Don’t miss PARADISE ISLAND when in Davao for a refreshing dip! 🙂

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Truly paradise at Paradise Island….

5) Cafe Demitasse  – My “to-go” breakfast place after my lab exams at the nearby Davao Doctors Hospital. More than the Filipino breakfast meals, I love their coffee – it’s Caramel Macchiato or maybe French Toast or English Toffee flavored Cappuccino for me. Their food presentation is lovely but  it’s their coffee’s  distinct taste and flavor that I enjoy drinking anytime.  Cozy ambiance & nice interiors, too. This place is a “constant” in my life!

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Coffee at Cafe Demitasse is a “CONSTANT!”

6)The Swiss Deli & Restaurant – My love for their “seafood salad” and various sausages started when I was still working in  my former company which is just a stone’s throw away from their original restaurant. Now they’ve branched out down South – much nearer our home, but somehow, I felt much more comfortable and at ease with the one in Lanang. So many memorable meals shared with family, friends, guests  and ex-colleagues there. I’ll let you in a little secret: it’s our usual ‘refuge’ when things get so rough & stressful at the office, but not at ALL times though! 🙂

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Fun times with former colleagues at SWISS DELI in Lanang
7) Picobello Ristorante Italiano 
Remember the “UNLIMITED Pizza” here from 2PM-5PM? Oh, and the ‘open kitchen’ as well where you can see the wood-fired oven?  It was a hit with many and I was no exception. My pizza faves are the  Con Salsiccie and Calzone.  Yay! Although they have a new  place now  – I will always have fond memories of the old resto inside the JS Gaisano Mall in Ilustre St. Our comfort food when we were craving for pizza and pasta and some tummy-filling steaks. By the way, Swiss Deli and Picobello have the same owners –  a Swiss who made Davao his home after marrying a pretty Davaoena.
8) Marco Polo Hotel’s  Cafe Marco
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Breakfast date with the hubby at Cafe Marco…

Nothing beats their buffet breakfast here with a complete spread – one that we always look forward to during special occasions or when we have families and relatives coming over.We particularly like it here during the Kadayawan month which is AUGUST when the lobby has  the usual festive, lovely decors while some hotel frontline staff are dressed in their authentic & colorful tribal outfits.

9) Ellen’s Tuna Queen (Halo-Halo)

A simple, homey and popular resto we just discovered a few years ago along  DBP Village in Maa. We saw this place in their old location  and we just had to follow where they’ve relocated.  Perfect — in their very OWN home! The friendly owner ( yes, Ellen 🙂 )  usually gets into conversations with her customers and we instantly became one of her customer-friends.  The common love for good food and yes, dogs (for the hubby) is the usual topic we never get tired of talking about. We frequent this place not only because of their famous ‘paksiw na tuna’ along with their ‘lutong bahay’ (homecooked) food. It is their HALO-HALO (a Filipino snack/dessert made of crushed ice and various sweet ingredients) which we crave for – whatever the weather is! (ALSO READ: halo-halo : my summer’s ultimate comfort food ) .

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The BEST halo-halo in Davao…simply homegrown!
10) Eden Nature Park Resort 
Another place I can’t get enough of is EDEN – apparently, one that should always be in any Davao  trip itinerary.
As you go up the mountains ( nope, it will not take you hours as it is just about 45 minutes from downtown Davao) – one can already feel, smell and breathe the cool, fresh air. A day tour is  highly recommended but more than that, bask in all the greeneries around –  beautiful and rare flowers (hello, mickey mouse!), the very old fruit trees, the organic veggie gardens. Say hello to the native deers and peacocks roaming freely in the grounds, too! 🙂  Don’t forget to try their SALADS as all the ingredients are taken straight from their gardens. I spent my 1st birthday in Davao with the hubby in this resort and it was indeed memorable since I got sick all-throughout so we didn’t enjoy the stay (we booked overnight). Of course, we had to come back for another special occasion, haha. Later on – we would always come back here as this is one MUST stop for our first-time Davao visitors. 🙂
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Can’t get enough of you, EDEN!!! 🙂
11) Corework Pilates
Been their client  for years already.  Tummy in, round your back, table top, flex & point and many more are the words I’ve come to know, learn & do. Love going to this studio right at the heart of the city – ambiance is light, fun,  warm and very engaging. Never a dull session with the people here – owner, instructors and staff.  Pilates is LOVE...and LIFE! 🙂
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Pilates is love & life! 🙂
12) Tiny Kitchen –  The place to EAT really good food! What I love most here other than their paella :  beef
salpicao! 🙂  Plus their fresh sandwiches  on their very own ciabatta bread. And cucumber juice. Not to forget – frozen brazos! My staples! Would usually take out 2 loaves of the ciabatta bread after every meal.  A MUST dine whenever we have visitors and a positive feedback is always in order. Never fails! What’s NOT to love here? N-O-N-E.
Even the couple-owners are very friendly, warm and accommodating! They never fail to smile or wave  back whenever we are here  and if they’re not too busy   in their “not-so-tiny kitchen” now. (P.S. My FB and IG accounts are flooded with pics from this place which means I eat here too often).

13) Abreeza Mall  This is my favorite mall ( oooppps, sorry to my friends from the other mall). When I was still working, this mall is my temporary hideaway as it’s between office to home.  But coming from home – this mall is quite a distance.

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Photo credit: IG @ iloveabreezamall

Anyhow, since  this mall opened, I never have to shop  in Manila or elsewhere – they have all what I need here. I have a few favorite “stores-slash-brands” and when the retail therapy in me strikes – I make an effort to visit, more so  during SALE season. Who doesn’t love to shop anyway? 🙂  I appreciate that they have open restaurants, too,  and art exhibits or bazaar activities occasionally that are  great for checking out!

14) NCCC Supermarket Definitely, our place  to go for grocery-shopping. Wide, clear aisles and mostly complete items on their shelves. Plus when you compare prices with the other supermarkets – they will turn out to have the lowest prices. Why – it’s a wholesaler’s favorite! “A penny saved is a penny earned,” as they say.

15) Ahfat Seafoods Plaza Whether we dine or buy take-out food – we usually order : Eight Treasures,  Bamboo Pith with dried scallops – both clear soups, or maybe Green Seafoods thick soup ; Deep-fried spare ribs, sauteed  “chaysim”  veggies with garlic sauce,  steamed pampano (or the seasonal sergeant fish) with tausu and yes, pomelo shake. Oopps – don’t forget the crabs, too! In any way it is cooked doesn’t really matter.

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When ALL else fails, try AHFAT! Yum! 🙂

Ahfat has 3 branches – all within a compound. We usually go to AHFAT 1 or 2. ( Couldn’t help but remember sharing a dinner here with a visitor coming in from a delayed flight in Manila – AHFAT was there to satisfy our unsatiated hunger  and boy,  being “full” that night is clearly an understatement!).

16) Aldevinco Shopping Center – Every Davao visitor surely has visited this “shopping haven of batik items and other local crafts” one way or the other. You can’t miss it especially if you’re booked at Marco Polo Hotel which is just in front of it. I have a few “suki” sellers here where I go for pasalubongs (souveniurs), for my own house dresses & shorts, beach essentials and the like.  Did I say if you want  $$$ in exchange for your pesos or any popular currency – this is the place, too? 🙂

17) Lachi’s –  This very popular ( read: ALWAYS FULL ) restaurant in a subdivision at the city center is always a “welcome treat!”  Their unforgettable pork ribs – clearly their most requested meal is worth a try and addicting! Our “to-go” for lunch when it ‘s usually late  ( as we will not stand a chance during peak hours…) My favorite dessert : sans-rival. Enough said. 🙂

18) Sugar Munch Cakes & Pastries 

We usually get our cakes here for family and friends for special occasions, usually at their Quimpo Blvd. branch – the nearest to our place. I love that they have  a number of branches all over the city. When I was still at work, it was the Lanang Branch where we usually drop by. My favorite – Butter Caramel Cake ( which is also not too-pricey ). Life is sweeeeeet! 🙂

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My fave at SUGAR MUNCH
 19) Jack’s Ridge Restaurant  
My reason to go here: Have the BEST views of part of the city at NIGHT – they look like stars! 🙂 Aside from that – this place has an interesting history behind its location. You will know that when you’re here. Don’t forget to pass by here if you are in the city!

IT.IS.QUITE.A.LIST. Let’s wait till the 25th year and surely I will update it. 🙂 How about you? Where’s your happy place? What makes it so? Let me know your thoughts, too.

But for now, let me ENJOY my happy, happy place!
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The BEST views of the city at night  at Jack’s Ridge

Have a happy life!

 "You have to find that place that brings out the human in you. the 
soul in you. the love in you."  ~ R.M. Drake 

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