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Happy wife, Happy life

….musings of a happy wife & more….

It’s this time…..

It’s THE middle of the year and we are CATCHING UP…..what?!?! 🙂 We are ending the month of JULY today. Uggghhh. So tomorrow we begin AUGUST, the so-called “ghost month” for some. Oh well.  AUGUST in our city pretty means a LOT – it signals the start of an almost month-long celebration of a very popular local festival – the KADAYAWAN Festival where flowers and fruits abound and locals show their gratefulness and appreciation for all the many blessings and bounty of the year. Why — it’s also been “one-of-a-kind” tourist attraction here. This time is really fun, vibrant and very colorful! Just like when we are embracing fully the month ahead with BIGGER, BETTER opportunities. Hopefully. And soon afterwards – we might probably hear the first Christmas carol for the year.  Awwww. I know we are getting there….and BOOM, 2018!!!!!

Time indeed flies and how…..surely the next few months after AUGUST are getting to be as exciting, too! Was it just the beginning of 2017 when I was looking forward to what GOD would have in store for ME – thinking really hard, pencil pushing, mind planning, checking, reading….AND searching — in a quite deep “retrospect” first and looking forward ( with a lot of questions on my mind…)  on how I will be able to spend the year 2017 in a different light… different perspective….in quite a different WORLD. So, I started to WRITE and have my own BLOG….and tried some freelance content writing on the side.  Still doing it though. 🙂 And the rest is slowly making a little bit of history. Yeah. And don’t forget the gardening – it was a pleasant discovery of the joys and inspirations of gardening this year, but that was not really planned! 🙂

Indeed – it’s that time of the year : MIDDLE of the YEAR  or simply MID YEAR.

What does MID YEAR mean to YOU? Some would easily think of “MID YEAR BONUS!” 🙂 Understandably so. For those who are gainfully employed ( well, I hope that 100% of them get it anyway….) — this is something that is eagerly anticipated. Sadly, for ME – it is just a thing of the past. Haha. 🙂 More often than not, this “midyear windfall” is rewarded to the eligible employees way before the middle of the year and now I begin to think WHY.

Honed by years of corporate experience – I am wont to doing my MidYear Performance Appraisal now.  Geeezzz! With a lot LESS of STRESS though. 🙂 Just for “personal consumption.” I believe this is a pretty good exercise. ANYONE could do it – even if you’re a student in school, engage in your own business or just coasting through retirement. This appraisal may or may not achieve want you want…but hey – it’s a damn good exercise for a start. It provides one with 2 OPTIONS : to go through what you plan and do everything to hit your goals, even surpass it and do some learnings on the side to help you out (Performance Development Planning). These learnings are not necessarily to be paid for – you can learn from others’ experiences, read a lot or do some self-study. That’s what most people do and that includes ME! 🙂 Maybe some goals didn’t do well as planned or for lack of a better term – FAILED! 😦 That’s what you have the 2nd option for : Performance Improvement Planning. What went wrong? Review, analyze, improve and innovate. Think of breakthroughs!?!? 🙂 CHANGE of plans? Maybe….maybe NOT. All up to you. Just think that FAILURE should NOT be an option again. Go and move forward!

First question to ASK:  Did we achieve the goals or KPIs ( Key Performance Indicators ) we set at the start of the year – the same way we do in the corporate world. Once the evaluation & simple analysis have been completed & we know what the results are (either positive or not — doesn’t really matter….)  —> then we can start again with a “clean slate” as it sort of psyches us up. That everything is going darn well and if we need to correct or improve somehow, we still have 5 months to MAKE it happen. Talk about changing plans or adjusting to tailor-fit what you know will MOST likely hit your personal targets! Or maybe, scrap all those goals altogether. But ALWAYS for a reason and for the better!

Alongside with this MID YEAR thing – there are 2 “constants” which I never FAIL to do when this time comes,  year in and year out :>

  • HEALTH CHECKs √ – Midyear signals my appointments to my opthalmologist and dentist (yes, along with my more regular (i.e., quarterly)  routine medical check-ups with my “cardio-slash-endocrinologist”….)
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    Photo credit: Pinterest

    The good news is that my eyes remain well and I get to maintain my reading eyeglasses (see, no “corrective lenses” for almost 3 years in a row… 🙂 ) and my retina is in perfect condition. For this year – I also had minor dental fillings (for grinding too much of those M & S mint & toffee candies…) and other than that, the dental check-up went smoothly, too. Heaving a  sigh of relief plus thankfulness (especially that I am not with my company-issued healthcard now). All is good! 🙂


  • DOWNSIZING SPREEs  – I know –  quite late for “spring cleaning” but I was able to clear up my cabinet again this mid year and gave out tops, pants, shoes and bags to my sisters, my Mom (even) and “millennial” nieces. You know how fashion goes – definitely in a continuous cycle! 🙂 These are the stuff which are not that old really – some in fact were unused or slightly used. How truly liberating it is! 🙂
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    Photo credit: Pinterest

    I’m pretty sure my love ones will find USE for them. But nope – I’m not making way for “spaces” for NEW stuff. If there’s something – like  maybe a top, shoes  or an accessory that will be brought in – it’s considered NOW  a “special purchase” for me. 🙂 My retirement for nearly a year and a half made trips to these retail shops along with their frequent promo (always with matching SMS to remind and entice me…) such a rarity nowadays. The Husband is VERY pleased. Ha!

 


Aside from the 2 constants — what am I also reminded of at this TIME of the YEAR : 

  • SALE everywhere  ⇐At the retail front – this month is also their time for “MID YEAR SALE.” Who doesn’t want a SALE? For the retailers – I guess this is more of a “Logistics-slash-Inventory” strategy to let go of their stocks accumulated through the 1st 6 months.

    Time for NEW styles, new stocks or even changing of brands or suppliers. For the customers – what they’ve been eyeing all along, a certain product or item – may come at half the price now or maybe even better such as in a “BUY 1, TAKE 1” PROMO. Lucky you!:) Who wouldn’t take ANY of these offers? I would ANYTIME…..but ONLY if I need to.  Oh, those midyear sales are just about anywhere which we couldn’t escape our eyes & pockets from.  My strategy: “persist-to-resist!” 🙂


  • TRIM, PRUNE, repeat  – Time to trim those leaves and prune those branches and check which plants  may need uprooting and re-planting. Check your garden and do some cutting-up to OPEN up new spaces! This is what I just did a few days ago and it was so timely! Gave me a “refreshing” feeling afterwards. The sight of the old, dried leaves and branches all stacked up in one BIG pile gave me a different kind of “contentment.” Simple joys! Maybe just like when we clean up our room or house and dispose  the “unwanted” stuff. Gives one a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment afterwards.  De-cluttering —  is that it?!?!
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    …the stack of “UNWANTED” from the garden…

    Time to check ourselves, too. Do we need to be “trimmed” and “pruned” as well? What is it that you want OUT or cut off from your lives? Let go of all the bitterness, anxiety, anger,  worries, resentment and frustrations.  God’s Word is the PERFECT TOOL for pruning  and trimming our lives. Without meaning to – God’s Word sometimes is so sharp it can actually remove all  the “unwanted stuff” — the “dried-up leaves” and “criss-crossed branches” we have that hinder us from fluorishing and GROWING.   Once you’ve done this – you’d feel more ALIVE! Ready to BLOOM! YES, blooming with confidence and determination to bravely FACE the next 5 months of the year…..until that mid year comes again next!  🙂

         Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

 

    "Believe you can and you're halfway there..." ~Theodore Roosevelt 

 

to be still and quiet…..

One of the few simple joys of retirement is obviously being free from the daily grind. Well, maybe isn’t that the MOST that gives us (retirees) the joy!  🙂 That said – it just means that we have more TIME to spare. True???  No more morning rush, no hurried prepping up, and YES – no more 2nd, 3rd or 4th sleep episodes after the 1st snooze of the alarm clock beside you (…oh well, now there’s really no need for an alarm clock  to speak of, unless you have  a very early morning errand  to do and besides, waking up early NOW is not much of a problem….).

Morning rush aside – one of the BEST things I really enjoy these days  is basking in silence….in quietness. I guess those who know me as much would not believe it – ME?  QUIET?!!? Haha! Very rarely do I keep quiet. But it’s a fact that I enjoy this language of silence  any TIME of the day, more so now as I am free from the 8-5 job  (of course,  NOT  having so much of a specific daily agenda as  it is makes it a possibility…)  so such is the MODE when you practically have no  urgent matter that you are obliged to attend or do. It’s usually a “sit-in-space-slash-do nothing” peg for me and what is there not to love? 🙂


A few days ago,  I’ve had this episode where I kept still and quiet for maybe 2 hours straight – just   sitting on my favorite spot at our porch overlooking our front garden and the street outside and  I found out that:

…….” two birds kept hovering our “makopa” tree (or “tambis” as the locals call it) and they have built a nest somewhere in the upper portion of the big tree”;

…….”one of the many  tricycles passing by our street kept that blaring music playing  which can break any ones’ eardrums and boy, that music was really looooouuddddd ( I could   just imagine the agony of the passengers)” ;

……..”the 3 pots of our  citronella plants already need trimming as their leaves are now  long  & overlapping,” and so forth…..

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Photo source : Pinterest

The time of being silent and quiet, being able to see, hear and feel a lot of things is probably one of the favorite past times I do anytime of the  day. Each episode is DIFFERENT.  It can stimulate all my senses yet it “quiets” my inner being.  Soothes my  soul as I hear myself and then think of  beautiful thoughts. Mostly.  Maybe related to what I see, maybe NOT.  It really doesn’t MATTER.

Some people have the notion that we can have a time of “stillness” only during the early part of the day – as the dawn breaks or just as the sun is beginning to rise. Of course, NOT! You can always enjoy the language of SILENCE and have it at your OWN time. Own PACE. Own SPACE.  Anytime.


How to enjoy the SILENCE and QUIETNESS  in your life ( I’m sure these are ALL very-familiar to you – really some of the simple and basic ways to do it) :

  • MORNING & NIGHT ROUTINES ~  For early-risers, MORNINGS are the best time. Suffice it to say that when you have a FULL schedule ahead of you during the day – it is best to adjust your sleeping time, say an HOUR earlier for you to wake up a little earlier, too. You can then squeeze some minutes for your “quiet time.”  For me, early mornings are the BEST. It’s that time to say our prayers, too – grateful for another day and asking for wisdom and strength from our Lord to go through calmly with all our activities for the day (week). Starting the day with a PRAYER certainly does wonders and puts me  in the RIGHT perspective to face the day’s challenges. Believe me – it will change your mood from  being a ‘grouchy’ to an ‘inspired’  and ‘energized’ one and who wouldn’t want that?  You tend to be more forgiving of the morning’s annoyances — the DAY simply is  just wonderful! 🙂 For  TIPS on waking up to brighter mornings, you may also read this previous post: waking up to my sweet & bright mornings.   For the night owls who can hold late nights very well, their  TIME at night is just as peaceful as in the early mornings. Turn away from any stuff that will hinder you from having the quiet time – gadgets, TV, books, caffeine and just bask in the  “silence” in your room (could be totally dark or not ) and enjoy!  🙂 But be sure that as you do this – you’re nowhere from   dozing off  to dreamland!  Falling asleep while keeping in silence! Hehe! 🙂 It’s so likely that you’ll have a good night’s rest  after  no matter what  – as you review how the day went – the highlights, the surprises and even the hindrances you’ve conquered  and  then you realize that there’s another day worth looking forward to AGAIN.  Life goes on. Tomorrow will be a lot bettteeerrrr!

  • NATURE TRIPS  ~ This is certainly one of my “favorites!” Communing with Mother Nature. ♥♥♥

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    “…..enjoying the stillness of mornings at our little garden….”

    Oh well, it doesn’t have to be that far – could be in your own garden, in the park, along some trails in the woods or  some open, green spaces in your community. We need to escape once in a while from our house, school  or office – to get away from it all and looking to nature is certainly a good CHOICE. Some will go as far as climbing a mountain or going to  a lake, river or an island. How do you find the peace in nature?  Just stare at it. Period. But of course, you appreciate it and embrace all of its grandeur and beauty and thank the Giver. As you do this, let all positive and inspiring thoughts flow – enjoy the MOMENT – even the rustling of leaves from the trees  or the gushing of the water from the lakes or rivers around will lull one to lovely thoughts. Best feelings in the world – believe me! 🙂  ( Living in a city – aside from nature trips – you might as well check on other OPTIONS like national parks, public or private gardens, museums, art or any creative work galleries and even public libraries to also spend your time and enjoy the solitude – some of them are really  just FREE so you need not spend much – right?). 

  • READ, READ, READ ~ Who doesn’t want to read? Probably, each one has his own favorite book  that when you start to read it – you are lost in your ‘own’ world! 🙂   I love reading, especially when the weather is a little gloomy (or raining) as I sip down a cup of coffee. This can be anywhere else, too. Can be in the comforts of your own home ( your fave reading nook) or  a quirky coffee shop nearby. Or you may be up there in the hills, among the gardens or along the beach shores.  Or do it while on queue- waiting in a doctor’s clinic, in the airport or maybe in the mall when you’re already dead-tired from all the walking and shopping. Reading is a perfect way to keep silent that’s enjoyable at the same time.  Much to learn, too. Don’t you agree? 🙂
  • Have your own JOURNAL ~  Here’s another one that I always wish doing but can not keep religiously.  Writing a JOURNAL on a daily basis is a habit that’s worth keeping. I know that as you DO it day in and day out  – it becomes ‘therapeutic’  isn’t it? 🙂 One of the BEST things you can do is this  journaling thing – whether at the end of the day or maybe the start of each morning! As you continue to reflect on your daily activities – it teaches you lessons from the experiences, brings a smile or smirk as you recall some moments and gives you a perspective on how you can improve or be BETTER later on. Maybe after a few months or so, or even after a year or years – when you look back at this journal – it can reveal a lot of things that you may have taken for granted…. but will make you reflect on the WHYs and HOWs. Why did you do it? How did you do it?  Was it ALL worth it? Journaling provides you the details and somehow brings  clarity to what you were thinking  at that point in time. You could not have remembered EVERY detail  if you have not written down all your thoughts on that “something!” They say that blogging is one way of  putting into journal your ideas, your  thoughts and opinions, even maybe your  desires, frustrations and  just anything you want to say by writing them down.   Blogging is perhaps  a good reason for doing a journal.
  • WALKING is LIFE  ~ Put it simply, WALKING is my favorite  thing to do while clearing my thoughts or putting on a LOT of thoughts. Whichever or BOTH 🙂  I prefer to do it first thing in the morning as I stretch and find my way around our neighborhood. I like the simple feeling of walking plus isn’t  it a very uncomplicated and uncostly way to start your day! Walking gets our blood flowing. Gets our mind thinking. Gets us GOING!!!!! As you stride in and get that feel of the “morning sun” in your face or that “breath of fresh air” in your body – that’s heaven!  Add to it the different people you meet along the way, or the greeneries and blooms you see, and even those rare “slice-of-life” moments you can capture and snap while you walk. Walking is indeed one of the BEST pleasures  that I do now that I have stress-free mornings.  Walking gives me a different high and as I continue to walk , I think of various ways to inject some fun, variety and excitement to it! 🙂  ( Aside from walking – any other form of EXERCISE you engage in can help you also enjoy silence and quietness  – be it running, biking, swimming or maybe Pilates or Yoga. I  do PILATES 2x/week and it’s one of those things I can’t give up – definitely,  another happy pill for me,  a mind and mood-booster that keeps me strong, aligned and flexible. Plus of course, keeps me still for a while….much to my core’s advantage. 🙂 ).

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Photo source: Pinterest

Enough said.  SILENCE is not an absence of ANYTHING but a presence of SOMETHING. It’s not an emptying of  ONE THING  but a filling-up of  MORE than that – it’s FULL of EVERYTHING!

Silence gives us the ANSWERS, if we ONLY listen. Do not merely hear but LISTEN well. Understand your thoughts. Keep quiet….be still. Have a good, humble silence.  It leads to RIGHT hearing, RIGHT thinking and  RIGHT understanding.

Enjoy the SILENCE as it lasts. Keep the LESSONS and get it from your soul  & heart! ♥♥♥

Have a happy life!

 

Proverbs 17-28....."Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." 

 

friendship goals….

About 3 months ago, I met my friend from way back. We met here in the  city where I live now. This is a “special friend.” Why? Aside from her being much younger than me 🙂  – there’s one thing I couldn’t forget about her. Guess what??? She actually went out of her way and sneaked to my wedding day very, very early in the morning of February almost 19 years ago, as she just wanted to see me on my special day. Geeezzz. Our wedding was an intimate one shared ONLY among family and a few close relatives. No friends have been invited on both sides to avoid missing out on ANYONE (but we made it up for them right after the wedding, ~wink~). I remember that time this friend showed up in my hotel room – my hair was being done and my face was being made-up. I was with my Mom. She stayed for a while and we talked a bit. Quite awkward, yes…. but I felt the love and support of this girl. Of course, it warmed my heart, too. ❤ Priceless moment indeed! One for the books!!!!! 🙂

Friends are like precious jewels. You care for them in a tender way yet you do not “hide” them forever in your jewel box or case. You “wear them lovingly” and “show them off” as you feel proud. You feel good wearing them –‘right? 🙂  I hope your friends are like that. They make you feel good. They make you feel proud. I believe it cannot be just ONE of you either – you need to share this feeling BOTH at the same time. For how can one be a “true” friend when it is just a ONE-WAY thing? Aaahhhh…true friends are indeed hard to find. And friendships are nurtured, taken care of, and most of all, treasured. It takes time for it to GROW! Just like plants, I guess.

Friends usually share a few things in common. Or MORE maybe. We build friendships first in our own community or neighborhood. Starting them small – even as early as toddlers, as our parents or nannies would attest. Our playmates in the park around our village. Our neighbors. Our parents’ friends’ kids. Our cousins. That’s why we have “childhood friends.” My childhood friends are our neighbors where summers were spent only by playing and lounging around – both outdoors or indoors, but more of the former. Did I say we practically spent the whole days outside the house doing all sorts of things? See, no gadgets to tinker with. All we have was NATURE then. Ooohh, those dayssss! 🙂 As we started going to school – we develop friendships with our classmates. From the early years in Nursery, Kindergarten or Prep School to Grade School up until our adolescent years in HS or High School. I guess that’s why the term BFFs or “Best Friends Forever” was coined. Or you may prefer calling them  TFFs or FFs“True Friends Forever” or plainly “Friends Forever.” Whichever way you like to call it –these terms of endearment aptly pertain to these people who’ve been with us the longest – like our childhood chums or buddies. We count here our classmates, seatmates and school bus mates. Or maybe our summer classmates in swimming, ballet, taekwondo or maybe some other sports we learned and trained for in our childhood years. Or perhaps, our choir batchmates in church.


What do we usually FEEL and DO when we come in contact again with OLD friends?

  • We HUG and FEEL the warmth of each other. Oh yeah,  it really feels SO GOOD to be in touch again! We always have that “special connection “with them that when we see each other again- it is as if it was just like yesterday. Notwithstanding the long years (or maybe just months or days….), it really, really DOESN’T MATTER.
  • We CHECK ourselves and say something about how we look NOW – maybe not as differently or a LOT more differently. But who cares? 🙂  Friends would tell us the nastiest things. But as they say – words are piercingly sincere  if they only come from the heart and spoken out of LOVE.  We all don’t mind as we have all matured and grown personally and professionally!

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    Photo credit: Pinterest

Sounds familiar? Yes, typical of old friends —aside from questions like how “big” you’ve grown and how “pretty” you’ve become(ahem, haha..), a lot more demanding follow-up questions will surely crop-up.  Just about everything “different” from the way you looked before can be a “conversation piece!”  This is so true only if you’ve been away from each other for a loooongggg  time. School reunion? Alumni Homecoming? Annual Christmas Party?   Oh, these “small talks”  will be so familiar like:

…. “Your hair was kind of curly before?”     

.You were the shortest among us in class but you’re so tall now?”

.…”How come you look fairer now?!?”

And the LIST goes on….

( I remember in one of our HS reunions, a classmate quipped, “Hey Carina – you hair before was like golden corn in color  – what happened?” 🙂 Well, I responded – “Nope, it was chestnut brown actually!” Haha! 🙂  That answer also came from another classmate who I vividly remembered telling me that specific color back then, almost 35++ years ago – would you believe? ).

But in this social media generation now that we are in —  the way you look TODAY would seem not a “SURPRISE” anymore from those who have known you from way back and have not seen you at least ONCE  – unless you’re just an FB or IG lurker who doesn’t do any feeds or posts. But alas – your “selfie” posts or otherwise will give them an idea on how you are in no way similar or so much similar from your “younger” years…as long as you’re all friends on FB or you follow each other at IG. 🙂

  • We FEEL nostalgic – YES, about ANYTHING!!!!! We joyfully reminisce. We suddenly remember our crushes, the class bullies, the kind guys, the top students, the kinda’ different & the nerds and a few other interesting people who are really “talking points” for us!  But we always talk about them lovingly and in a good way….promise! 🙂
  • We feel that we are YOUNG again – Oh, yes – talking with your old pals  and giggling and laughing out loud for jokes and anecdotes you can ONLY share and understand among yourselves. There are quite a few stories worth sharing again and again! Even if you know what these stories are all about – you ALL still laugh! 🙂  We usually go back in time and start remembering DETAILS of unforgettable events, no matter how trivial they may seem….as long as these memories make our hearts skip a beat. ♥ ♥ ♥ There’s no better way than reliving all those experiences that we now treasure in our lives. Isn’t it  great to feel young all-over again? 🙂
  • We take PRIDE in what we’ve become — be it having climbed up the corporate ladder or having our own successful business or  worthy endeavors that have pre-occupied us through the years! Time comes when there will be talks not just of children but more passionately about grandchildren. Retirement comes in second also if you are at that period of your lives  and  you share on what keeps you all  busy and sane after the corporate years. Giving back to the community & church or volunteering and making yourselves available doing what you’ve wanted to do or pursue are expected topics of conversations, too. New-found passions. Travels. Investments.  Health concerns, medicines, longevity  – are such topics that won’t escape  you and your friend  in those  catch-ups as well.

I’m pretty sure there are a LOT more feelings or sentiments that we experience if we are with our good, old friends. We may even do a lot more crazy things than reminiscing! We may not see them for a long while but when we do, it is such a BEAUTIFUL moment! A piece of wisdom to ponder is that good friends are one of life’s greatest treasures. Sounding like an oft-repeated cliché but it is so true! With good friends, you feel secure. They’re there at your side and this means not just literally– you feel it even while time and distance set you apart. They’re attentive, they’re curious, they’re concerned and  interested on what have you been up to. You gladly share life’s joys, triumphs, milestones, inspirations and achievements. At the other end, you take part in each other’s burdens, sadness, moments of grief, disappointments or frustration. They will cheer you up no matter what.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

So, seeing your friends after a while makes us feel truly EXCITED – which brings me to this fact: we will be having our HS reunion in 2 ½ months celebrating our school’s golden year! It has been a well-planned activity with Batch ’92 leading the way. How will  these millennials going to slay it? I am extremely curious and very eager. Their teaser alone is impressive, sort of  nicely conceptualized and highly-digitized   – it looks like it’s going to be one memorable year in our school which used to hold this activity in the school grounds itself ( now, it will be in a more special place – in a “hotel venue”). It will definitely be something to look forward to as I will be seeing old, good friends ( “barkada” as our generation’s term was to the milleanialish term now of “squad” 🙂 ) and classmates & schoolmates again. Old friends are like GOLD, as some would say.  A golden year plus golden friends!  Such a “subtle” message  – no need to elaborate, hahaha!  Can’t wait for  this day!!!!! ❤

 

Have a happy life! 

 

      Proverbs 27:9..."Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the  
        sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel...."

 

through mountains & life….

“The MOUNTAINS are calling, and so I MUST GO!!!!!” 🙂

This is certainly one of my favorite mountain quotes of all time. Who doesn’t want to see mountains? Some people prefer a lake, a river or maybe a sea or ocean over mountains. The soft ripples of the waters and the “blue-slash-green” hues calms them. Some would take the mountains or valleys, including terrains or rolling hills anytime. A matter of CHOICE, actually. I love BOTH. But I have to admit though that I am  awestruck with the MOUNTAINS a bit MORE than the bodies of water. I just love to see mountains – even glance at them from a distance. There’s just “something” about mountains that keeps me ALL glued to it every time! Kind of enthralled. Gives me peace, calm, tranquility. Oh, and it relaxes me…. it soothes my soul in a way that my heart flutters and my mind wanders.

So, the description of what a MOUNTAIN is to ME is actually TRUE. Geeeezzzz. 🙂

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source: Pinterest

Some of the daring and thrill-seeking ones will not be content with just the “glimpse” or perhaps, the “shadows” or “shades” of the mountains. They would rather CLIMB and CONQUER the mountains. Always in pursuit to reach the SUMMIT. They want to reach the TOP. For what?

But many like myself will just be pleased and happy by looking at them. I know some are like me, too!  🙂

As one of my favorite song goes:

“…There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb….”

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Location: Te Anau, New Zealand

In LIFE – mountains are merely anything that we have to face day in and day out. Could be our families, our job, our marriage, our children, our church, sickness, our friendships and relationships, our fears or worries, our loneliness, and yes, aptly even our dreams and aspirations.

Do you have your OWN mountains – and how do you deal with them? I guess we ALL HAVE. But the thing is – if you want to climb your mountains – better be prepared for it! To be able to climb – we need a mindset that says “I CAN DO IT!” Scaling the mountains isn’t easy, dear. Who doesn’t want to FALL…and FAIL?  We all like to be winners or heroes somehow. Always.

We have our OPTIONS though. What do you want in LIFE? Do you want to climb with the summit in mind since they say the view from the TOP is the most beautiful thing? Gives you a certain indescribable HIGH. But of course, this takes the most “planning” and “preparation.” If you want to have a tough climb and be successful, then, be READY for it. Be FIT (as you would if you will literally climb a mountain). At times, preparation takes longer than the ACTUAL run, climb or goal. But if you want to succeed, you will do it.  Be armed with life’s experiences and lessons. Be skilled. Find strength in prayers. And FAITH. Yes, much of it. For how can you go on and on without your belief, be it in yourself, the people around you and more importantly, with GOD who reigns supreme ABOVE anyone and anything else?  If ever you encounter things that will block you off or get you out of focus, fight them off.  PRAY.  You are determined to reach the top, no matter what. A “never-say-die” attitude is a MUST. Patience is crucial. Oh, and it’s true that nothing, yes nothing, is  IMPOSSIBLE.  

Or do you want to just take it EASY?  Make the climb gradually while appreciating the views along the way – sort of scaling through life’s mountains in your “OWN” pace – no pressures. But hey, you are just going with the flow and whatever the outcome is, you are not to be disheartened, agitated or down. You know that life’s like that. REALLY like that. The important thing is you are doing your BEST. Same with LIFE – sometimes our “bests” are not enough. Sometimes we fall down, but every time we fall SEVEN times, we get up EIGHT times. A quip from a Japanese proverb. So much WISDOM there!

Or maybe, you would just rather stay in the sidelines – more of like waiting in the base camp where you just give your support and watch at how the others are being bold, fearless and awesome. These people fulfill their conquests with sweet victories. You are happy for them. Their winning is like your own. Some people are like that. They forego their own dreams or goals. Just happy to see others’ pursuits without even thinking of their own. They may not be as courageous. Or they do not want to take risks. They know they can do as well and maybe even better, but they rather not. Maybe there are limitations. Or they’re lacking somehow in love or support or maybe resources. Or there’s NO deeper self-motivation.  Or maybe they are just as delighted to have a GOOD rather than VERY GOOD or EXCELLENT.  Whatever it is, there’s nothing wrong as long as you feel it is not worth to sulk about. And you’re satisfied, happy and OK. That’s the MOST IMPORTANT. 🙂  

A MOUNTAIN will not be a mountain if it will not take your breath away. 🙂

They say that you need to FIND things that take your breath away – ‘right?

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source: Pinterest

A MOUNTAIN will give you the PUSH so that you will ascend towards it no matter what. You will wonder and wander. You walk, hike, run, cross rivers, climb and do more climbing until you find what you’re looking for. You drive and drain yourself out. Well, a view there atop with all those lovely clouds is certainly inviting and haunting. One MOMENT to cherish. One for the #bucketlist. 🙂  If you have a DREAM and you’ve worked hard to achieve it, the rewards surely outweigh all the sacrifices and efforts you went through.

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Location: Saddleback Haven @ Davao City, Philippines

If you think a MOUNTAIN is not worth climbing, then this is perfectly fine. Just like in LIFE – you choose your own battles. And be at PEACE with it.

But if you know and feel that this CLIMB will be worth it, then, by all means – GO. FOR. IT.

You climb the MOUNTAINS so that you can SEE the world, not that the world can see YOU. Makes a LOT of difference.

Want to see the world?  MOVE mountains, perhaps! 🙂

 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard  seed, you can say to this 
mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will 
be impossible for you."   ~ MATTHEW 17:20

loving summer weddings…

I just love weddings….and I love attending weddings! Who among us doesn’t? 🙂  Been there, done that!?!  Each wedding is unique in each own. A matter of taste and wishes. But we can’t deny  – something about weddings inspires our hearts. Being “overwhelmed with emotions” is truly an understatement! 🙂

In a span of 2 weeks recently, I was able to witness 2 weddings, quite alike  but different in many ways – one that has been tested through time, that is, 25 years! A SILVER celebration as many will call it. The renewal of vows came  at the most PERFECT time (as wife already reached the summit of her career and about to retire from the corporate world…) as she said, “Thank you (to the hubby) for letting me fly for 25 years, in the next 25 – it’s my turn to serve, love and care for you.” How heartwarming can that be! ♥♥♥  The other one – is where both the groom and bride will just be starting on an entirely NEW journey, a NEW life together –  as the couple promised to  have and  to hold, in sickness and in health…for better or for worse….and you all know what’s next. 😉

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Source: Pinterest

I must admit feeling the same level of excitement as I think of the days approaching before the 2 weddings. Hubby was saying it is as if  I am ACTING that I am the would-be bride”!!! Haha! 😀  I guess it is because it was my very 1st time to attend a SILVER wedding and I looked forward to it. Hey, 6 years to go before ours but maybe we will just have a “simple” celebration by that time (hint…*wink*).  The only time I attended one  was the 50th or GOLDEN celebration for my grandparents on father’s side. I was just 12 or 13 then, many, many moons ago! 🙂

For the 2nd wedding – I am doubly excited as I’m seeing a friend fulfill her dreams of marrying a man whom she loves & loves her back even MORE, putting into LIFE finally her most cherished dream wedding. It was the PERFECT TIME, too for them. It has been planned earlier and Summer of 2017 was meant for it to happen. It was such a beautiful culmination of a LDR ( or Long-Distance Relationship ) and the GRAND prize that they received from all the sacrifices going through a “so near, yet so far” relationship. 🙂 I certainly know how it felt. I, myself is a product of LDR and I guess when you get to the point of marrying your THE ONE – the more it becomes a joyous, pretty ecstatic and a much heartfelt MOMENT for you both having spent many previous milestones and occasions  in a highly-digital mode, or most of them online ( oh well, in my time – long distance calls over landlines is the way ( no facial expressions though, haha…) and snail mail is the thing. Until e-mail came in….BUT no social media yet to speak of, hoowww really SADDD, huhuhu…). 😀

Since we are on the subject of celebrating weddings – let me give you some BASIC tips on how to help you plan out  for the MOST SPECIAL day of your lives – not only for the ladies, but more so for men. Yup – men should also be prepared and geared up for THE BIG DAY!  After all, ALL eyes will be focused on BOTH the groom and the bride. It is really a “couple” celebration and admittedly, maybe the SPOTLIGHT is often ( if not always) on the BRIDE! That’s why they say “walking down the aisle” is one of the highlights in any girl’s life. She is at her “most beautiful and everything” in her wedding day! Oh yeah! 🙂

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Source: Pinterest

With the social media lording it over us nowadays, you can’t help but make your WEDDING one that is worthy to be shared, appreciated and awed with much love and inspiration (and other gamut of emotions in-between). Something that will be remembered for a long, long time. Hey – it’s not something that is perfect but the LOVE that goes with it will be evident all the way.  The 2 weddings Hubby and I were able to attend would you believe have the SAME  videographers & photographers! What a coincidence, a pleasant one at that! Both had very creative and beautiful  “SDE” (Same-Day Edit) videos shown during the wedding programs….as well as pre-nup/pre-wedding and of course, the actual wedding still shots. In both occasions, the results were really awesome! BRAVO!!!!! 😀 What a great choice as I noticed that the people behind them were really very young guys. Awww. Must be a MILLENIAL thing-y! They’re really good, so creative and produced outstanding work. Top-of-the-line, to say the least! 🙂

So, let me just have a run through of a list on the most usual and general requirements for a wedding. Oh well, attending two weddings in a row doesn’t make me an EXPERT yet. Haha!  🙂

  • Hire a WEDDING PLANNER or EVENTS ORGANIZER. This is the way to go NOW. Of course, a part of your wedding budget will go here but usually the cost will outweigh the results. Bride and groom can relax a little bit and may do other important details as the BIG day approaches. Or if both are working, they may  just focus on their jobs first and attend to wedding matters when they’re off at work. Usually, the wedding planners  have the network of other major wedding vendors and/or suppliers. They have relationships and can probably give their insights and experiences on how they’ve dealt with them before. This is IMPORTANT as who wouldn’t want their wedding foolproof? The works of the wedding? These should be taken cared of and hiring someone to do it for the couple is one of the best decisions. Go for those who are professionals in this field and who have the best reputation and feedback from previous clients. You can never go wrong once you’ve shortlisted and chose the BEST of the BEST.
  • Have a THEME. At this time in our country, SUMMER is the theme that is apt – and both weddings lived up to it. The SILVER wedding has the pastel-floral theme with only the bride and groom in whites. The male entourage wore beige summer polos & khakis while the female counterparts were in their flowing, sheer floral gowns and donned summer flowers in their hair. The other wedding has the same “summery-slash-floral” theme with colors of green, white, teal, silver,  gray and “nature-ish” ambiance all over! The flowing tresses of green & white long stems & leaves hanging from the ceilings, the all-GREEN grasslike backdrop for the stage and photo booth with the wedding’s logo, ornate crystal chairs  and  lovely enormous  floral centerpieces made the venue a feast for the eyes, indeed! 🙂 How refreshing the sights and I love the vibe that go with it in both occasions! ♥
  • Decide based on the COUPLE’s PREFERENCES. – True. The couple have to decide on their BUDGET, first of all. From there, work on these 3 items first – DATE, VENUE and GUEST LIST, including  the ones who will most likely participate in the wedding rites  like the  Principal Sponsors or Witnesses and the Wedding Entourage. Of course, based on our Filipino tradition – family and relatives are TOP PRIORITY in this aspect of planning. Couples should have a “mutual” agreement and both sides of the families should be well-represented.

Other details to work on for the couple are as follows :

  • Photographers
  • Videographers
  • Wedding Venue & Reception Bookings – whatever is the choice ( be it in a garden, a beach or a hotel, restaurant or clubhouse…)
  • Wedding Officiator – Priest or Pastor
  • Marriage License requirements
  • Wedding Outfits
  • Hair & Make-up Artist
  • Wedding Invitations
  • Wedding Vows & Special Messages to Parents ( if couple wants to have their own, personal vows to share with each other as well as their special messages to honor  their parents )
  • Wedding Rings
  • Florists
  • Caterers ( as the case may be )
  • Wedding Giveaways/Souvenirs
  • Wedding Program – band/musical instruments/flow of program/host/entertainment
  • Honeymoon plans & bookings

* These details can be shared with the planner/organizer who may suggest and recommend but of course, FINAL decision always will be based on the couple’s preferences or wishes. Some very good and useful  inputs are expected from the hired event planner/organizer based on their first-hand experiences. Oh, and don’t forget your wedding’s #HASHTAGS! This is a MUST for this generation’s weddings! 🙂

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Source: Pinterest

Having said all of these, I guess the real work begins right AFTER the wedding. WORK on making the marriage WORK. 🙂 Needless to say, GOD should be at the CENTER of one’s marriage. Their ANCHOR as well. Always. PRAY, PRAY and just PRAY! As for the SILVER or GOLDEN celebrators, this is already something that they hopefully have within them. If not, 25 or 50 years may be too long – ‘right?  But marriage is always  a continuing journey of ADJUSTMENTS  whether you are just starting NEW or ANEW – it is both a GIFT and a CHALLENGE. Consider it a gift if making adjustments is just like breathing into air.  Once the challenges are overcome, marriage becomes a BLESSING! Heaven on earth, actually! 🙂

Planning to get married? Don’t think twice if you found the one TRUE love! ♥ ♥♥ There is no other way  but pursue it! √√√ GO for it and have a really cool,  fun and touching wedding ( did I mention also “social media-worthy”?!?! 🙂 ). Lest we forget, you MUST enjoy  a well-planned and unforgettable honeymoon afterwards, too! 🙂

Don’t you just LOVE weddings, time and time AGAIN?  I DO, I really DO!!!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥

"Love bears all things,believes all things,hopes all things, endures all things...." 1 Cor 13:7

small moments….

Ever wondered what makes LIFE as it is…simple, celebrated and just magical? 🙂  Not the BIG stuff ( in some ways, yes…) but it’s really the SMALL, undefined and nameless moments that will forever have the softest spot in our minds, souls & hearts♥. Those of the kind where heartwarming moments bring you to a SMILE (maybe, laughter & other emotions in between) as you reminisce…or just ponder over them TIME and TIME again! 🙂

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I ‘d like to share some of these precious “small moments” in my life.  Starting off with…

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photo credit: Pinterest

As a little girl – I used to play outdoors a LOT (there were no trendy “gadgets-slash-smartphones”  then….oooppps, giving away my AGE, hahaha…). There was no such techie stuff to keep me glued to my seat all day long! I took such a fancy on flying creatures like grasshoppers & dragonflies in our garden or the neighbor’s (are there still flying dragonflies and grasshoppers  today…sigh?!?) My summer days were spent on catching these insects (what animal group do they belong?)  and putting them eagerly on small bottles with some grasses inside. You know, natural habitat. 😉  Well, after a few hours, with a little sadness & misgiving –  I will let them fly out in the open (in the same spot in the garden I took them) as I could not bear seeing them that way any LONGER! 😦  All trapped and held captive by ME. Haha! 🙂 This must be why I love Biology back in our  2nd year  High School (I know I do – just  loved all those living things we studied in our lab 🙂 ). Summer memories!!!! 😉


I had a small group of friends back in high school ( “barkada” as we call it to the milleanial-ish term of “squad” now 🙂 ) and whenever we celebrated birthdays and had free time like after periodical exams, we frequented an ice cream parlor not far from our school ( we would ride a bus and traffic was unheard of then in Manila ) and what do you know?!? Many years after, this small place where we used to hold birthdays and exam-free celebrations was the very 1st store of what turned out to be the largest food chain in the country. A real homegrown brand that Filipinos are really proud and fond of ( the one with the BEE logo 😀 ). For the Filipinos, I know you all know what I am referring to. Yum! Yum!  *wink*


My Mom would always call me up in my office almost everyday ( my very 1st job) just to REMIND me to go home early and be careful on my way home. Typical mother. ♥♥♥ My colleagues used to tease me…..and oh, they were quite mean! 😀  They would tell me, “How can you have a boyfriend?”  or “Your Mom is so strict, you’re old enough and you’re working!” I didn’t mind them. Oh, I love how my Mom loves me THAT way!  But now, the reverse is happening. I am the one who calls  up Mom almost every week sometimes even 2x a week (she’s 82 and stays with my sisters in Manila). I check on her – health, activities, or  we talk about just anything under the sun – even OLD, OLD stories! Ha!  At times, we will talk for long – maybe 30 minutes;  on other days – we would only talk short for maybe  just  2 or 3 minutes depending on her mood and if it’s time for her favorite TV shows, or  she has some chores to do. But ALWAYS, ALWAYS all the time – I cherish those phone calls, however ordinary or trivial they may seem to be. Or, on special family occasions, we use Facetime or FB’s Live video chat. Of course, Mom gets a little help from my nieces – all millenials! 🙂


I usually enjoy my morning walks because EACH DAY is different! It is never BORING! I love admiring the gardens and blooms around as I walked past the many houses in our village. There are a FEW times where I would stop and  meet the homeowners. Without sounding intrusive,  I would always initiate conversations with them ( or sometimes they do first…whichever) and I would always  let them know I ADMIRE and LIKE  their gardens. What follows usually is ME asking them the names of the plant/s  or flower/s  I am interested in 😉 ( woohooo….”the moves” ). More often than not,  I get to bring home some of their plant & flower cuttings (with matching “how-to-care-for” TIPS). How can it not get BETTER than that, huh?!?!  Some of these plants are thriving beautifully NOW in our OWN garden and I have to thank our friendly and kind neighbors!  So, you see what walking can do – FREE beautiful plants! The small talks that I love doing with new friends somehow makes me look forward to my morning walks! 🙂


 While watching TV, Husband will get the “remote thingy” and scroll down to ALL  channels until he sees what he likes. He does that every time we are together in the living room where our big TV is until….. I will leave quietly and go up  to our bedroom where I can watch on my own or do something else instead. Haha! He’s the HEAD & MASTER of the house ( and he watches TV very seldom) so I always GIVE IN! I am a VERY loving and submissive wife  (and a believer of Ephesians 5:22-24). Lest you forget – we do NOT share the same taste for the genre of TV shows and movies. Different strokes for different folks! 🙂


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the souvenir necklace I got from Coulterville 🙂

This was during one of our travels – Autumn of Year 2014 when Husband and I went on a sweet, unforgettable tour of West Coast, USA to celebrate his retirement after 26 years! We started off at Los Angeles going up to Seattle (in almost 4 1/2 weeks with Hubby driving the entire time –  with many states & cities,  famous & unheard of sites, a number of stops and reunions in-between).We were driving along Highway 49 coming from Mariposa and going up to Lake Tahoe when we chanced upon this “old west”  town. It turned out be Coulterville and we decided to check on it  as we saw some old structures & stuff on the road. For one, the structure that struck me was “Hotel JEFFERY” – a 2 or 3-storey simple, plain-looking hotel in green & off-white colors. It was a landmark! There was also a vintage locomotive that had been used for ore for the mines that we found along one of the streets. Took some pictures there! Next thing, we went to their History & Museum Center for a much-needed break. We had to stretch our legs! 🙂 We met their docent – an old, lady with the most disarming smile. 🙂  She looks like my grandmother, Lola Vi.♥ She was old ( in her 90’s but doesn’t look one), very friendly and warm! We talked a bit about their town & what their people usually do for a living while Husband and I shared some stories about our trip. We went around the museum which was pretty interesting and picked up & bought some souvenirs. All the relics and photos were from the local area from the “gold rush” era. We felt that we had stepped back in time a century or two! As we were about to leave, the old lady asked what country we are from. She pointed to the world map displayed on her side of the counter and looked for our country, the PHILIPPINES.  Oooopps, we helped her on checking and finally reached the location in the map.  She got a colored tacking PIN and placed it on the spot! Yay!!! 🙂 We were the very 1st Filipinos to visit their museum and we were kind of surprised. Whaaattt? We also wrote our names on their GUEST BOOK. How cool is that? 🙂  Quite humbling! Proud AHA moment for US!♥ Someday, I would love to go back again to this place and explore it away more deeply! It was a precious MOMENT indeed!  🙂

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There are MANY, MANY  more of these moments…..these are some of my favorites! 🙂 Maybe I can have a PART 2 of this post in the future. Are you up  for it, guys? I know each one has these nameless moments kept in their hearts ♥. Would love to hear your stories!  Just don’t keep them – SHARE them! 🙂  Let us ALL learn and celebrate these priceless, heartwarming SMALL, UNDEFINED moments! It is what makes LIFE so BIG…so BEAUTIFUL and so much to  LIVE for! ♥ 

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

"The best portions of your life will be the small, nameless moments you 
spend smiling with someone who matters to you!" 🙂 
      

19th and counting…

Husband and I are celebrating our 19th year of marriage TODAY.  Wow – has it been that long?  Next year will be a milestone (and I realize now that EVERY YEAR should be considered a milestone – ‘right?!). Because year in and year out is an ACCOMPLISHMENT!

We really made no plans for today. Quite different this year. We are starting the day with a morning walk around our village. Have to stash-off those calories from too much feasting the past 4 days.  A delayed celebration is always a good idea though. I am always an optimist! 🙂

So, I decided I will  write something about the HUSBAND and OUR MARRIAGE…and US. Such a difficult topic. Loss for words. Haha! 😀  No marriage is perfect. Love always prevails. Love may be blind but marriage is a real eye-opener. Shheesssh!

Came up with these 2 questions to help me out. There are 10 things we DO BEST together and 9 things that we DON’T SHARE.

All answers, 19 of them –  hopefully will sum up what our 19 years is all about. Ready? 🙂

What WE DO BEST TOGETHER?

What WE DON’T SHARE?


WHAT WE DO BEST TOGETHER?

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“There is only ONE happiness in life – to love & be loved.” – Tokyo, JP Nov2016

1) We celebrate our quirkiness and differences together.

Husband & I have different strokes, different quirks.He is the organized, meticulous one (leaning towards a little “OC-ness” – and he will resent this…) I always tell him that it’s good once in a while to just LIVE in the moment. Let the events take their course. It will happen if it’s meant to happen. Don’t dwell too much on a plan as this is not infallible all the time. Sometimes, the unplanned  gets to be the most enjoyable and most loved. After 19 years, we’ve managed to get by on this area.

 2) We THANK GOD for each other.

Despite our imperfections & weaknesses, LOVE keeps us together and we always thank GOD for this. We always consider our marriage a blessing.  Do you also feel the same way? Do you think that the greatest gift God gave to you is YOUR spouse?  I fully AGREE!  🙂

3) We PRAY for each other.

At the end of the day, we are husband and wife and we have a commitment to GOD to    love, respect, trust, and support each other no matter what. Husband and I always pray for each other, not only during rough times but more so  in happy times. We pray for important family decisions. We pray for our families on both sides. We pray for even the simplest activities we will go through together in the day. And we pray for traveling mercies and protection in our travels all the time, more so  if one is without the other.

4) We GIVE TIME to each other.

Making TIME for the people you care and love is priceless. Especially if both the husband and wife are working and living out their respective careers. When husband & I were  still working, we usually have our FRIDATES (every FRIDAY activities after office ) – could be a dinner or a coffee date or just lounging in the mall. Now that we are both retired from corporate work, we are ALWAYS together – at home, in the mall or wet market, salon, coffee shop, etc. So any day is a DATE, haha!  😀 Having your SPOUSE with you 100% of the time – 24 x 7. Kinda’ overwhelming?  I don’t think so. We also have our OWN tasks and projects, even at home. We do our own individual activities. I spend my  “ME” time much as he also has his own “ME” time. Of course, we have a lot of “WE” time these days and no complaints so far!

5) We LAUGH together.

Not only do we share each other’s pains, but we always take time to laugh together. We share jokes that only the 2 of us can understand and therefore laugh at. We shared so many boo-boos in our 19 years that when we try to look back at them, we smile and laugh our hearts out. ( Hint: is very good in directions, while I’m not ). So much time in our travels is sometimes spent on looking for each other. The culprit? Most of the time, it’s ME. I think I need a gold chain to attach to husband’s hand so I will not get lost…. in translation…yes, most recent episode was in Tokyo, Japan last year. Wheeewww, memories, memories! 😀

6) We EAT together.

Yes , we are self-confessed foodies by heart. We usually try out new restaurants around our city and when we travel, what we are usually excited about is the FOOD that the city or country offers. Nothing fancy – we can eat just like the locals do. Can be fastfood, in a hotel or a nearby café or sidestreet…as long as it’s good food we will always TRY and ENJOY.

7) We SHOP together. 

Is this a question?  😀 Of course, not!  Husband hates crowded malls  – he prefers the strip malls or souvenir shops. But he’s very good in spotting bargains and for a time beat me on that! Yes, it was in Oregon, USA  about 2 years ago where he bought a watch at maybe 80% off the price. And another discount to boot after that. Such a steal! 🙂 And he knows that if I needed MORE time to shop – he retracts in a corner and just waits for me to finish my spree. Poor husband as I am a very picky shopper and he waits for at least 30 mins. Record time maybe is 2 HRS max.

 8) We TRAVEL together.

Husband is my BEST and WORST travel buddy. Every trip or adventure that we’ve taken has its own special charms that we always fondly look back together. We tend to forget the “not-so-pleasant” memories. Just focusing on the happy, unforgettable moments! We both love to make our OWN itinerary and seldom join pre-arranged tours unless it is the ONLY option left for us. H’s forte is on the study of the maps, directions,  the planning and  listing of the places to visit per day to maximize our time  while I take over all hotel and plane bookings. So far, so good! 🙂

9) We SLEEP ( and snore 😀 ) together.

Yes, we sleep together even if we didn’t end the day loving each other. Ha! These were a few times. One of us would sleep ahead of the other. Usually ME. And yes, we BOTH snore ( oh, the secret is out 😀 )  and I guess this is a good measure of our LOVE for each other because after all these  years, in all humility, we have not fought once with THIS issue. Hehe. We are both honest enough to admit that the OTHER snores louder than himself. 🙂

10) We are looking forward to GROW OLD together.

Every now and then, we take a MOMENT to look in the future. Dream of what we will be doing in our 60s or 70s and even 80s, if God wills that we will still  be together.   We know that GOD has great plans in our lives and this makes us realize that we can still serve Him and still feel the love and goodness in EACH other, even in our twilight years.


WHAT WE DON’T SHARE?  

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Photo credit: Pinterest

1) We don’t share a BATHROOM. YESSSS!!!! 🙂

2) We don’t share passwords with our ONLINE   social media accounts. (Oh well,  Husband has no FB, IG, Twitter and Pinterest accounts to begin with like I do 😀 ).

3) We don’t share a love for COOKING.  (Husband is the wanna-be chef, I cook  sometimes…*wink*).

4) We don’t share a love for MUSIC. ( I am the frustrated singer, but Husband is continuously learning to sing…. ).

5) We don’t share a love for DOGS. ( Husband just adores his dogs – he had for the longest time 2 Labrador retrievers and 1 German rottweiler as best friends but are now in dog heaven. At present, he has 1 French bulldog and 2 German short-haired pointers as his “other loves.” These “other loves” would always bark fiercely at me as if they are jealous all the time! 😀 ).

6) We don’t share the same taste for MOVIES or TV SHOWS.  ( I like to watch good Filipino films and TV show series. Romance comedy stories, mostly.  Husband dislikes them).

7) We don’t share the same TASTE for FOOD in some ways ( I can eat a bit of SPICY food but H will NEVER try. Spiciest food will make him sweat…a LOT! He hates that! But admittedly, we both love SWEETS…anytime! That’s why we’re too sweeeeet! Hmmm! 🙂 ).

8) We don’t share the love for CROWDS. ( Husband hates crowded restaurants, crowded malls, crowded places. I love crowds and can always get through if I want to everytime. He is usually in his element if we are the ONLY customers in a restaurant and we get the FULL attention from the waitstaff).

9) We don’t share the love for SAME DESIGN or STYLE  ( H goes usually for the straightforward, conventional and simpler, traditional style/design. I am more of a risk-taker – goes for the uncommon, experimental and non-conventional stuff. Could it be because H used to be an insurance professional?  Always on the safe side. Maybe not. 🙂 ).

So there! Quite a long LIST for now. Hello, 20 years? Or 25 years? 30 years? For those who are married,  can you relate with a few or some of these things?  Can you share some of your interesting answers to these 2 questions?  Would be glad to hear from you.  I’m sure each one can learn a thing or two. 🙂

Have a happy life!

Marriage is a gift from GOD to us. The quality of our marriage is a gift from us to HIM. - L.Whitney Clayton 

halo-halo : my summer’s ultimate comfort food

Aaaahh, summer! 🙂 SUMMER brings us with a lot of happy & refreshing  images. SUN.  BEACH. OUTDOORS. NATURE. FRESH FRUITS. In the Philippines, we feel the BEST of summer in the months of  APRIL & MAY ( though most foreign tourists think that we are having summer all-year round). However, as FEBRUARY ends and MARCH comes, we can already feel the hot, dry days. Temperatures usually range from as high as 32-36 degrees Celsius or around 90-97 Fahrenheit. Yes, it also gets to be humid at this time so it’s kinda’ sweaty, too. Get the picture?!?!

FUN in summer also means  refreshing food to enjoy! I would always crave for a tall glass or a big bowl of HALO-HALO.  It’s a mixture of fruits and some sweetened ingredients. It’s fondly translated as “MIX-MIX”  in English. This is my ultimate summer  COMFORT FOOD! 🙂

It is quite easy & simple to prepare. You can do it at home. Some will go to a place which offers this as a dessert. Yes, it is usually classified as a dessert or a snack food in a restaurant or fastfood joint. In fact, a food chain here in our country is so popular because of their halo-halo. Perhaps even more popular than their main food fare.

All you have to do is layer all the ingredients in a tall glass or bowl. The usual measurement per ingredient is  (1) tablespoon. You may have 2 or more tablespoons if you like. Add sugar, if needed. Put the shaved ice and then pour the milk over it. You may or may not have the  toppings. But I prefer the one with toppings. The  one with no toppings is referred to as the “REGULAR” halo-halo while the complete one with the toppings  is “SPECIAL” halo-halo.

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photo credit: Pinterest

Here are the ingredients :

No hard rules – you may skip one, two or three of the ingredients – your preference). The “must-haves” are the  shaved ice & evaporated milk.

  • shaved ice
  • sugar
  • evaporated milk
  • sugar palm fruit (kaong)
  • coconut sport (macapuno)
  • caramelized banana plantains (saba)
  • caramelized sweet potatoes
  • tapioca
  • gelatin (the bright colors will add to the texture)
  • sweetened corn kernels
  • pounded dried young rice (pinipig)
  • boiled sweet beans (red &/or white)
  • sweetened jackfruit ( can be : avocado, papaya, mango ( cut in cubes ) or   cherries)

 

 For TOPPINGS : 

Photo credit: Pinterest
photo credit: Pinterest
  • LECHE FLAN or CUSTARD
  • ICE CREAM – Any flavor but UBE or sweet purple yam is the MOST popular here ( my favorite -somehow it blends well with all the other ingredients…)

In fact, Anthony Bourdain (a popular American chef, author and TV personality) had a taste of this halo-halo in one of his food trips when he was in the area where a popular Filipino fastfood joint is. In the CNN news, halo-halo is described as a dessert consisting of red beans, white beans, Jell-O, chick peas, coconut , shaved ice and flan. As Bourdain further said, “It makes no goddamn sense at all. I love it.” He called halo-halo as “oddly beautiful. “

Anyone who wants to try to make one? All you really have to do is to mix all ingredients. MIX. LAYER. EAT. Easy as 1-2-3. ENJOY!!!!!

You will definitely LOVE it…you will be in good company. 🙂

Have a HAPPY LIFE! 

"I dream of summers that last forever....."

Why I love rainy days?

Suddenly, the rains fall…the rains pour…the rains call. What do you most like about rains? Or do you hate rains?  Well, I love rains…but not the heavy ones though. I will never like storms or typhoons. Or whatever you call them. Just drizzles…rainshowers…big or small drops of rains to wash away a bit of  life’s monotony….or routine….or boredom, perhaps. Why do I love rains?!?  ( Hey, it’s raining as I write this NOW…. 🙂 )

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Photo credit : Pinterest

I LOVE RAINY DAYS  JUST BECAUSE :

  • It makes me feel FRESH – Obviously. I know. And I like that (really do 🙂 ). Coming from a tropical country – the cold, nippy breeze brought by rains makes us feel COOLER and yes, pleasantly FRESH! With the hot, humid days which happen almost year-round, rains are surely some sort of a breather! Anytime. December to January and early February are considered our “winter-like months.” 🙂 Not really winter but we do experience very low temps at this time of the year, especially in some portions of the country like the cities of  Baguio or Tagaytay.  I would always WELCOME rains anytime of the day (or night).
  • It  gives me a perfect CUDDLE-UP DAY (or MOMENT) – Don’t you want to stay in bed in your pajamas a little longer. Or STAY in bed. Period. 🙂 Or you can watch your old, favorite MOVIES  again. Or check some good videos online. Be it in your bed or couch or sofa. A bowl of popcorn or some chocolate bars  are added treats as you binge on those movies or videos you’ve been longing to watch all along. Welcome to marathon movie or  TV series-watching! 🙂
  • It provides me the time to catch-up on my READING –  The old-fashioned way when it is raining outside is to read a GOOD BOOK.  All the time. Or get those books you have forgotten and kept in your shelves for a long time. Have a  cup of tea or coffee and some homebaked cookies to go with it. Whoa! 😀 Or you may  crave for a bowl of steaming soup or stew. It depends on what will set your mood to help you indulge and finish that book you’re after in one sitting.
  • It brings up HAPPY childhood memories Yes, like what we used to do as I played in the light rains with neighbors-playmates back when I was a small girl. We ran and chased each other until we were all soaking wet. That experience of walking and running without umbrellas or raincoats was just wonderful.  Ohhh, memories…FUN, FUN memories! Priceless!  😀
  • It allows me time for my CREATIVITY –  Write POEMS. Or make some MUSIC. Or try to do both. Or listen to old, familiar love songs. Sing along.  And yes, do some CRAFTS. Longtime projects that needed time and attention.   I know the rains may lull you to sleep ( and more sleep) and you can just be too lazy but your mind and heart can be up  also for doing some creative passions within you. 🙂
  • It affords me the pleasure to CHILL and just DO nothing  It’s okay to just sit on your front porch or open your windows wide and stare in space. Relax, just enjoy the breeze and listen to the sound of the rains as they fall. Reminisce good times. Plan for adventures ahead. Then, what’s NEXT?  Dance in the rain?  Nope. Maybe, look for rainbows after the rain?  I also love RAINBOWS.  But that’s another story! 😀

         Have a happy life!

"I love the rain. I love how it softens the outlines of things. The world becomes softly blurred, and I feel like I melt right into it. "  
 - Hanamoto  Hagumi 

    

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