Love from the Heart, Life from the Hearth

You have to love the Philippines to come back and retire there; you have to love life to be in front of the hearth without complaint. I don’t know why someone would search for ‘kitchen in the Philippines’ but it reminded me of the ‘dapog’ [hearth] we have while growing up in the remote farm of Hacienda Estrellas [I think it’s Spanish, meaning ‘farm of stars’] but it was really named after the sugarcane plantation owner’s last name of Estrellas.

However, let’s go back to that kitchen a long time ago. Oh, I wish I had the picture of that hearth as it was the essence of our family’s simple existence. Numerous poignant stories of growing up revolved around there. [Another blog later maybe or when I learn to do the links]. I should probably mention…there was no electricity and running water. Unless you have gone camping, you probably won’t understand that kind of survival. Don’t get me wrong, it was the time dearest to my heart. Maybe one day, I’ll recreate our place in my dream village.

The hearth inside the house is a luxury in the farm. That’s how I look at it now, considering that most farmers and laborers have a Nipa Hut just enough to give the family a roof over their heads…that when the night comes, they would find shelter from whatever lurks in the darkness of the night. They usually cook outside [lucky to have a make-shift cover to protect the hearth from rain].

If you can visualize 3 rocks arranged in a triangle, that’s the basic of the hearth. These rocks elevate the pot and allow the chopped pieces of wood to be positioned underneath the pot. This is just the preliminary activity; the actual cooking has not begun yet. If the luxury of an old newspaper wrap is not available, you just have to be resourceful to find your fire starter from nature as wood will not catch fire like the way the stove’s pilot light would start your cooking. It’s a lot of blowing, which is probably a good lung exercise. It could be a lot of crying too–from the smoke…or maybe from the hard work. Nobody questions…it’s a chore to be done.

I actually came across a few of the different pictures of bathrooms that one of the Lonely Planet pioneers took in his travels, and I think that was pretty interesting. You reeeally wouldn’t want me to post the Philippine ones, but that’s an idea someday when I travel to the bundoks [Tagalog origin of boondocks]. I’ll try to see what I can find on these kitchens though. I think I have one blurry picture from 50 years ago when they were cooking outside during some celebration [not digital…scanning???]. This must have been the reason why Filipinos have traditionally want a ‘dirty kitchen’ in their houses. Did you say why would someone want a dirty kitchen? Believe me, we cook a lottttt of things that could make our kitchen dirty. I’ll show you some when I get to it.

For now, I have the ready pictures of — what can be better than Fairrr[h]view kitchens. I was ambitious at first and I thought I’ll have the small stove/oven combination in the furnished unit. My sister was practically aghast at the idea, but she went along with one trial. After a year without any takers, it was transferred downstairs when we finally did my own kitchen.

      grn rm

 This is the kitchen [fan-only unit] with the ‘dirty kitchen’/laundry area. 

    

Our A/C unit kitchen–same layout in all other units, just different colors.

This kitchen [from the window] shows the location of the cooking area.

The second floor 1st unit has an extended area intended for family gatherings.

This family hub is still at its finishing stage; now it’s the hubbub of activity.

This picture has no bottom cupboard yet, same style as the one above the sink.

My sister wanted to finish the kitchen downstairs so she transferred the stove.

 The cupboards were done by one of the workers with doors bought from SM.

 

This island needs bar stools but I’m too cheap…maybe my worker can make one.

Still with miniature fridge…and on the other side of the door is the dirty kitchen.

 The dirty kitchen…still clean–no plans for dirty cooking yet.

    

My favorite nook–adjacent to the dirty kitchen/our bedroom extension.

Our bedroom is connected to my favorite little nook…a secret access just for me.

From the hearth…to the heart of Fairview, or should it be from the heart to the hearths of Fairview apartments. Where are we? Stuck here in California in an old house [that I equally love] but hard to maintain for just the two of us–again! Even my husband misses my family as much as I do…especially the bigger kids that keep him company. I can’t blame the guy for wanting to retire before retirement.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

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One Day I’m Allowed to Be Crazy

Last Friday was 1 h*ck of a bloggy day. Friday I don’t go to work, and anything goes–from crazy, bizarre, poignant, shocking, shameful (sometimes maybe shameless), etc….today, watching Today Show made me think:

I can’t really post more serious things about the Philippines until I learn how to keep my blog safe from some blog scraper. Yeah, www.flyhotel.net is not scraping every post I have now. I noticed he didn’t really want the gory stuff (maybe without the bloody part, OK–you know what I mean) nor does he want something about sewing or about the ancient Philippine native dress. He’s starting to be a little discriminating now. He still likes my Survivor Philippines though.

Another point, while I still have no clue to really organize a website [which I now realize from my earlier internet bumming days, you can monitize], and my goal is to get there (Oh, com’on now, surely I’m allowed to dream too) when I retire in my Fairview, Quezon City haven or should I say heaven (?) beyond the cloud of pollution (ubo…ubo!!! just coughing in Pilipino). Doesn’t it sound poetic–Beyond the Cloud of Pollution? There lies my Fairview…the dream of an old aging nutty woman, rising from the barren earth. [Of course, it’s Fairview rising…sure it could be that nutty woman…we’ll have the dissection in my ESL site. I just like the sound of it at this moment.] Now you have a glimpse of the frustrated writer in me.

Back to reality, it seems that most of the bloggers agree that it would take roughly 2 years to get people to notice your blog–unless you have that lottery winning streak or that unlucky birthmark on your b*tt. I think I sort of believe that since it’s almost the time my husband got his xzyllardrums website getting some orders. Oh, not to forget hitting the $100 adsense mark…2 years is quite a long time enough to blur one’s memory (after getting tired checking it everyday, every week then 2 months, and we just have to get on with life until we forgot). And Wow…we finally got that unexpected check. But wait-a-minute…how much did we pay for AT&T hosting and DSL connection? Does adsense really make sense? Maybe someday! I therefore conclude that I’ll keep blogging…let it lead me wherever it may wish…and just enjoy the ride. I’ll clean up the mess in 2 years if I’m still there.

Hmmmm…I just don’t know where to start from my pile (I want to say ‘file’ but I’m not getting there yet) of rotten ideas–truth or inconsequencial stuff?

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Different Names of the Philippines?

Technically the Philippines has only one name–the Philippines. In some ways it is as complicated as the Netherlands, if not more, since Holland (even if it is just a region) is also used to mean the whole country of the Netherlands. Who knows if it has also suffered some spelling ‘butcherization’ (lol-don’t ask me) as much as the Philippines. Also, ask WiKi…if you want to have the precise info.

Manila, just like Holland, is well-known enough as much as the country itself, but not to mean the whole country as well. Probably most people recognize Manila for its pollution and Philippines for its corruption (tongue-in-cheek: coming from a Filipina and a ManileNa by choice who is a Negrense by birth…from Negros Occidental, which brings the question shouldn’t we Negrense be called _______ instead?).

Somewhere in this blog I’ve touched on this topic as Bob Martin’s mentioned the different ways the Philippines is being referred to, which could be ‘touchy’ from PI to Phils [as well as the shortened ‘Pinas to most Filipinos] and other spelling or understandable misspellings: Phillipines (named after King Philip but there’s a Phillip variation), Phillippines (there’s a double somewhere), Philippine (nevermind the 7,107 islands), and many more (not counting typographical errors) that possibly stuck to one’s memory…after all, it’s not just the U.S. or U.S.A. It’s good enough that somebody even recognizes it as a part of the globe.

Consequently, Filipinos are thought to be Philipinos, Filippinos, etc. other than ‘Pinoys‘. Let’s not forget that the language is the lackluster Pilipino that is even outshined (yes, outshone) by Tagalog. One thing though that I’m very particular…my young nieces and nephews are always reminded: if I can’t make them speak Pilipino, they should know the intricate differences of the basic identity of their parents’ country of origin–the Philippines!

Added spelling [or misspellings] of Filipino variation I just came across that I haven’t included in my previous list: Philippino! This one makes a lot of sense to me; after all we are from the Philippines. I understand that ph and f are sound variants…but why in the same family of words? I should probably delve further into this nonsense in my ESL blog. Are Filipinos that complicated animals? Opssss! Hhssss! Grrrlll!

Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Survivors Philippines, Real TV?

Mr. Google is really turning out to be a real interesting friend [or foe]…rivaling my fascination with Mr. Webster. I’m starting to have some great friends! Each day is turning to be an amazing-if not amusing-day of information explosion. No Einstein here: “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.

Would it qualify that I imagined SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES? Did I? I had FIRST posted my SOUL SURVIVOR (4/5/08). They were PINOYs too.  I just happened to google ‘that’–and what came up amazed me:

Do you want to be the FIRST PINOY SOLE SURVIVOR? (4/8/08)
The biggest, most popular and groundbreaking reality show that changed the face of television worldwide is now in GMA. Find out how to join Survivor Philippines!

For awhile I thought it has something to do with Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; then it dawned on me–it’s the TV channel. Now amused…I searched further, and I clicked on…more…and more…

Do you want to be the FIRST PINOY SOLE SURVIVOR?

04/08/2008 | 10:17 AM

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PAUTAKAN! PAGALINGAN! PATATAGAN! [*]

GMA is in search of contestants from 18 to 60 years old, physically fit and willing to become castaways and endure intense physical and mental challenges in an unfamiliar territory for 39 days.

If you think you got what it takes to be one of the 16 castaways for SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES….

 

Coincidence? I’m getting a lot of serendipity moments now that I even included it in my still cluttered categories. My curiosity brought me to dig deeper…nothing more than these ‘not really Filipino Survivor’ 

» Do you want to be the FIRST PINOY SOLE SURVIVOR?

» PEP: Survivor shooting in Camarines Sur?

» With racial split, ‘Survivor’ returns

» GM withdraws CBS’ ‘Survivor’ sponsorship

 

 

Wasted more time, just to find out when they started it, but the about section is still blank, as well as the host one is blank too–hmmm???!–you think I should apply? No longer funny…bordering on getting rediculous! Dream no more…remember RETIREMENT. These TV stuff is taking me away from MY FAIRVIEW goal.

I won’t leave you without translating those Pilipino words (no Pilipino dictionary available here).

*PAUTAKAN — whoever could emerge the wisest (like the sly fox)…the more scheming the better!

*PAGALINGAN — whoever could prove the most skillful will be the best…measure of intelligence???

*PATATAGAN –whoever could remain the strongest…alone, will not make one a winner!

All 3 will be the qualifying marks of their GMA SOLE SURVIVOR winner; mine: just being dirt poor will be enough to qualify as SOUL SURVIVOR Philippines! Is this going to be a competition for Dancing with the Stars?

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

EIU Celebrated Asian Heritage: Philippine Native Dress

Let me take you on a trip back to ancient Philippines. But for now, our travel won’t go beyond my memory as a child exposed to the different costumes worn during dance festivities showcasing folk dances from different provinces.

Yesterday [Sunday], Eastern Illinois University joined in the celebration of the Asian Heritage, and students were encouraged to dress in their native dresses. My niece, of course, had an array of choices, considering that this fragmented archipelago has rich cultural differences reflected in the day-to-day lives of its people in more ways than one, especially in their manner of dressing. Having said that, which one should she represent–the Christians, the Muslims, or the other ‘religio-ethno-linguistic’ groups? This was yesterday’s question, today it is answered below.

The Maria Clara’s popularity made me wish we’re not separated by distance to facilitate the fittings. She wouldn’t have known how to make any alterations, and without her measurement, that would be a tricky proposition. I decided to rely on whatever material was available and the least complex cut I could recreate. I believe this native dress was simply worn by the ladies in most Christian areas before the Spaniards had influenced everything that was Filipino [maybe, not really]. But then I’m only relying on my fuzzy memory more than 3 decades away from my historical facts to say the least. [This is something I plan to revisit in my future website.] 

 

Skirt with adjustable waistline and blouse could cover the elastic.

 

Blouse could be tucked in and elastic in skirt hidden with the sash.

 

Another possibility of adding color to show your own creativity.

 

———————————

My niece just emailed [pictures later when I learn to use Feed Footer plugin] me that during the celebration yesterday, they let her wore the Maria Clara instead, and a kid wore this ‘baro’t saya’ as the color suits the youger one better. Isn’t it wonderful, I didn’t try to sweat it out with the Maria Clara? [The fitting was alright; she has the kid’s size.] I think that’s what it is–‘baro‘ technically means dress and ‘saya‘ is long skirt. This was the ancient Filipina’s day to day attire. Its simplicity may have suited the tropical climate and the poor Filipina’s lifestyle [or status] under the Spanish regime.

 

*Originally Posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

 

Philippine Costume Goes to EIU

Let me take you on a trip back to ancient Philippines. But for now, our travel won’t go beyond my memory as a child exposed to the different costumes worn during dance festivities showcasing folk dances from different provinces.

Today [Sunday], …[See the next post for the pictures since this post was giving me a lot of trouble and I couldn’t fix it.]

*Originally Posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

One H*ck of a Bloggy Day!

Do I really want to be a blogger? I have already put in my 8-hour shift, and I have to start this post again? If I don’t though, I won’t have a good night rest. Should I count my part-time morning stint for my husband: packing and mailing drum parts? On the way home, I had a little ‘Target’ shopping break just to pick up a few things to replenish our refrigerator supply–not to forget a quick check of the 60%-70% clearance sections.

Noon came and no calls had come in yet. Exceptional Saturday–no one remembered us–not even my Filipino phone telemarketers. Nope! I’m not being redundant…my name is floating in 5 phone companies and 10 agents hunting for me, to say the least. There are times when I feel they sign in with my Phone #, and even when I have said ‘no’ will sign out with my # just in case I changed my mind. ??? Freaky…I was typing the# and my phone actually rang once…then stopped as I was getting ready to pick it up.

Within the past 8 hours…so many things encountered; so little time to learn! How many times have I tried to get away from this computer? Let me count the ways…ice cream break, coffee break, maybe I’ll get to dinner break later. I still have so many questions unanswered:

1. Why is www.flyhotel.net persistent in scraping blogs? He has no more ads. –I know I should really learn to use that Feed Footer plugin (yes, Mixxy, and I still don’t know how to link to your site). At 6pm today I saw my Survivor Philippines, Reality post there (4:27pm), even before my edit  to add there really was Turtle Island, Philippines — http://philecotourism.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/my-turtle-island-birthday-prayer/ . Serendipity is getting to be a part of my life! I was just cheking my blog at WP and there below it was this one–like an answer to a prayer. I guess flyhotel has its own purpose for being, too. Come to think of it, it skipped 3 of my posts between Dancing… and Survivor…! That’s why I just keep blogging ‘whatever’ though I can’t complain when Cheryl Burke’s another website: http://cherylburke.net/ [that I didn’t even know] unexpectedly brought in some traffic.

2. What do I know about ZenZuu? How did it come in? I know maybe one day I could monetize my blog ‘when it grows up’ but …not sure about this. I have many social networking sites that are parked in my email I didn’t know what to do with them. [The only My Space I want is My Fairview]. I even went to Mr. Google but ?????!

3. Did Squidoo visit me? [I even have a hard time with my contact lens]. Though it has that charity thing to choose from, obviously–my charity is….Well, I’ll probably go back to the site one day when my brain is not so fuzzy anymore.

4. How do I keep up with these barrage of information? I haven’t even mastered my dashboard yet, and was it just yesterday that WP changed the layout? Thank goodness…I was amaze with myself that I was able to upload the pictures for Survivor Philippines post. [Actually it seems easier once I found it.] My dashbord is evolving to be an amazing source of my amusement…pathetic, huh? At 10:30, I really need that dinner!

5. How many more unanswered ?????????????! I can’t count them all.

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com  

Survivor Philippines, Reality

Survivor reality show may be one of the successful shows on TV [even without me watching it]…but I’m still stuck in time with Matlock and Perry Mason. I’m not big on reality shows…can’t stand drama and clashes on TV. There’s so much of that in real life. If I want to watch real survivors, I can do that when we’re vacationing in the Philippines. I just have to stand from the balcony of our house, and I will see the reality of existence. That’s one reason I have no cable TV here in California; that saving alone goes a long way to help one family’s survival in the Philippines. [DSL though is another matter; I’ll go hungry for this internet connection. It helps save my sanity!]

pan-de-sal vendor

Early morning you’ll wake-up to the call of the pandesal (bread) vendor. Just what you need for your coffee.

Vegetables come to your house...just have to wait.

Vegetables come to your house…you just have to wait at your doorstep.

Want some fish with your vegetable…that too can come to your house?

 tricycle vendor

 Snack time in the afternoon, maybe in the morning too.

working--cement mixing

This is cement mixing…with audience–also waiting for something to collect?

road work

Nawasa (water connection repairs) before roadwork.

Why then am I wasting my breath on TV Survivor? I googled it–still fascinated–Survivor: Micronesia; Survivor is even going to China??? In one of our little talks today, my husband mentioned Turtle Bay Resort is going out of business [?], and it’s up for sale as condos. Nice retirement…facing the ocean, only for $250,000. ONLY??? Well, again, this is Hawaii. And he threw in…it seems Survivor films their TV episodes there, not that we care. Not that we can afford it either, just wishful thinking. I tried googling it anyway [life with google]… after 3 pages, that’s the end of it.

I’ve seen a bit of Turtle Island, Fiji, and more Turtle Islands in other parts of the world [didn’t go into them anymore]. However, I didn’t see the turtle island that my joker friend was saying we have in the Philippines. Of the many uninhabited islands we have there, we can afford to have snake island too, and whatever animals we fancy to have their islands. After all we have only about 1,700 islands humankind can really visit–not all of the 7,107 (maybe 1 more during low tide)–isn’t that enough islands for every animalkind?

If you’re interested in that retirement condos in Turtle Bay Resort [?], Hawaii, have fun with Mr. Google as your guide. It’s not really in my line of interest…I’m already sunk in that apartment of ours in the Philippines. Now I’m reminded: Taxes, taxes, and more taxes, and tax time is almost over. I’m one reality survivor in the Philippines. [sigh!]

——————————–

I’m coming back to this post to let you know: There Really Is Turtle Island in the Philippines! Check this out– http://philecotourism.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/my-turtle-island-birthday-prayer/  –it’s by a volunteer and the group of dental students. I’ll check it out further. Serendipity is creeping up in my blogs!

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

I Must Be Getting Crazy!

I can’t help but post one more time. Like the internet bum that I am, I have no idea how I got to [WP] Matt’s recent post “New Dashboard Design & March Wrap-Up”…this explains my new dashboard layout. Thank goodness, I wasn’t the culprit. I’m getting this phobia that everything I touch turns ‘kapowww’! Lost!

When I started my comment, I thought I was the first one…only to find out when I hit Submit, I was #41 I guess (41 Responses…). Whoaaa! I wasn’t the only one lost. A few even said the change happened in the middle of their posting–pretty historic to me. The others said they love it; I won’t be able to tell the difference as I’m barely scratching the surface. I can’t really say it’s diamond!

Amazed as I was, I left a follow-up comment (still awaiting moderation)–which further amazed me when I saw not 41 responses anymore above but (81 Responses…)! Let me go back there and amuse myself more this time. This is getting to be my life, huh?

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com

Digital is my Second Language

I am just thinking through my mouse…mouse musings? I thought English is my Second Language; then Digital is my Third Language (DTL). I like DSL…it gives me the feeling of ‘speed’ although in reality it’s far from that.

Just as I was starting to have some familiarity with my dashboard, I’m now back to square 1. Now it really looks different. Do you realize how irritating it is to look for the Edit button after you hit Publish? When I finally found it, my head was ready to explode…my eyes, oh I can go on whining! Hitting the tags won’t take me to WP anymore; it takes be back to my post. I miss watching my ‘coconut’ float somewhere at WP.

My energy is zapped; how can I ever get to learning Feed Footer, etc…? My tired ESL brain was initially defaulting to [Foot Feeder]. I’d better give my mouse a rest. My cross-wired brain is turning weird now or maybe I’m getting cross-eyed…what’s the difference? If my brain turns out to be brian, should I blame my fingers or my brain? Maybe, Brian? An error is an error…is an error…! Stop!

*Originally posted @ https://zylla3.wordpress.com