Tag Archives: life

It’s Mother’s Day Here in the US!

Yesterday it was Mother’s Day tribute to my mom halfway ’round the world, today–Happy Mother’s Day to my mom-in-law. So sorry I’m pressed for time to find a more fitting picture of a woman as wonderful as my mom, but I guess mom enjoying her children is just as good as celebrating mom.

Memory of one Christmas gathering when pictures of her younger days were passed around the table after dinner.

Mom sharing memories with 3 of her 5 children. .

I’m having trouble with the rest of the pictures not showing, but Happy Mother’s Day anyway–I celebrate you for having raised a son to be the husband I treasure, and I am proud to be his wife. Thank you…for having met you!

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

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It’s My Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day was not a big moment in our lives then when we were on survival mode…besides, we were oceans apart–my parents and youngest brother in the island of Negros and the rest of my siblings with me in Manila. I did not even know there was Mother’s Day in the calendar.

The year 2011 is the year Mamang turned 80 last month–luckily, my youngest brother was able to get a one week vacation to make it a memorable celebration. His family went ahead to make it a worthwhile 3-week vacation. My other brother was able to overlap his 3-week vacation to complete the celebration. Despite Mamang’s complaints about her aching bones, she was ecstatic…enough to make her believe that the 81st will just be as grand as the 80th one. (Let me ask if my sister will still be available for such donation.)

Not everyone of us 9 children could make it home–but everyone’s presence was made possible by the younger generation’s generosity of their time despite their busy lives, not to mention the love and joy they shared. I’m so proud of all my siblings’ and their families’ contribution to the happy memories  our mother will always treasure. That 80th birthday bash was an unexpected event…a blessing for all her hard work, I could only wish our father could have witnessed it–but I know he was smiling on us from somewhere.

Here’s to my Mother who had always put us first…selflessly!

Our mother Rosela at 80...still beautiful!

 

Just one family who will always love our Mamang!

By now, I know…even in the Philippines, there’s such a thing as Mother’s Day celebration. I just didn’t have a chance to celebrate it…let me greet all the mothers–you deserve all the Love the world has to offer.

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

A Glimpse of My Garden

My garden is my refuge…my reality! In a world of chaos and drudgery, I am reminded of life’s simplicity as I touch the soil. Just like the little girl in the farm! I don’t have an award winning garden, but I have a reminder of what is important to me and the people I meet in life. This is for my curious niece, Donna, who wants to see a glimpse of what I have in my garden half-way around her world…maybe, both our connection to the Philippines that we missed. I’m sure the rest of her generation, which I equally treasure, would know a little more of mine.

Rescuing a piece of forsaken yard is a back-breaking exercise but rewarding when a little leaf or flower starts to sprout after a long wait.

It's the baby mint sprouting back to life!

 

Back to Life...yay!

An apricot tree down yonder the morning glory.

Apricot tree showing off its new leaves.

For a while...I will enjoy its purple flowers.

My Morning Glory...as it clings to the bare palm base.

 

When things are in shambles, and thoughts get chaotic…even my not-so-private garden can transport me to another place in time. I remember our small farm  where our mother lovingly tended her flowers and vegetables, despite the absence of running water. She had her creative ways of strecthing our well-water consumption! (It’s our secret!) Here are some of the flowers I remembered most that just came into being in my own garden-in-progress.

Just spouting from different places...even between the bricks.

More of the white flower with forgotten name.

Three of them in this picture!

Nudging its way is another purple variety ...which I like better.

When I look at the plants in my garden…be it a flower or vegetable, I remember faces–or just memories–of people in my 6 decades of traveling life’s path. Too long to document here…just enjoy everyone’s contributions if you may!

This pink bush just grew back last spring...dead again by now.

I love this one...I wait for them every year!

Bougainvilla reminds me of home...needs an arch soon.

I love this ground cover that I had to buy a starter piece.

One of the roses I enherited in this garden.

It's a unique one I call--tiger cactus.

Top of my tiger cactus blossomed to a huge head of flowers.

There goes a full view of my tiger cactus.

They come every year...now with purple and pink, too.

I had to buy this one from Home Depot...glad it was on sale.

Another cheap Home Depot flower, but covers the ground beautifully.

Nothing can beat this 99-cent cactus variety, anyhow!

My favorite mother cactus...more to come!

 

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

Christmas in the Philippines

I just received a call from my cousin, requesting us to take them to the airport on Monday. For some reason, a blessing rained on them that they have to rush to the Philippines for a week. I’m envious, but I’m happy for her that she could celebrate her Gold Birthday (if there’s such a thing) with her family in the province of Negros Occidental.

I’d been hoping for the day when my husband could witness Christmas in the Philippines. We’d always gone home in June which allowed us 6 weeks of rainy day vacation–not that I’m complaining–it’s still time with the family! But…Christmas!!! It’s the most celebrated time of the year.

Maybe, I’ll add pictures when I get the chance.

UPDATE: 3-19-2011

After 3 months I finally got to my pictures–dropping off my cousin and family at LAX. Their flight was supposed to leave sometime at 10 a.m.– and 3hrs before departure they must be at the airport, shooting for 7 a.m.! The plan was to leave between 5:30 and 6 a.m., and of course…at 4:30, everyone was getting ready. It was a rainy morning, and Christmas travel being always busy–time allowance should be factored in for wise measure.

Entering LAX

As the light changes colors.

Mesmerizing colors!

Leaving the lights behind.

It's the LAX tower!

It's just another plane!

We're almost there...inch by inch!

Here we come...Philippines!

 

Of course...we need a cart--or 2!

Sure...3 boxes and counting!

Time to head home in the rain.

Thank G*d for a little break from the rain.

           And most of all, we missed most of the traffic…glad we were not on the other side of the road. I think, there was an accident we just missed.
           Fast forward to them coming back just in one weekI still say not even Christmas can make me do it. (SIDE BAR: I did it once in 2005…for a once in a lifetime family reunion while 9 of us siblings were still complete…still are, which is a blessing! They tried to at least accommodate my one week spring break.)
          Sort of our golden rule–Take the SHUTTLE in coming home, and don’t bring back a lot of stuff. I, most especially, don’t want to wait for any delayed flight…my husband and I take the shuttle ourselves when we come back from vacation. I even refuse to take anything that wouldn’t fit in our carry-on luggage. WHY?
          Here’s just why–my cousin & family missed their connecting flight in another country, waited overnight and almost did not get on the unconfirmed new connecting flight, chanced another available flight from Manila to the province, and– lucky enough to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas (also her 50th Birthday)–with the third day just enough to go back to Manila for their flight back to the US. Mission accomplished!
           However, the following day she had to go back to work…only to find herself too sick to finish a day of work. She and her daughter got sick for the rest of the week. How can anyone convince me that Christmas in the Philippines for a week is worth all the trouble? To me…this would simply be a torture!

 

Posted at https://zylla3.wordpress.com

After a 2-year Hiatus

I find myself reminiscing that without ‘the gap in time’– at this moment I probably would still have some lingering jet lag from a 6-week vacation to the Philippines while catching up with bill payments. Instead, I tried to drag myself in writing the updates to pick up the 2-year slack.

Flashback to June 2008 when we were in the Philippines. We were happy to be almost at the end of the bit-by-bit slow construction of our retirement place except for what should be our master bathroom which I thought I would enjoy supervising personally. However the crashing of the housing market and the economy here in the U.S. had shifted our retirement options. In short, we’re still here in California dabbling in real estate among all things…challenging time to start.

Two-year snapshot:

July 2008: The highlight of our trip to Fairview–Larry spent a 6-scary day hospital stay at FEU due to Dengue fever. Thank G*d we were only 5 minutes away from the hospital. The silver lining to that cloud of doom, it happened in the middle of our 6-week vacation! He had the time to recuperate, and we didn’t have to cancel the trip back home. We got  back and I was the one who got sick…not as bad though. I ate a lot of ‘kamote’ tops from my backyard, just in case I carried the Dengue virus!

***Lots of living in between! Larry is so ready to go home to the Philippines to retire; however, I know how difficult it is to retire in the Metro Manila area if you don’t have the money go some place else half of the time…a house is not enough!

November 2009: I finally convinced him we should try real estate since training shouldn’t be lengthy and may be a good interim job while we push back retirement to 2012. I was hoping the market would get better by the time we’re ready. If I only knew then, I probably would be thinking twice…maybe! Maybe not…

February 2010: We finally scheduled to take the RE State Exam a day before my birthday! I guess passing it was my birthday gift. Then come more training and morrreeee expenses, and I’m not seeing the end of the tunnel at all. The light of the new career has not dawned on us yet. We’re hoping that this is something we can take with us to the Philippines. Meanwhile…Larry continued studying for his broker’s license (NOT for me anymore!).

August 2010: Larry took his RE Broker’s test, and passed! Yay…he was broke, now he’s BROKEr than ever. We just need to sell our “first house” and 9 more…opppsss…did I hear a double-dip recession? I told him that we need to sell 10 houses before we can even go on our regular vacation. I might as well go back to blogging!

I guess I should continue to promote Fairview Apartments and open it to travelers.

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

One Saturday Afternoon at the Beach

It’s getting close to summer again…with the heat and my niece being here in California, what better free entertainment for kids on Saturday afternoon than the beach. In her heart she’d rather be in the Philippines, but this is the closest she can get to home. And she’s still enjoying it anyhow. A beach is a beach is a beach.

Since we had some kids to help grow up 11 years ago, we had a few free tricks to keep them entertained. Somehow we never ran out of kids. We revisited our favorite beach hang out–still with the same 3 boogie boards we have kept in our garage. My husband and I were lazy then, and we’re still lazy now. We have our chairs, ensuring that we could see them not going too far out in the water. My niece was really comfortable playing with the younger ones.

Did we say it’s free? So…the kids had to go ahead while we were wasting our precious gas going around–waiting for a break to find a parking space. What better way to find them than being close to guardpost #27?

Then they were gone as we got there…off to the water. Nevermind the big waves.

Still hot at 5 pm…really windy, and we could see that the waves were bigger than they would have wanted it to be to swim comfortably enough.

Hhmmm! Should we really dare? Now touching it–the water seems colder too.

Maybe it’s not so bad if we start getting wet…isn’t that right? Aren’t we brave???

Why don’t we build sandcastles first? That could probably keep the chills away.

Yeah! Sure, isn’t it fun? Just wait a minute…the sand is starting to hurt my palms.

Whoaaa! How can we keep the waves from destroying our castle? More…more!

Okay…okay…stop! Our little hands can’t stop the waves from crashing into it.

Going…going…Gone! It’s time to really enjoy the waves…not that cold anymore!

Ha…ha…ha…didn’t I tell you the water is fun and not that cold once we’re in it?

The two kids didn’t really seem convinced they could ride their boogie boards.

Stare at the waves!!! If we wait a little while, these waves might take pity on us.

Wheeeew! I don’t think so…it’s eating me alive! Where am I??? Can you see me?

Yay! I’m still alive. Actually it’s really fun being swallowed and spit up by a wave.

As the kids continued to find joy in the cold water, which they swore wasn’t cold anymore, I found some other entertaining diversions with a little help from my ‘lil camera. My niece thought my shots were pretty creative and my husband wondered if it was the same camera he was using to take his drum pictures for his website and eBay auctions. Of course, it is! It gave me simple pleasures today.

I love this picture! Can you guess what you see up in the sky? A crescent moon?

I guess, this is what they call wind surfing…and this guy is having a blast! Yes!

I just can’t catch him doing the flips too. It’s fun watching him. No, no…not me!

Here’s another one…*flip*…truly mesmerizing! He has the ocean all to himself.

Footprints in the sand…little footprints…wonderful sand…happy children…sigh!

And that’s my foot…against the sandy shore, inching to test the water. Bbrrrrr!

…my husband lost into oblivion…starting to wonder if the kids aren’t cold at all.

Sure, it’s getting windier…and colder…and darker. If we’ll leave it to the kids, they’ll keep saying it’s not cold even if the little one had said to her older cousin: “Why do we enjoy the sand hurting our hands?” “Why are we having fun in this cold water?” And, I’m sure there are many more questions similar to what I’m asking…but it was a fun afternoon for them, and a welcome break for us–even for just the change of venue.

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

Maria Clara in Action

April 8, 2008, marked the EIU Asian Heritage celebration where students wore their native dresses. While the ‘baro’t saya’ I sewed for my niece fitted her, it was also small enough to be worn by a young girl. At some point, the organizers thought the color would be more suitable for a child, and the Maria Clara dress would be more appropriate for someone a little older. So, here’s Maria Clara in action; it would not be complete without the ‘Barong Tagalog’ for the male counterpart.

         

      Maria Clara dress for women                         Barong Tagalog for men

 

Students were encouraged to wear their native costumes, but it was also possible for just anyone to participate in however way necessary. Looking at the little girl, I couldn’t agree more that the exchange with my niece wearing the Maria Clara was a good call.

The Eastern Illinois University participants in their Asian Heritage celebration.

 

Here’s a closer look at the intricate designs and the very fine weaving of either  ‘jusi’ (jute) or ‘pinya’ (pineapple) cloth, both from plant material.

My niece (R) — presenting Maria Clara in action at EIU — and her friends.

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

“Little Manila: Filipinos in CA’s Heartland”

I must have missed this in my email yeterday…which means I’ve missed watching it last night as scheduled in LA Channel 58. Maybe I’ll find it another time. Thanks M– anyway!

Please check out the documentary, “Little Manila : Filipinos in California
‘s Heartland,” which is going to be aired nationally on select PBS Stations.
We’d love it if you could watch the program on your local station and spread
the news, too.

About the Program:
Narrated by Dean Devlin, famed Filipino-American movie producer
(Independence Day, The Patriot), the program is about the infamous
neighborhood in Stockton, CA, once called, “The City of Gold” by Filipinos.
Filled with chop-suey houses, gambling dens, and dance halls, Little Manila
was once home to the largest number of Filipino immigrants outside of the
Philippines .

The show is part of the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on PBS. Below
are a few broadcast dates and times, but if your station isn’t listed here,
please download the PDF schedule for broadcast times all over the US .

San Francisco Bay Area:
on KQED Channel 9 and KTEH 54 on Sunday May 4, at 1:30 PM

New York :
on WNET Channel 13 on Sunday May 4, at 7:00 PM
Monday May 5, at 4:00 AM
Friday May 9, at 11:00 PM

Los Angeles :
on KLCS Channel 58 on May 1st, at 11 PM

Boston :
on WGBH Channel 2 on Friday May 30, at 7:00 PM
Saturday May 31 at 12:00 AM
Saturday May 31 at 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM

We’re also working on another documentary about the Filipino farm workers in
Delano , CA called “The Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the UFW.”
For more information on it and our other programs please go to:
http://www.mediafactory. tv.

And feel free to email us with any questions!

Sincerely,

Sheila Flores

MediaFactory
http://www.mediafactory. tv
Saul Zaentz Media Center
2600 Tenth St. Ste. 600
Berkeley CA 94710
office: 510-295-4305
screening@mediafact ory.tv

Thanks to the above original source of this email, too.

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

What’s on My Dashboard?

I’d been shoving a number of Philippine stuff ideas to the back burner due to my mounting fascination about my dashboard [b]links waiting for me to check out (of course that includes my wandering spree when I get stuck). The newest was the ‘meevee.com’ which took me to the Julie Andrews blog items. Outside my dashboard, I can only go through their homepage and have to sift through the Miley Cirus hullabaloo stunts that lead me to China Disney billboard, yada…yada…yada! So many sidetrips again so early in the morning.

Thanks for my morning caffeine I remembered to do the in-site search ‘Julie Andrews the sound of aging gracefully’ and voila! There it is @ News & Gossipsjust my post! That’s all I wanted to see…thanks!

http://www.meevee.com/channels/smartChannel.aspx?q=julie%20andrews%20the%20sound%20of%20aging%20gracefully

 

This 2nd gem is from American Lola on the medical emergencies in the Philippines. She’s one of the very insightful foreigners living in the country. The Live in the Philippines website by Bob Martin is one of my favorite places to visit.

 

http://liveinthephilippines.com/americanlola/2008/04/08/please-help-the-medical-emergency/#comment-411 

 

This is COXyour friend in the digital world–[their by-line] as this is really [like] an electronic white page. Maybe, I’ll use it one day.

 

http://hamptonroads.cox.net/cci/google

 

There are a couple of social networking sites that found me (I think I’ll check out Squiddo at some point). And, a few I found along the way. Right now, I’m at the crossroad of joining HubPages. I got stuck somewhere on step 3 where I have to type my actual post. I didn’t know where to go after typing my supposed title. I went round and round the site, found some nuggets of thoughts along the way, and went back for more until I decided I’m losing focus again…so, I thought I’ll share some today.

 

* This is from a guy who brought his Russian fiancee to the U.S. and chronicled the saga here:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Bringing_Your_Foreign_Fiancee_to_the_U_S

 

* This one is from Lissie, a familiar face @ Kirsty’s blog (one of the very first I was following when I just got started), and I’ve heard HubPages then but I was still barely understanding WordPress (crawling stage)–now at least I can make a couple of baby steps and I’ve fallen at the pit. When I finally make heads or tails as to where to start writing @ HP, I hope I’d be able to follow her wonderful design steps here:

http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Create-an-Attractive-Design   

 

*Next time…more on uplifting posts about making money on line that maybe I’ll keep trying how to make HubPages work as it could be one of those sites you can make a few pennies/dollars depending on how hard you work. These pennies could still go a longer way in the Philippines.

 

 

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

Cheryl Is Still Dancing with the Star!

Cheryl’s lucky STAR is still shining tonight after what happened yesterday, which I missed. I completely forgot it was already Monday night…and I was supposed to watch my favorite dance show. The computer is gaining power over me. Trying to unravel the intricacies of the web, indeed, is very time consuming.

(I’ll post some pictures tomorrrow)

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