Tag Archives: retirement

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

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

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

The Wonderful ‘Sound of AGING’ Gracefully

Who had not heard of the legendary Sound of Music? I confess I have not watched the complete story [like any other movies]–it’s just me. However, I’ve heard of this supercalifragilisticexpealidocious* woman enough to include her in my personal list of awesome people. My friend who got this one from her [awesome-in-her-80s?] Aunt Marg forwarded this profoundly-compelling-to-share email:

 

Julie Andrews Turns 69–To commemorate her birthday, actress/vocalist, Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan ‘s Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP.

One of the musical numbers she performed was ‘My Favorite Things’ from the legendary movie ‘Sound Of Music’.   Here are the lyrics she used: > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > (Sing It!  – if you sing it, it’s especially hysterical!!! ) Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and hand-rails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favorite things. Cadillacs and cataracts ,and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,    These are a few of my favorite things. When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favorite things, And then I don’t feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,   No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favorite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin’, Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’,  And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things. When the joints ache, When the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I’ve had, And then I don’t feel so bad. > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > (Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores. Please share Ms. Andrews’ clever wit and humor with others who would appreciate it.

 

I did sing a few lines that my faltering unmusical mind somehow remebered, still…it brought home some humor to my morning. This brings back to a nagging question as to who finds all the stuff floating in emails, and how do they travel from the very original source? Etc…etc…etc! I heard of the blogger that snuck in her (?) recorder and got Obama in the bloggy [helluva] news. Oh…well, this must be from another blogger I should say–Thank You!

 

Again…is there an AARP in the Philippines? Are there AARP members in the Philippines? Thanks to AARP for making it happen I guess…esp. to the brilliant Ms. Andrews. Brilliant! Come to think of it…did Oprah’s rating go down by 13%? What do I care anyway…I really should declutter my aging mind, too.

 

I hope I’m spelling *super… properly! Why do I need to install whatever plugin to use the spell checker here? I’m really developing a bad case of plugin-phobia. Another irritating thing in this new dashboard is using the tags…still have to type individually again (pain, pain, pan, pin…in). I knoooww there’s a quicker way, but I sure can’t unravel it yet…simpler to GRIPE, and more griping–such a gripping gripe! OK…I don’t go to forums; my ‘DSL’ level is making me think I don’t understand English. Maybe, I’ll wait for another serendipity moment.

 

 

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

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

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

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

How Important Is Your Cell Phone?

How important is my cell phone? Pretty much…when I go ballistic thinking it was lost, yet I only use it to answer the calls [important ones from my family]. It doesn’t even have the camera since I have a separate one for the purpose of taking pictures. Neither do I check messages. I get funny ones from my husband when I fail to answer his calls [99.9%]. “Why do you even have a phone? Why don’t we just cancel it and save money since it’s pointless to even get hold of you.” I don’t feel it; It’s on vibrate–a distraction when inside the classroom. Do you really think I would change the setting when I’m gallivanting to my heart’s content? Whoever needs me can keep calling if it’s really important…and hope for the best.

Why then should it be important to even hunt for it the entire Saturday? For one thing, if it’s really lost…I don’t want to end up paying a hefty bill from someone’s international usage. Another important reason is my immediate connectivity to my brother and sisiter-in-law who work irregular hours and have a kid to pick up at school. My cell phone usage dated back to the time I had to pick up my step-children when the cell phone was practically a foot long. (I’ll probably post the picture when I get to it.) Luckily then,Verizon had a $10 promo for 20-min/mo limited time offer for teachers instead of $19.99 one. I had it for the looooongest time until that phone would almost die even if it was plugged in the car’s cigarette lighter. It was then time to upgrade the plan. 

I ended getting the family plan for four since my brother and sister-in-law arrived at this time. I pay more, but I still think that we’re saving with the Cingular plan [$$9.99 for every additional line] — now AT&T. After more than 5  years, I still have the same plan with 10 cell phones sent to the Philippines after the 2-year contract becomes available for a new free or discounted replacement. This is a luxury I allow myself, considering the smiles from my Filipino family who inherit them. I definitely can’t afford to lose my almost 2-year old phone. Somebody is waiting for it in Fairview. Besides I don’t want to get tied up to another 2-year plan…unless I can make my husband come back to the US this August.

The day is almost over but I still could not find my cell phone. From snapping at the Filipino telemaketers, “not really a good time to reach me as I’m looking for my cell phone” and being curt to my friend “not now, you can try it yourself first” about her Craig’s List ad, it is time to give up and have AT&T suspend it. I need some peace of mind while doing other things. [I’m not posting this yet.]

Sunday morning came…with late breakfast over, I was ready to sit in front of the computer. Still a little chilly, so I grabbed the jacket draped behind the computer chair. Guess what? I felt something inside the pocket…yeah, my phone! I swear…this is not the only irritating event this weekend. While I was looking for my phone yesterday, I found the credit card I reported lost the day before, as well as the bills I intended to pay before spring break and tax prep. Tell me I shouldn’t retire yet! I’d better post this now and unsuspend that phone. I might lose it again!