Tag Archives: serendipity

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

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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

Password to Modern Civilization

Oh…civilization, what thoust bring to the world? Paper trails of human foibles, for isn’t it a folly to want all the [un]necessary trappings of life? Even the trappings of success are really just traps that keep one from enjoying the basic necessities of living life to the fullest. How many things does one need to survive? …to love? …to hope? …to whatever? Whatever! Teen-agers discovered how to sum up life all in one word. Why can’t we?

What’s in your desk drawer? …in your filing cabinet? …in your computer? Hhmm–‘to do’ lists, bills, records, etc…. Oh, you are organized! In this modern civilization of this day and age, daily headaches would consist of soaring gas prices, doubling effect on groceries, and the rest of you can go on from there. Then it gets harder month-to-month: car payments (Volvo? Mercedes? Lexus?), house mortgage (Beverly Hills? Newport Beach?)–the ultimate [American] dream. What about your cell phone? What else did you say you have…ipod, blueberry, wii, xbox? I won’t dare go on, or my ignorance might betray me.

Life in a filing cabinet…this is just the beginning of modern civilization. Lucky are those computer savvy nomads [or not] with the password at their fingertips. For the uncivilized ones like me…even my husband, what is life like? The password curse is back! I finally convinced him to continue being Mr. Drumblogger (grudgingly, he seemed to be willing; let’s just say I cast that persuasive woman’s spell for now). Ohhh…now, we need the password. That was November then…sure we have some kind of record printed. Somewhere. Hhmmm…I thought it was in this filing cabinet. Do I have to hunt it amongst this ebay receipts? Five months ago, I remembered putting 1 computer stuff file folder right in front of all the other ones for accessibility purposes. Look what 5 months can do! Let’s backtrack…what was your ebay password then? How about your computer password? Nope! Some would know the rest of the story.

I start feeliiiing it in veins…patience, I envoke. Now, let’s try the easy way out–hit that forget-your-password button. See…it’s being sent to your email. Check your email–ooops, not in the Yahoo one; not in the Hotmail, either…then what now? Did you make a Gmail one for the blog? Yeaaaaaaah…that was 5 months ago, too. Which means–with the temporarily misplaced records–the reason why we’re having this problem in the first place. OK…another moment in time lost! I guess I’ll have to wait for another serendipity moment on this one.

Civilization goes with information explosion…always a mind-numbing experience, at least to me. Technology moves at a rapid speed; I can’t comprehend how some humans could make it so…indeed, ‘humans are still smarter than computers’ remains my contention. It’s just the rest of humanity that is sometimes left behind. I am left behind…or should I include my husband? This business of existence is really taking a toll on our retirable minds. This is when computer is better [not smarter] at remembering things. 

I can only dream of what my life was in the Philippines. As a carefree uncivilized kid in one remote farm in the Philippines half a century ago, I had nature as my playground. I didn’t have to go any farther for playmates; I had my siblings and cousins. For some reason, everyone was somehow related to one another: first cousins, second cousins, third or maybe even fourth. Toys? Aaahh…you mean those leaves and twigs and branches and even trees to climb for fruits when you get hungry? Nature has endless possibilities…no need to worry about lead in products, that translates to testing kits…to lawsuits and what nots. The records we kept were in our hearts! The only password we needed was LOVE4EVER…hard to forget–even when the memory starts to fade.

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

 

Serendipity vs Stupidity

The year 2008 ushers me a new life that hovers between serendipity and stupidity. Looking at these 2 words makes me wonder: Where is the serenity that I thought comes with growing wiser?  Let’s have some play of words here. In serenity, just a little dip [mirror, please] of stupidity–then one has to rely on ser-en-dip-ity.

Serendipity is the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely…that’s according to Wiki. Mr. Google seems to think hightly of Wiki as ‘he’ would always take you there first. Go and find the Prince of origin yourself.

Everytime I search for something, stupidity stares me in the face–today, pluginsfeedfooter–making me feel I am reading words I thought were English but they sound “Greek” or some sort of mathematical transcription to me. If I’m inside the classroom being graded, I’d probably get an F in flying colors. The serendipity part of it though, I came across a blog: http://www.joostdevalk.nl/make-the-scrapers-work-for-you/#comment-33414 where they actually discuss the reality of blog scraping [this far, I think I understand]. At least I can justify to myself sometimes feeling on the verge of insanity. In some crazy ways, I am coming to terms I could make the scraper work for me !

There was also an interview with WP Matt Cutts by S. Spencer, which would have been interesting and informative if only I could understand half of what they’re talking about. Again, I used to trust my knowledge of the English language, and I seldom doubted my level of comprehension; however, I couldn’t seem to go beyond the word “link“. Should you be interested, you’re better off reading this yourself: http://www.stephanspencer.com/search-engines/matt-cutts-interview 

Serenity may not come yet until I learn the FeedFooter plugin or something to that effect. Second in the wish list is using some link within my site, but I’m not sure what link in that interview [should not be more than a hundred at least] is good for google PR. I don’t even care about page rank, I only want to declutter this blog. This may have to wait until I get to the Philippines…what year???

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

 

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

Dancing with the Stars: Cheryl Bautista Burke

I didn’t mean to write about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ again, but Cheryl on the TV morning news teaching teenagers to do ‘the moves’ caught my attention. Then, I thought…that’s nice! [I’m a frustrated dancer, so DS is one of the very few shows I’d like to watch on TV.] Then I remembered my Filipino friend once mentioned [the 1st time she won] that she’s partly Filipina. I didn’t think much of it then, but now I thought…something related to the Philippines.

My friend is right! Wiki: …of Filipino & Irish descent. Bautista is Filipino last name [Spanish origin]. She grew up in Atherton, CA. –Hey! There’s an Atherton School next to my house in the Philippines.– It’s in Wiki too that she had helped a couple of schools with their fund raising. Whoever is Matthews Lawrence, my husband is Lawrence Matthew. Coincidentally, today she’s having the Grand Opening of her ballroom dance studio: Cheryl Burke Dance, San Francisco. Google brought me to her website: www.strictlycheryl.com 

I’m on the “google stage” at this point of being a DSL learner [Digital is my Second Language]. Everything amazes me from my WP dashboard (which seems to look different today) to whatever I find in Google World–[sigh] if only I could upload my ideas here by saying, “Beam me up, Scotty!” If I’m not quoting this right, I can always use the ESL excuse [English is my Second Language]. Hay, naku…tama na (in short, enough is enough)! At the end of my Google session, I’m so bogged down by the information from the technical to the human aspects of what’s out there. Indeed, what a tangled web enough to choke even an old woman’s innocence! [wink, lol]

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