Author Archives: joyfullplace

Minimal Minimalism

Minimalism has gained popularity and got me interested. It blends well with environmental consciousness.

I do have minimalist characteristics.

I don’t like multiple frames on a wall. Some of my walls are bare.

My home decors are simple like for Christmas I only have the Belen/Manger and my litte live Christmas tree as I posted here https://joyfullplace.wordpress.com/2022/12/24/my-little-christmas-tree/ I do have a Santa Claus when my young nephews and nieces are coming over but they have celebrated in the province since the pandemic.

I only have one TV unlike my friends who have a TV in the family room and another in their bedroom.

I avoid multiple items and generally buy replacements only or items I do not yet have.

But there are minimalist characteristics that I don’t have or practice.

I still can’t let go of items with sentimental value to me easily. Like our antique furniture. It’s not really that functional and I suppose minimalists would have sold or given it away. But it had been with our family for more than 70 years. I only have 2 pieces which were brought here because they have to be repaired and there were no good restorers in the province. The oval table and other chairs are in our ancestral home in the province. I also keep some greeting cards from that time , long ago , when sending cards was the way to greet and express our feelings. I still have old postcards when pictures of places we went to were shared via mail instead of emails and social media.

I keep my mini library. I’ve given away the textbooks I used in school for the younger generations to use, but I’m keeping the rest. It’s just a mini collection so it’s not a big violation of the minimalist code I suppose.

Minimalists advocate having a few items in our wardrobe, the more similar the better. I’m not ready to have uniform-like clothes, though I buy more mindfully.

I haven’t emptied my closet or given away half its contents. I’d like to make sure that items will find a new home as I’ve written in Mindful Discarding https://joyfullplace.wordpress.com/2021/04/11/mindful-discarding/ . I also think that discarding for the sake of decluttering might not help if the items will be discarded mindlessly and end up as garbage and be an environmental concern.

Minimalism is a continuum. The extreme ones are the ascetics which live with bare essentials. I still think I’m practicing minimalism even if I’m at the other end of the continuum. I’m a minimal minimalist.

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

From freepik

I’ve read that Kiong Hee Huat Tsai is Hokkien which most Filipino-Chinese or Chinoys as we call them are more adept at speaking so am using it to greet everyone Happy Lunar New Year!

From GMA News Online it is said – Tracing their roots to Fujian in Southern China, most Filipino-Chinese are more adept at speaking Hokkien than Cantonese so you might want to consider and add “Kiong Hee Huat Tsai” to the list of popular greetings.

It’s another new year, another chance for a fresh start. But then, every new day can be a fresh start for all of us. Let’s embrace it !

Kiong Hee Huat Tsai!

My Little Christmas Tree

My little Christmas tree is a live plant. I set it up just a few days before Christmas so as not to burden it with the decor for long. I only use a few Christmas balls , just enough to dress it as a Christmas tree. My little Christmas tree adds joy to the occasion , in addition to giving oxygen.

Maligayang Pasko!

Merry Christmas!

Making The Most of Unexpected Happenings

We’ are so comfortable with our routines. We make plans based on expected events . But there are times when things happen contrary to our expectations.

My desktop monitor conked out. This disrupted my blogging routine. I’m taking this chance now to try to blog through my cellphone. But it’s not as easy or seamless transition to a new gadget as I expected. Still, there has to be another way , an alternative .

Then there was the last typhoon. We are still experiencing typhoons, not really unexpected because even if the typhoon months are June to August, we still get them up to November, even December though not as many. What I didn’t expect was the prolonged brown out. We do experience power outages during typhoons but they have been for short periods only of late which was even lauded by one opinion writer. I took the chance to play the piano again. Late that night, I continued and finished a book I’ve started reading months ago.

The biggest unexpected occurence was the pandemic Covid. Our plans and our daily routines were disrupted by lockdowns and restrictions from health protocols. We had to find ways to survive the pandemic. It was when I started blogging, something that had been in my mind. Many have found other ways. I wrote about my observations in my post Creative and Productive Ways To Survive Quarantine/Lockdowns. The lockdowns and confinement at home also gave me more time to be with my thoughts, be more pensive. I captured my thoughts in my post Positive Realizations in the Days of Covid-19.

We’re not in control in all instances . There are fortuitous events. We have to have a plan B or find ways to make the most of unexpected happenings.. And some of these unexpected occurences can lead to positive realizations, new or better ways, or rediscovery of forgotten passions/ hobbies which make our souls sing.

The United And Disunited Nations

From Aditya Library

On October 24, 1945, 51 countries came together and formed the United Nations, or the U.N.. Its purpose was to promote peace and cooperation around the world. Today the United Nations is an organization made up of 193 countries, practically all nations in the world.

And yet, we see some parts of the world at war. Allied nations are taking sides and abeting wars. Some nations are bent on testing and flaunting their nuclear weapons. Still others are questioning or worse, disrespecting territorial borders to claim islands as their own. Peaceful negotiations and accord seem to be forgotten. Sadly, these actions are decided by their national leaders, not necessarily by their citizens./nationals. What’s even sadder is these nations or their leaders who are opting for violent solutions are in the minority. Majority of the nations of the world want peace. I hope the peace-loving nations will really be united nations against war even if I sound naive about world politics.

To the leaders advocating violence, let this song remind them of their effect on humanity.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young men gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone to soldiers, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

And where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, a long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

And where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, every one!
When will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?

Yes, when will they ever learn?

Tagalog Sa Telebisyon – Dito at Rito, Raw at Daw, atbp.

Ang paksang tungkol sa Tagalog ay karaniwang isinusulat ko sa Buwan Ng Wika, ang buwan ng Agosto, subalit may nakita akong maling gamit ng rito sa isang magandang palabas sa telebisyon ngayon na malakas sa mga nanonood at umaani ng papuri. Hindi sana mapapansin kung sinabi o binigkas lang, ngunit ito ay nakasulat sa ibaba.

Itinuturo ang gamit ng dito at rito, raw at daw, doon at roon sa paaralan ngunit sa pang araw-araw na pananalita at pakikipag-usap ay madalas na nakakaligtaan. Mataas ang pamantayan at inaasahan ko sa mga pagbabalita at iba pang palabas sa telebisyon sapagkat malaki ang impluwensiya nila sa mga manonood o mambabasa kaya napapansin ko ang mga paggamit nila ng wika.

Balikan natin ang mga gabay na dapat tandaan:

1. Gamitin ang ritorinroonraw, at rine kung ang salitang sinusundan nito ay nagtatapos sa  patinig –  a, e, i, o, u – o malapatinig w and y.

Halimbawa:

Bawal magbaba rito.
Sanay rin talaga siyang gumalang sa matatanda.
Hindi raw maaaring bumaba sa panulukan.

2. Gamitin ang ditodin, doondaw at dine kung ang sinusundang salita ay nagtatapos sa katinig.

Halimbawa:

Alin dito ang tama?
Sipag daw ang kailangan upang magtagumpay.

3. Gamitin ang  dito at  doon kung simula ng pangungusap

Halimbawa:

Dito ba ang tawiran?
Doon ba nakatira ang guro?

4. Ang naiiba sa mga palatandaan (exception) – kung ang salitang sinusundan ay nagtatapos sa ra, re, ri, ro, ru at raw – gamitin ang dito, doon,daw at din

Halimbawa:

Paru-paro daw ang nakita nya.
Araw-araw din syang pinagsasabihan ng kanyang ina.

My Teacher When I Was Saling-Pusà

On Teachers Day 2022, I remember my teacher when I was a saling-pusà

Saling-pusà, a combination of the two words sali (to join) andpusà(cat), literally means
“cat joining in”.The term is used to refer to someone joining in an activity, despite not really being a full-fledged member of the group. It’s often used for young kids who are allowed to join older kids’ games. It’s also used for preschool kids who are accommodated in schools but are not enrolled.

I was a saling pusà in my brother’s grade one class. I didn’t attend all classes , just sat in in some of them.

It was easy for me to be accommodated because during that time, home rooms arrangement was used by our government to address the lack of classrooms. Our neighbor, our relatives, rented out their ground floor to be used as classroom. It was just across our home. I would usually just watch from our window the ongoing class when I was much younger , sometimes going near and standing outside the classroom. Until I joined as saling-pusà.

It also helped that my mother was a teacher and she knew the grade one teacher of my brother. My mother was teaching a higher class so I couldn’t sit in her class, though I remember days when she brought me along to her class.

My teacher was a stereo typical teacher, the homey, motherly, patient kind. She wore her hair in a neat bun. She wore the school uniform for teachers, gray straight skirt with a white blouse. She carried a small black bag and wore black shoes, with low heels, almost flat. She must have been around 50 years old at that time.

I remember she wrote very nice , uniform letters , very much like the sample alphabets on top of the blackboard.

From 123RF

I didn’t take part in the recitations nor took the quizzes. But I was supposed to behave and not disturb the class. This is probably the reason why I remember her patience. She would just tap me if I was facing a classmate seated behind me. I also don’t remember instances when she shouted at her pupils. She wasn’t intimidating yet she was able to handle her pupils well.

I did join in the writing exercises.

She was methodical and clear in teaching us the alphabet, abakada in Pilipino.

From elearningph

Like all primary grades teachers she was well rounded because she taught all subjects, from reading, writing,’rithmetic to music and arts.

Teachers do make a lasting impact on their pupils/students .

Thak you dear teacher for my fruitful and memorable first experience of formal school.

Our Country Is One of The Top Ten Countries Most Vulnerable To Climate Change

Climate change is on top of discussions once more. Tyhoon Karding (international name Noru) has just devastated many of our provinces. Residential areas and farms were damaged.

Aerial inspection of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac which were affected by the super typhoon Karding. September 26, 2022. (KJ Rosale/PPA POOL)
From The Manila Times

It’s not only in the recent times that the Philippines is visited by typhoons. But the typhoons are gettimg stronger. It used to be that we feared storm signal number 3, now we get signal number 4, even 5. Flooding brought by typhoons occurs more often.

I leave to the experts the explanations on why some countries are more vulnerable than others.

Two factors are our landform and our geographical location . We are an archipelago located beside the North West Pacific basin which is the most active basin on earth for storms to form. 

There are studies which have investigated the different social, economic and environmental factors that cause certain countries to be at a greater risk of climate change as compared to others. It has been determined that developed nations have higher carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and therefore contribute more to climate change. On the other hand, they are often less vulnerable to the consequences of climate change as compared to developing nations that may not be contributing much to the problem . This is true for our country, the Philippines. Being a developing country, we are one of the top 10 countries most affected by climate change, yet we are not one of the countries with the most carbon emission. But there are developed countries which are also vulnerable to climate change, Japan and Germany have been cited too. We are all affected.

We cannot change our geographic location and landform. Our economic development relies mostly on the plans and action of our national leaders.

But there’s one area where we all can help in our individual capacity – the mitigation of climate change. I reiterate the actions we can take from my post World Environment Day 2021.

  1. Growing Trees – if we have a large lot, we can do this. Otherwise let’s participate in tree planting activities . We can develop awareness through our blogs or social media accounts.
  2. Greening Cities – we can do this in our own yards or if we don’t have one we can have plants in pots.
  3. Rewilding gardens – we’re so used to manicured lawns, it’s time to reconsider making it more sustainable and less costly to maintain
  4. Changing diets- let’s buy locally as much as possible so there would be less energy consumption to transport food. Let’s refrain from buying processed food, cooking from fresh ingredients which we can do with care , within is healthier. There will be less wastes from packaging.
  5. Cleaning up rivers and coasts – we can start by avoiding waste and being mindful of waste disposal lest they end up in our bodies of water.

As bloggers, we can drum up interest on the environment or maintain awareness at the least.

Let me share with you my other posts about the environment:

Where Have All These Bookstores Gone?

We used to have so many bookstores. I remember our Canadian guest’s comment that he noticed that there were many bookstores in the Philippines even if it’s a small country. I counted in my mind the books that I’ve been to, mainly in Makati alone:

  1. National Book Store
  2. Alemar’s
  3. Goodwill
  4. Power Books
  5. Bookmark
  6. A Different Kind of Bookstore
  7. The Filipino Bookstore
  8. Fully Booked
  9. Book Sale – for second hand books

In other places in Metro Manila, there was Popular Bookstore, really popular as it was named, I’ve read and heard about it but failed to go there . In college , there was a second-hand bookstore in the campus , a branch of their main store in Recto in the university belt in the city of Manila. There were the Catholic Trade and St. Paul’s which publish and sell religious books along with religious items.

Of the bookstores listed and mentioned above , I only see National Bookstore and Fully Booked in Makati, with branches that are downsized. This was even before the pandemic . My friends and I noticed that the sections for books were getting smaller in th bookstores while the school supplies were getting bigger. These two bookstores are chain stores and have better chances of surviving in the business that is slowly being replaced by online publications and stores. Still, they have down sized. I still see St. Paul’s and Book Sale in malls. The others , the specialty /boutique bookstores have all gone, gone into the digital realm I hope, and not into oblivion.

But there was an event this month which gave hope to book lovers. After an absence of two years due to the pandemic, the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) returned to the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City for its 43rd celebration on September 15-18, 2022. The MIBF is the largest and longest-running book fair in the Philippines. As reported many publishers thought that only a few people would come, given the hard times the country is facing. Although somewhat smaller than the crowd in 2019, the readers who flocked to the MIBF from Friday to Sunday last week give us hope for the future of reading and literacy in the land.

Cheers to book lovers, the book stores are probably just transitioning or adjusting to the new realities worlwide.

Manila International Book Fair