Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Mother Earth, How Do I Care For Thee

Let me count the ways.

1. My little garden.

My garden is little and simple. It’s a place where I nurture plants- flowering, ornamental, some vegetables and some fruit trees. In their own little ways the plants provide oxygen to the atmosphere. My flowering and ornamental plants provide beauty to the place and flowers to grace my altar and make my house a pleasant place. The flowers attract butterflies and emit a faint fragrance.

My garden also nurtures me specially during this time of staying at home to stay safe because of the pandemic. I feel close to nature even at home. It’s one of my positive realizations in the days of Covid.

Balimbing blossoms

Balimbing fruit

The fruit trees, just the small varieties in the corners of the garden, provide fruits for my health and their branches and leaves provide a shady playground for birds.

See (spot) the lone bird in the shade of the kamias (or kalamias in Quezon), there are more birds actually but they fly away when I start to take pictures.

Guavas

2. Natural insect repellant/fertilizer

Repellant /fertilizer from orange peel.

I use orange peel as insect repellant and other fruits for fertilizer (in addition to compost).

3. Composting

It gives two benefits. It minimizes wastes thrown to landfills as all garden trimmings and dry leaves go to the compost pit as well as biodegradable wastes such as fruit and vegetable peels and other kitchen wastes. The compost serves as organic fertilizer.

4. Use of Environment Friendly Stones in Garden Instead of Cement

I use stones in the areas not reached by sunlight and where grass doesn’t thrive. It’s said that cement causes flooding as they don’t allow rain water to seep into the soil.

5. Mindful Acquiring

This is made easier by the pandemic. I’m trying to extend my year of frugal living and to maintain the practice of buying only what are needed.

6. Mindful Discarding

I discussed this in detail in my post Mindful Discarding which covers:

  • giving away to those who want or the need the items
  • recycling
  • repurposing
  • throwing away as a last step if the first steps are not possible..

7. Use of Public Transport Whenever Possible

I practiced this before the pandemic. I must admit though that I use vans used for point-to-point transport where the loading center is provided by the mall where I park my car and the off-loading terminal is also at a point near my destination in Makati Business Center so it’s not “as public” as regular buses.

Now during the pandemic, I work/stay at home most of the time and only go to places near our home by walking or short rides.

I’ve done something, I can do more. As I do more for Mother Earth, I do more for me because the earth nurtures me as I nurture it.

Happy Earth Day everyone!

No One Throws Away Memories

No One Throws Away Memories is a title of a song that came to mind when I wrote in Mindful Discarding, that discarding can be an emotional experience for me as I balance my inclination to keep things which hold memories with my practical side that wants to avoid clutter.

No One Throws Away Memories

Long after your phone call has faded away
Long after your warm hello has dimmed
I can’t forget the memories that you sent my way
Those Hallmark memories of yesterday.

Remember my birthday when you were away
Your happy return on Christmas day
That Valentine you went but could not run away
Sweet Hallmark memories of yesterday.

Words that you sent me were so simple yet so true
Dearest, sincerely I’ll never share my life with someone new.

Long after your phone call has faded away
Long after your warm hello has dimmed
I can’t forget the memories that you sent my way
Those Hallmark memories of yesterday

For no one throws a Hallmark card away
‘Cause no one throws away memories…

No One Throws Away Memories is an Original Pilipino Music used as commercial jingle for Hallmark greeting cards in 1979. The theme No One Throws Away Memories was commissioned to Jose Marie Chan with lyrics from Gryk Ortaleza. It was popularized by Richard Tann.

Pabasa ng Pasion sa New York

Pabása ng Pasyón (Tagalog for “Reading of the Passion“), known simply as Pabása is a Catholic devotion in the Philippines done during Holy Week involving the uninterrupted singing of the Pasyón, an early 16th-century epic poem narrating the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The verses are based on the bible and read/sang every Holy Week. (based on wikipedia)

Pabasa was widely practiced in my hometown when I was growing up. A group of people gathered in one house and read the Pasion (I’m using this spelling as it appears on our Pasiong Mahal) continuously. There was free food so many teenagers and kids joined the Pabasa, but the kids are sent home when it’s late because the Pabasa lasts from afternoon to the next morning. Readers would take turns in chanting. There are different tunes or melodies used in our town. It wasn’t obligatory to change tunes but the slightly faster tune was used when the portion on Resurrection was read. There’s a specific tune for the ARAL (lessons).

In our home, reading chanting was within the family . We read the Pasion all throughout the Lenten Season, not in one sitting or continuously. We tried to synchronize the reading with the days of Lent like when it’s Maundy Thursday, we would be reading the section on Maundy Thursday. We sang/chanted as a family and sometimes by pairs taking turns. It was family bonding as it was a religious experience.

It was also a lesson in old Tagalog because even if the Tagalog we spoke in Quezon is considered deep or uncommon by Metro Manilans we found some old Tagalogs that were new to us which our Lola (grandmother) and parents would explain to us. After all the Pasion was made in the 16th century and language evolved. We kids would sometimes find old Tagalog words funny and sometimes couldn’t control our smiles but our Lola would admonish us by looking at us because we should be reflecting on the Passion of Christ and the lessons from it.

My mother carried the tradition when she joined us, her kids, in Metro Manila when we were already working. We bought the Pasion in the picture, 2001 printing, the old one stayed in our hometown. Unlike the old one which was book bound, this one is paper bound.

My aunt, whose daughter migrated to New York after marrying a New York- based Pinoy, brought the tradition there. She lived in New York with her daughter and her husband for some years and during those years, she was able to gather former townmates who were now residing in New York and New Jersey. The Pabasa was rotated among different houses per year so there was a different hos and venue per year. And I had a lovely surprise when I visited my relatives in the US (when my vacation covered Holy Week) and my aunt brought me to a Pabasa. It was like a scene in our hometown in a different setting, very nostalgic and heartwarming as I saw familiar faces gathered doing an activity that I thought was forgotten by those who left the homeland.

Today the tradition lives on. In the new normal some have Pabasa using new technology and families /friends , regardless of location, are able to reflect on the Passion of Christ together, albeit virtually, though separated by distance.

Empowered Filipinas on the March

How Women's Month came to be - OVCRE
From uplb.edu.ph

I have gathered and listed below (partial) successful Filipinas in different fields of endeavor. But more than these highly successful and celebrated Filipinas are the countless women working silently in various fields, faceless in media but making a great contribution to Philippine society and, because of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), to the world at large foremost of which during this time of pandemic are our health workers.

Historically and at present, women excelled in various areas:

POLITICS

Female Presidents of the Republic

  1. Corazon Cojuangco Aquino , 1986-1992
  2. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo , 2001-2010

A Female Senator As Early as 1947

Geronima Pecson, who reaped the third largest number of votes during the Philippine senatorial elections of 1947

Current Female Senators

  1. Maria Lourdes Nancy Sombillo Binay Angeles
  2. Pilar Juliana Schramm Cayetano
  3. Leila Norma Eulalia Josefa Magistrado de Lima
  4. Ana Theresia Navarro Hontiveros-Baraquel
  5. María Imelda Josefa “Imee” Romualdez Marcos
  6. Mary Grace Natividad Sonora Poe Llamanzares
  7. Cynthia Ampaya Aguilar Villar

MEDICINE

Fe del Mundo, the first woman to be admitted to Harvard Medical School in 1936, has been honoured with Google’s latest doodle. However, Dr Del Mundo was a historic first in more ways than one throughout her life.

Fe del Mundo’s 107th Birthday
Google Doodle for Dr. Fe Del Mundo

Dr. Fe del Mundo earned her place in the history of medicine not only for her lifetime dedication to the health of children but for her inventions as well.

Previous Heads of the Department of Health

  1. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial July 1, 2016 – October 2017
  2. Janette P. Loreto -Garin December 2014 – June 30, 2016
  3. Esperanza I. Cabral January 2010 – June 2010

Current Female Undersecretaries of the Department of Health

  1. Myrna C. Cabotaje Undersecretary of HealthField Implementation and Coordination Team ( NCR and Luzon)
  2. Ma. Carolina Vidal-TaiñoUndersecretary of HealthProcurement and Supply Chain Management Team
  3. Lilibeth C. David Undersecretary of HealthHealth Facilities and Infrastructure Development Team
  4. Maria Rosario S. Vergeire OIC-Undersecretary of Health ,Public Health Services Team

EDUCATION

Many of these women achievers also taught in universities like former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Professor in whose honor a planet was named

A small planet orbiting the space between Mars and Jupiter has been named after an international award-winning Filipino science teacher.

The heavenly body, planet 13241, is now called “Planet Biyo,”named after Dr. Josette Biyo of the Philippine Science High School-Western Visayas (PSHS-WV) in Iloilo City by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory in the United States.

JUSTICE/LEGAL

First Filipina lawyer and judge

Almeda-Lopez became a lawyer in 1914. Around this time, the legal profession in the country was considered mostly for men.

Female Justices of the Supreme Court

Cecilia Muñoz-Palma (November 22, 1913 – January 2, 2006) was a Filipino jurist and the first woman appointed to the Supreme Cour t of the Philippines. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by PresidentFerdinand Marcos on October 29, 1973, and served until she reached the then-mandatory retirement age of 65.

Current female justices.

  1. Estela Perlas-Bernabe
  2. Rosmari Carandang,
  3. Amy Lazaro-Javier,

BUSINESS

Female businesswomen making their mark internationally

  1. Loida Nicolas Lewis
  2. Josie Cruz Natori
  3. Cora Jacob

BEAUTY AND TALENT

Excelling in traditional or stereotype idea on women is also pursued, also they are also active in their fields.

Miss Universe Winners

  1. Gloria Diaz – 1969
  2. Margie Moran – 1983
  3. Pia Wurtzbach -2015
  4. Catriona Gray – 2018

Miss World Winner

Megan Young -2013

Miss International Winners

  1. Gemma Cruz – 1964
  2. Aurora Pijuan – 1970
  3. Melanie Marquez -1979
  4. Lara Quigaman -2005
  5. Bea Santiago – 2013
  6. Kylie Verzosa -2016

NON TRADITIONAL AREAS WHERE WOMEN WORK NOW:

  1. Military/ law and order
  2. Construction
  3. Aviation (not only as flight attendants but as pilots)
  4. Transportation( Driving trains, bus, taxis, cars)

CONGRATULATIONS on your achievements! THANK YOU! Your achievements are society’s gains.

A Year of Frugal Living

I could have titled this piece as my No Purchase Year like I see in You Tube videos of No Purchase Year or No Spend Year. However, I viewed a couple of these videos and it turned out they were Low Spend Year than No Spend Year because they bought essentials like food.

Last year , I did or came close to doing that because of the pandemic and lockdowns.

My purchases were limited to the following:

  1. Food – only the essentials for meals. At the start of lockdowns there were those who stocked a lot for provisions to the point of panic buying and hoarding. I tried not to give in to the fear of supplies running out and I bought just right.
  2. Cleaning or sanitation items. – I did purchase a little more than my usual stock of alcohol that I didn’t buy more for the whole year.
  3. Replacements for essential items – I had to buy a replacement for our stove .

The things I did not buy/spend on:

  1. Clothes – we were not allowed to go out during the quarantine so I only wore house clothes most of the time. There were few times when it was necessary to go out like when I had to buy replacement items so I got to wear some of my weekend clothes to the mall/grocery . I also wore nice tops for Zoom meets, but I only rotated my present clothes.
  2. Accessories – we’re always covered in a face mask and a face shield when we go out so accessories are unnecessary.
  3. Gasoline – there were few trips so my gas lasted. It helped that there’s a small grocery nearby and I just walked when I had to buy essential items. There’s also a fruit stand within walking distance. It also helped that my brother who was stranded here (he’s now US based) borrowed my car to go to his in-laws a few times and he gassed up full tank before he left. That was in June last year and I still haven’t bought gas as of this writing.
  4. Face Masks – our municipal government gave out disposable masks, a religious organization gave washable cloth masks house-to-house and a friend gifted me with face masks.
  5. Face shield – another gift from a friend
  6. Make up- I didn’t go out and I put just a little lipstick during Zoom meets.
  7. Lotion- I have enough in store from gifts from friends and “pasalubongs” from balikbayan friend and relatives. Pasalubongs are gifts from people coming from a trip or another location. Balikbayans are countrymen who are now based in other countries and are returning for a visit or for good.
  8. Slippers – my current set ( one each for the bedroom/inside the house, for the bathroom and for the yard) lasted for a year.
  9. Shoes/sandals – I wear these for going out so I only used a few for the few times I went out. I wore my rubber shoes more often , when I walked to the fruit stand to buy fruits and walked to visit our church. Rubber shoes are really designed to last.
  10. Haircut in a salon – I cut my own hair.
  11. Other salon services. I didn’t go to salons for facials. In lieu, I steam my face to clean my pores. I think it’s not really an equivalent/ a substitute but I thought it was the more prudent option because of the pandemic.
  12. Plant pots – I recycled some pats and old containers.

I also did not buy these items last year but I usually don’t buy them even before the pandemic so I list them separately:

  1. Garbage bags – I recycle shopping bags from department stores and supermarkets.
  2. Kitchen counter tops wipes – I make rags from old towels/ hand towels or T-shirts.
  3. Mops – I make them from old clothes.

There are fruit-bearing small trees in our yard so they lessened my purchase of fruits. We have mangoes, papaya, balimbing and guava. I had a good harvest from our mango and papaya trees and I was able to give away some.

Wikipedia -Balimbing or Averrhoa carambola

My neighbor has a santol tree and she gave me some of her harvests.

Sandoricum koetjape - Wikipedia
Wikipedia -Santol or Sandoricum koetjape

In addition to the fruits that the trees give, they also help in cooling our house during the dry season. They also attract birds because of their fruits and their shade which make mornings more beautiful with their playing and chirping.

The past year has demonstrated that we can indeed live on less. This will help our finances and in a bigger view, this will help the environment , this will help the earth.

How Do You Greet At Noontime?

Photo by Bob Clark on Pexels.com

In the Philippines we say Magandang Tanghali when it’s noontime, literally Good Noon. People say it from around 11:00 am to 12: 55 pm. It’s Good Afternoon starting at 1:00 pm or around that time, no set time is strictly followed.

I searched the internet for a greeting at noontime. It said that after 12:00 noon, the greeting is Good Afternoon or Good Day which is translated as Magandang Araw in Filipino. There is no Good Noon even at 12:00 o’clock sharp. That is in the USA.

I searched Magandang Tanghali in other languages. Nothing came up, just Good Morning which is Magandang Umaga, Good Afternoon which is Magandang Hapon and Good Evening which is Magandang Gabi.

Is Google missing anything or is there really no equivalent in other languages?

It’s probably trivial but it’s a part of our culture that is worth knowing and keeping. Little things make up the whole.

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Normal

Everywhere we go, there are signs of the new normal.

If we go to the malls, they’re there

Social distancing is enforced

Two-way traffic within the mall

When we nurture our spiritual side, we have to abide by the health protocol.

Alcohol near the font.

Contact tracing via QR code or form.

30% capacity inside churches with social distancing.

Face masks and face shields are required

Simbang Gabi or Dawn Mass on TV

Simbang Gabi ends , the sun has risen.

If we go for a walk or jog we have to wear our protective gears.

We work from home, conduct meetings from home.

Meet-up with friends are via digital media.

We thought when 2020 was over, we could go back to the life we knew , and enjoyed and took for granted. But it’s now 2021 and vaccines are now ready but new COVID variants are surfacing . We still have to live with the “new normal”.

We just have to remember the positive aspects.

Online meetings have advantages. It’s easier to set meetings. Attendance is easier too because we don’t have to go through traffic and in the process aggravate it wit our car /commute added to it. Resetting is easier if something comes up and the quorum is not met.

Working from home has it’s advantages. We are more in control of our time. We don’t have to dress up in our office wear. And we also avoid and don’t contribute to traffic.

And there’s less traffic as i observe when I have to go out.

Attending church services via TV or online streaming allows us to attend anywhere, even masses outside our countries if we want.

There are other positive aspects as I wrote during the early days of the pandemic.

There’s life during the pandemic, let’s make it a good one!

A Reserved Person’s Blogging Journey in 2020

I consider myself reserved which is subtly different from shy . I have not really announced to all my friends in Facebook or all of my family members , whether immediate or distant , that I have a blog. I only inform them as needed, as you’ll see in my review of my blogging experience in 2020.

My journey hasn’t been that long. I started posting in August , 2020 so by December , I had been posting for 5 months. I’m working with a small set of data, still it’s nice to see what transpired, to see how things worked, or not. Perhaps those who are seasoned bloggers who are following me or visiting the site have their own assessments.

Most Viewed Posts

Creative and Productive Ways to Survive Quarantine/Lockdown

  1. Sharing – I shared this with my friends who were mentioned in the post and whose pictures I used. I also mentioned it to friends who were not mentioned in the post but who expressed to me their boredom during the quarantine.
  2. Timeliness/Relevance – It was written at the height of quarantines/lockdowns, people could relate

We’ll Be Home For Christmas

This is a close second and I think same reasons made second most viewed.

  1. Sharing – I shared this with my family when I greeted them last Christmas.
  2. Timeliness/Relevance – It was written during the Christmas season.

First Liked Post

Warm Thoughts on Rainy Days

This was my 6th post and I was probably getting more familiar in the Reader section of WordPress. There’s a possibility that they are doing what I’ve read on some blogging tips that it’s important to like others’ posts to make the blogger’s presence felt or to generate interest on our own blogs. But why this post, not my earlier post? I believe we do not like for the sake of liking , there’s a connection somehow no matter how slight.

Being liked gives a boost. The likes also made me interested or curious about the blogs of those who liked my post.

Most Liked Posts

The Golden Gate, Up Close

Tags – Travel and photography, as I observed, get views and likes as compared to other tags. I’m still figuring out though why this post when I have other posts on travel/photography.

A Furry Tale

This is a close second. I suppose kittens are such lovely and endearing pets that readers love to read about them.

Month With Most Visitors – August

Sharing- I posted Creative and Productive Ways to Survive Quarantine/Lockdown, the most viewed post, in this month.

Post Reached Through Search Engines

Tagalog sa Pagbabalita sa Telebisyon at Pahayagan

It probably got the interest of students of Tagalog or languages.

Post reached Through Link

Traditional Filipino Family Names

I made a comment on a site which specializes on Filipino surnames and linked my post. Views still come up months after I posted.

Country With Most Viewers

Aside from my country, the Philippines, most of my viewers came from the US. Thanks to WordPress , I had views from different countries all over the world.

Some Conclusions:

What Worked

  1. Promotion – the most viewed post were those I shared with friends and family. And when I’m not sharing, the WordPress Reader does the promotion among other bloggers. Corollary to this, my most viewed month was August, the month I posted my most viewed post.
  2. Tags – the most liked post had effective tags.
  3. Link – links to another site led to visits coming from that linked site.
  4. Participation/engagement with other bloggers – I got interested in the blogs of those who liked my post and those who followed my blog. I also liked their posts which I really resonated with me and followed some of them to learn more about blogging through them.
  5. Topics – those which were liked or viewed were about universal topics. Some topics did not get any likes e. g. Buwan Ng Wika and Ber Months .

What Didn’t Work

  1. Limited technical knowledge – Creative and Productive Ways to Survive Quarantine/Lockdown while it was most visited, didn’t get any likes. My friends told me that they wanted to like it but they were required to sign in to WordPress and since they have no plans of blogging they did not sign in. Perhaps, we just haven’t found the way.

Also, I need to improve on format or layout.

2. Insufficiency on those things that worked like I could have promoted more, used tags more effectively, and the like.

So, you might ask, why am I still blogging if I’m so reserved to do those tips which successful bloggers have shared? I want to capture my thoughts, my views on things I’m interested in like our culture and language and my reflections on some aspects of life.

You might ask further, why blog if I just want to capture my thoughts, views and reflections? Why not maintain a journal instead? I’d like to share so that some kindred souls out there who will chance upon my blog might learn from my writings or somehow be glad to find someone or some experiences they can relate to.

Meanwhile, as things are now, while I still have much to learn , areas to improve on , since I love writing blogging has given me fulfillment. And that’s already rewarding.

Here’s to a better and happier 2021 for all of us. Cheers!

Old Christmas Cards

Old Christmas cards, the ones in hard copy, are special. They contain the personal touch of the sender, heartwarming thoughts in the sender’s handwriting and his signature. They preserve happy memories of Christmas. They can be bought or self-made like the ones made by my nephews and nieces when they were much younger..

Old Christmas cards can last a lifetime. They are forever accessible unlike digital greeting cards which may easily be rendered obsolete and inaccessible by ever changing technology.

Below are some of them:

Japan

Thailand

U.S.A.

Australia.

Saudi Arabia

United Kingdom

Philippines

Thank You ! Welcome!

Gratitude for the good things in the past year and hope for the coming year.

I’d like to start the New Year with gratitude for the blessings of the past year. And I welcome and open myself to more blessings this New Year.

Thanks!

We have experienced a difficult year. The fact that all of us are still here is already a success for us. We prevailed. We triumphed. We are all achievers.

Thank God for allowing us to see the positives in a world beset with so much negativity.

Thank God for helping us find our way through our difficulties and giving us the health of mind and body as we continued and persevered.

Thank you WordPress for allowing me to pursue blogging for free as I test the blogging world, for providing the technology so we bloggers are able to express our ideas, for nurturing a community of bloggers who become our first audience and support group.

Thank you, to those who followed my blog. I know I still have a lot to aspire for but you have inspired me by doing so.

Thank you to those who liked my posts, you have given me an idea on which posts resonated with you and made me feel there’s a kindred soul somewhere out there.

Thank you to those who visited, you showed a sign of interest on my topics and gave me a sense of fulfillment by just one click on my post.

Welcome!

Welcome my first visitors, likers and followers this New Year! I hope you will enjoy your visit and be with me in my blogging journey. I wish you’ll find what I wanted to share in this blog – a little bit of help, a bit of information  about our culture, our language and my observations in life in general or to give a reason to smile.