Sunday, December 28, 2008

opulent and lavish in black - on aging gracefully and have fun doing it

we (the sisters in the hood) celebrated our 3rd christmas together,
yesterday, here at home, downstairs,
at my café des artes. i gave the theme for this year’s –
opulent and lavish in black.

tootsie, anne, lilette, ritzie, bidibidi

we did some photo shots for posterity’s sake,
we were saying, we might as well document the beauty
before the law of gravity takes over. hahaha.
unfortunately, the solo shots did not come out good,
so we have to settle for a group picture,
it still serves the purpose.
(i better not post the solo shots,
we look like some other laws were enforced.) (hahaha)

anne took charge of the sumptuous food,
the setting was under my charge,
my place being the venue (as always).

and my sisters arrived,
as if on cue, one at a time,
confident (well, except for tootsie),

and the party was on: food, wine, tales, jokes, laughter,
unkind remarks to one another, and to others,
(we can’t help it! we’re just human!).
it was a blast!

then we opened our gifts,
(except i didn’t get to open mine as, again, tootsie, didn’t want me to open the one i got from her. hah! she has her ways of making me virtuous, i.e. patient! (shouting)).
we gave each other vintage purses, ourselves vintage. hehehe.
(we gotta dress our age).

and the party was over by midnight.
i didn’t jump to bed right away, inspite of the red in my head.
i got to see our pics!
and looking at them made me reflective,
reminiscent and resolute:
i will age gracefully and have fun doing it!

am looking forward to having our 40th christmas party,
here at my café des artes,
with the theme am going to give it:
fabulous at eighty!

and though today i am far from being 80,
i have learned from others’ lives that
people do not stop playing because they are old;
they grow old when they stop playing.

i do know some secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success:
i have to laugh and find humour every day.
i’ve got to have a dream.
when i lose my dreams, i die.
and there are a lot of people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

i know there is a huge difference between growing older and growing up:
anybody can grow older, it doesn't take any talent or ability.
the idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
have no regrets.
i usually don't have regrets for what i did,
but rather for things i did not do.

and this I know, for sure:
GROWING UP gracefully, and have fun doing it

on second thought, am posting our solo shots. hehehe
i don't mind. and i don't care if you do.
this is my blog, i can post whatever i want. hahaha!
luvya sisters!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

what am thankful for – this christmas and everyday

am thankful for
not having everything
my heart desires
coz if i did,
what would i look forward to?

am thankful that
i do not know everything
for if i did,
what is there to learn?

am thankful for
those difficult times,
when I thought giving up was easier,
but those were the times
to grow.

am thankful for
all the challenges,
big or small
they build my strength,
my character.

am thankful for
my mistakes,
valuable lessons
do come right away,

am thankful when
i get tired, weary,
tells me an effort was exerted,
and with much enthusiasm.

i know it is easy
to be thankful for
good things. . .
but a life
of rich fulfillment
comes my way when am thankful,
for the setbacks.

gratitude. . . a magic.

turns a negative into a positive

so am thankful,
for my troubles
for i know,
for sure,
they will become my blessings.

thanks to ernst, my one and only brother and friend by serendipity, for whose love, i now have my logo & paulix, for whose art created this masterpiece - a stained glass signage at my farm

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

it is better to give than to receive - not anymore

we not only need to be willing to give,
but also to be open to receiving from others.

i used to love to think that it is better to give than to receive.
and yesterday’s experience has proven me wrong.
i hosted the christmas party for the la huerta employees association
(i want to baptize my group of loyal employees who are, by the way, my friends and family all rolled in one, the name of L.H.E.A)
(raised eyebrows from some, smirks from others,
from me – the widest, proudest smile ever).

menu included
spaghetti ala virgi,
fried chicken ala jen,
elokyo’s cupcakes,
fruit salad with coco strips ala batawjasoniskoeboy and
orange juice ala inggs.
each of them claimed a specialty, thus the names of our food.
we had to rent a videoke, to provide the music, and the chance to bleat. hehehe.

(the songs were ancient, the voices were going to all the wrong directions).
but i was telling myself, i need not suffer long,

i will leave for home at 6pm.

i prepared some gifts for each of them,and topped all the bags of goodies with 10 pcs of apples each.
apples are imported here, so they are a treat.
the smell of apples bring christmas closer to our senses.

i also bought some household items to be given away by means of a raffle.
grace prepared the lots to be drawn.

the food was superb, in fact, i took a second serving,
(left me with a bloated tummy)

when it was time to open the gift they have so secretly kept from me till now,
i was kinda preparing myself to be disappointed (this was quite mean of me)
i even told them (jokingly) that i will just open it at home
so that they will not see my reaction.

but they wanted me to open it in front of them and watch me.
i know how to deal with this, i was telling myself – act happy!
little did i know that i will be holding back my tears of joy (and shame for being mean in readying myself to be disappointed) when i see the first ever gift i got this christmas (come to think of it, this past few Christmases).

i tore the wrappings away and lo and behold – an antique jar in mint condition. can you imagine how my mouth dropped?

i have learned a lesson – i need not only be willing to give, i also need to be willing to receive. and i was humbled.

most of the time i am afraid to ask for anything, so my needs are unmet. in fact, i loved to think it was better to give than to receive, but yesterday i have been made to realize and know the difference between taking and receiving. giving to others is important. so is receiving from others. i need to accept the gifts the world gives me without shame. i am entitled.

i left for home at 8pm.

Monday, December 22, 2008

gifts come in all shapes & sizes

the annual gift-giving activities of the
bb. baao charities foundation
@ caranday, baao, camarines sur
for families of
cristo rey,
del pilar

christmas is about children. . .
they are our hope,
and it doesnt take a lot
to make them smile,
and keep their spirits up
especially during christmas. . .

these are the children of caranday, cristo rey and del pilar

and theses are the people
who try to bring smiles on their faces
this season of
P E A C E &

ritzie & bidibidi

a kgwd of caranday,mahelia,manrey,hans,lucy,joaldine,boyet,bidibidi,


the scenic view at antipolo

Saturday, December 20, 2008


be honest!
face it!
for better or for worse,
starbucks is THE place conducive to conversation,
whether for business meetings, or friendly catching up.
i love the luxurious feel of the leather couches,
even when am alone!
if not so lucky,
i got to settle for the hard wooden seats.
but i’m not minding,
it’s the coffee i am there for, i.e., for the impression i want to make.
(honestly, it’s the blueberry cheesecake. shhhh)

there are times when i just sit back,
relax and people watch (if i’m by the window)
and imagine what is going through someone’s head
at the exact moment they pass me.
other times, i simply let the conversations happening around me
melt into white noise. . .

i let downing a grande of coffee jelly last the longest time. . .
savoring each jelly, willing it to dissolve in my mouth
– doesn’t happen.

i’m like everyone else.
i like the good old mocha frap.
i was introduced to this ritual by my students at woodrose,
almost a decade ago.
and one more thing i wanted to get my hands on at starbucks
is their much coveted planner
that comes during this time of the year – christmas.
but being the rural woman (legend) that i am,
how can i ever have the stamps needed to be able to get the planner???
another arghhh! (this time louder!)

calling for S A N T A!

so, for the moment that i am spending my cold but exciting christmas here at
la huerta, baao, camarines sur,
A L O N E,
in my mind i am at starbucks. . .
while swigging a glass of lemongrass tea
(with pandan leaves, a pinch of lemon and a dash of sweetener).
and i continue to let starbucks be a favorite place
in my dreams. . .

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

merry christmas darling

Frank Pooler, Richard Carpenter (c) 1984

greeting cards have all been sent
the christmas rush is through
but i still have one more wish to make
a special one for you

merry christmas darling
we're apart that's true
but i can dream and in my dreams,
i'm christmas-ing with you.

holidays are joyful
there's always something new
but every day's a holiday
when i'm near to you

the lights on my tree
i wish you could see
i wish it every day
the logs on the fire
fill me with desire
to see you and to say

that i wish you a merry christmas
happy new year, too
i've just one wish
on this christmas eve

i wish i were with you
i wish i were with you

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


giving back what i receive. . .

an act of kindness,

a kiss of gratitude,

a good deed. . .

do good, be good
and leave everything up to him.

that is my belief.

corn husk-based handicrafts training @ la huerta