Sunday, December 26, 2010

merry christmas!

i started a tradition this year, a farm family party.

i have long been comfy with my reality – fun sans fam. and somehow, fate always had to meddle in my affairs so that now, i have my own, and a large one at that – my farm fam.

it was a simple gathering and everyone was involved.

from preparing the menu, going to the market and cooking,

from making a short program, to actually doing the dances,

singing the songs, wrapping and giving out the gifts.

and i received some wonderful gifts, too! oh my! my fam definitely knows me – and gives me, only the gifts i want. how lucky can i be?

nico, jam and manilyn – who makes my coffee and tea everyday; coffee at breakfast, tea before bedtime, in that particular order – has one beautiful coffee mug for me.

marilyn, lalaine, france and jr must have gotten an inside info on my current collecting spree and gave me a red antique earthen jar – certainly a vessel i want!

and to make matters better, my godchildren elena and her husband, sent me a huge box, wrapped in festive paper! and guess what i got? an antique earthen water jug, with the metal spout still working.

wow, who had been spreading the news that i am so into this? must be some santa. bwahahaha! delegating his job!

of course, who could know me more than my La Huerta family: virgie, inggay, jen, sandy, jason, eboy, gerald and mark? nobody. and the best utilitarian gift i got this Christmas, is a huge pot for cooking rice for my huge farm family! now, that was being so thoughtful.

and just like any other time that i receive an act of kindness and generosity, i was bawling my eyes out when i got back to my room at the villa. i had to close my doors and enjoy this fleeting moment of being appreciated, and loved. and being the matriarch that i am, i had to make sure, my farm fam didn’t see this moment of weakness, vulnerability. bwahahaha!

now who says that my reality sucks? bwahahaha!

Friday, November 26, 2010

blues and grays

i will NOT complain that we’ve had several rainy and gray days in a row – i am deeply grateful for every blessed raindrop that is sinking into our parched land

and helping to refill our lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs. you know i am.
still saddled though with the fatigue of having to stay a full week in the city and forced to work again, for yet another trip and stay, there,

i’ve spent only a few minutes fighting the fogginess inside and out by. . .
drawing, designing.
and then painting. . .
nothing cheers me up more than dipping my old paint brushes into my watercolour palettes.

somehow the grays and blues let me see the greens.

and life is good! and colourful! bwahahaha!

Sunday, November 21, 2010


you know am in a rush when i have not blogged for the longest time.

i thought living in my hometown, Baao, a laid back, rural, agricultural town south of Luzon, here in the Philippines, would give me the luxury of taking it slow. . . well, it did, at first.

now, looking back at the time i re-settled back here in my hometown, Baao, i could only gape in disbelief! now, it seems like i can also be in a rush. . . which brings me to this moment of reflection. what have i done? what have i brought upon myself?

this week was a blur. i have not taken off a day. rushed with my F.A.R.M. stocks for the OLIF Trade Fair in Manila, wishing nights were days so i can have my workers, sewers make my F.A.R.M. things for me. lugged hither and yon. exhausted by Friday night, i fed myself all the carbs i can get my hands on and be angry later. bwahahaha. there is always time to be sorry and make up for gained weight. bwahahaha.

like Santa, it is very busy here in, getting ready for fairs and Christmas sales. i am working my heads off, my shoppe looks like it was in a button storm, and notion blizzard. lunches and dinners are spent in a whiz, but who is minding? certainly not Santa nor the elves, nor the reindeer. because busy is good!

and the end is in sight: everything will be for the F.A.R.M. Shoppe and Fairs. afterall, Christmas is a season, that is my fave.

so, am i minding that i still live a rushed life once in a while, in the slow, laid back, rural, agricultural hometown of Baao? naah! ilovette!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

today, am rich!

the morning finds me teary,
overcome with the magnitude of His grace and mercy,
in that He has, for His own reasons, chosen to make me an incredibly “rich” person.
they have to be His own reasons;

i know my story well enough to know the massive gulf between
what i have earned and what i have.

this morning, i celebrate the same things that many will:
home, health, family and friends.

but the things i have seen, heard, and learned this past couple of years, well, they are what push my gratitude from a sigh and a smile to a whole other level.

today, i write these words from the comfort of my shoppe cum studio at home,

having looked into the eyes of many who don't have a place to call their own.

i live up close to those who have no front door to shut against the world,
no bed to leave unmade, no cupboard full of snacks.

i have seen the haunted expressions of those who share about sleeping outside.

i have heard the horror stories of those who are at the mercy of whoever will take them in.
i have watched the frustration of those who are learning to deal with jail life,
which means yielding to the system’s idea of how clean is clean enough
or what time the lights should go out.
today, when i say i am grateful for my home, it means whole worlds of things that had never crossed my mind before.

my personal encounter with being childless, so many years back now that i struggle to place a date on it, changed my appreciation for my existence. it deepened my compassion for those who are sad and lonely, though living with a husband and some kids.

my journey the last few years has taken me deep into the realities of loneliness and aloneness, and being caught in the confines of what society dictates.
once upon a time, it never crossed my mind to be grateful for being who i am, a lone soul in this busy world. that was presumption on a very high order.

the old line says "people need people." i used to think it was a lie, back when i believed i was a loner
and that i required large amounts of solitude in order to be happy.
i was wrong.
people do need people.
we shape one another.
we draw out the poison from old wounds.
we stir up the good stuff that's been settled so long that it has been forgotten.
we prop each other up.

do we get it wrong, sometimes?
oh, yes. often, even.
is it awkward and unlovely, on occasion?
yeah, you bet!.

but people without family are dangerously susceptible.
i am grateful for friends and family,
not only because they sometimes give me the "warm fuzzies,"
but also because i need them,
and they need me,
and the One who designed us all planned it like that.

today, when prodded by the question, ”how rich are you?”, i shout:
i am rich, way beyond your imagination!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

memoir of a dilettante gardener

gardens and gardeners,
like all living
beings age and change.

why wouldn’t they?

the passage of time brings about this,

slowly, creepingly, and almost always takes one by surprise.


when i looked in my full length mirror,

oh, rather, tootsie’s mirror housed in my cafe,
on my way to my shoppe and studio,

i caught a glimpse of a woman,

who must have had her share of passage of time in her life,

and i realize in amazement that it’s me.

when i was young
(i am still young now, i pretend and would want to believe),

i always rebelled against the idea

that a good thing also has to end.

how could it?

and when i got myself into gardening,

it became quite clear,

because in a garden,

change is nature’s way of managing it all

– animals, vegetables, flowers, trees.

the sands of the desert shift, and mountains erode.

everything changes, and somehow or other it all works.

it’s hard to say whether a garden is a metaphor for life

or the other way around.

certainly, each phase of my life

has been clearly reflected not only in my mirror

but also through the windows of my soul

that give me a glimpse of my garden, that is,

my life.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

who knew?

that one day i would have long hair.

or that i will be glued to wearing shorts.

that i would have more to do all day
than just bask on the beach.

that the year would come

when my birthday cake
would no longer be bigger than my body.

that i would make a lovely bridesmaid,

but never the bride.

that i would NOT be a biological mother,
but a mother, all the same.

that children would be those i ‘borrow’

that i would love to decorate the house,
the farm for no reason at all,
or for the only reason that matters,

for the self.

that i would love having cocks and hens for pets.

now that is funny!

that wearing wings
and growing them are totally different things,

but promising.

and that i would spread those wings

and soar.