Sunday, September 14, 2014

For One More Day With Mom

September 14,2014

It is mom’s 78th birthday today.

I have been avoiding writing about her lately because, missing her is a bit painful this year. Why? Well, suffice it to say, that these are the times, I would need a mother’s presence and  words most .

 I cannot help celebrating the month of September without   remembering or  honoring  my mother’s memory.

September is also the nativity month of  my powerful , spiritual mother, Our Blessed Lady.

It is not easy.

I am bombarded with thoughts and consideration of the inevitable, our own, my own mortality.

I just realized again, with much regret and remorse,  that we do not know the time or the manner, but,  death, is most certain.

The picture and  gruesome news of how some  people were robbed of their life, has left me, quite shaken to the core.

It is quite an insecure and  uncomforting thought.

That is why, I seek comfort and refuge, that my Lord and my Savior, has conquered death for me, already.

The battle has been won.

I simply have to make my decision, to follow  with faith, hope and love safely tucked in my heart , mind and soul.

A few weeks ago, by chance, a book fell into my lap and it has signaled the theme of my blog today.

Mitch Ablom’s For One More Day.

What if we are given a chance to spend one more day with a lost love one, how would we spend it?

What are the questions we would ask?

What are the places and activities we would do?

Oh how I long to snuggle  in bed with my mom.

Spend quiet times with her.

Listen to the beating of her heart.

Hold her  arms and hands.

Cherish the visible veins in her hands with all the years of child care  for 9 kids.


Wonder how painful the swelling of her  uric acid build up in the tips of her fingers that has given her the trade mark shape. Like  tamarind shells.

Last year, around October, I was blessed to see her in a dream. She was all smiles. She was most radiant.

Oh, how, I long to see her that way again.

To see her beam over her grandchildren.

To  update her of  their growth milestones.

I would love for her to listen to  her namesake, Marcelina or Lilli, who, exclaimed, the other day, at McDonalds play area, much to the delight of her Ate, “ Oh, this is just so interesting!” mimicking her favorite pig, Peppa!

I am sure, mom would  be super pleased at how her Marina loves to hear stories of her. How she loves the  crossword puzzle. How she  loves to read and how her granddaughter pursues these  linguistic pleasures as well.

And,  maybe, how she would gently remind me of my figure.  I have not yet been serious about one of her last directives to me, to maintain a pleasing shape.

And, how, I would  bask in her non-critical  encouragement to take care of myself better.

Knowing, without the need to hear the words, that she truly loves me, just for being me.

Mom, thank you.

I so miss you!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

VLOG Number 1

Magnificent May 14.2014

I am blogging for yesterday.

Since the scorching heat has descended here in the land of sands, our activities has moved more to the early evening so we can make the best of the cooler air. We love, of course, going to the nearby park.

We had our badminton games in the common area of our flats, which I prefer to call, our courtyard ( please excuse my frustration of English estates and castles, hahaha!)…anyway, we started at 6pm.. to avoid the heat.

Yesterday, we started around 5pm, and oh me oh my, it felt like a sauna bath.

Very good for burning fat.

Here is a recap of my food intake:

Breakfast:  Kellog’s cereals    ( 1 bowl) with sugar and milk  
( making a mental note to use honey next time)

Lunch:  yummy and lovingly prepared Vietnamese Spring Rolls.      ( maybe had more than 7 rolls) while Marcelina had around 5. Happy mom!

Snacks:  handful of raisins &  fried peanuts ( cooked by Ruel)

Dinner:  5  rolls  leftover from Lunch and approximately  1 bowl  of Vermicelli soup with minced chicken meat and carrots plus  yellow ginger, onions and garlic with a few slices of Baguio Beans.

As to my water intake, 10 glasses. Very good. I will try to measure our glass as to how much it really can contain tomorrow.

I did a video earlier....VLOG, but, it takes like forever to upload it. I still have yet to find a way on how to do it faster.

My goals for tomorrow, be more accurate in my measurements of my food portions.

Thank you God for another  fulfilling day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hello Quinoa!

Magnificent May 7,2014

Tonight, my dear friend Jazeela introduced me to her cooking.

Yummy spicy chicken with lots of Capsicum.  So yummy!

She paired it off with sauted Quinoa.

She has been raving about this to me.

And I am now a passionate believer.

I just love this  discovery.

It is a good source of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, Vitamins and minerals.

It is almost like a cereal grain but it is of the grass family.

The seeds are the one that is edible.

I ate a handful and it was filling enough.

My goodness, I am going to hunt it in Lulu. It cost QR44/ 450 gm. And comes all the way from Peru.

I believe,  its nutritional and dietary benefits is worth every Riyal.

Thanks to Jazeela again, I know my latest weight. I hesitated to print it since, it is quite frustrating after the more than 2 months of no rice.

The  softdrink and super fatty burgers and fries we ate the other night for Mari’s bday  might be the culprit.

Tonight as well, since  we were invited by another neighbor for their daughter’s 6th bday  party  I onceagain broke the resolve to stay away from the  Coke.

Again, tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Marina!

Marvelous May 4,2014

Last night I saw pictures of you when you were almost 1 year old.

It was Ninang Hazel’s photos that I haven’t seen yet.

I am so amazed at how time flies.

Tomorrow, my dear Victoria Marina, you will have made me a mother for 11 years now.

You are my first born.

My trial and error.

I am writing to you openly, because, you are my first avid blog fan…as I am your first cheerleader.

I thank you for coming to my life, for making it richer and more colorful.

It has not been an easy ride.

There are times I feel lost and confused and frustrated  on how to become the best mother to you.

Do  continue to forgive Mama, when I am not so loving, and more stern to you.

Do remember the many, many times, Mama truly, made you feel LOVED and SPECIAL.

Because you truly are, LOVED and very SPECIAL.

Giving you the gift of a sister, does not make that LOVE any less, nor you LESS SPECIAL.

Mama’s heart is so big and wide, it can accommodate you both comfortably, with more, overflowing for refill.

Thank you for being  just you, my artist in residence, my future Consellor, who can argue and debate with me and put me in check when I am not being consistent with my talk.

Always remember the values of  God, Prayer and Family, and you will always make me happy and proud to be simply called, Mama.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happy Sweet Qatar Life

Awesome April 30,2014

Last night was a super exciting night. I did not have the energy to blog anymore. So today, I will do 2.

Marina and I eagerly prepared for a cake decorating contest in Lulu-D Ring road. We learned about it last Monday, unfortunately, we were rushing to go home and promised to come back Tuesday. Unfortunately, we were not able to since, the plumber promised to come and we got so caught up with home school lessons that I said, Wednesday will be a better day.

And so it was.

My cake’s theme was supposed to have been: Happy Sweet Qatar Life.

It would supposed to have been covered in chocolate shavings with a stencil of a pearl right smack in the middle of the circular white cake.

Then on the sides, we would have made different lengths of Kit-kat bars showing the Doha skyline. I had a grand ambition of making a favorite landmark building with the use of  sliced banana dipped in yellow food coloring and a straight steeple on top of it. Then alternate with the skyline will be date trees using Kiwi sliced fruits as the foliage, Maltese (sliced) as the tree trunk, then grape stalk as the dates. I would have used crushed peanuts as the sand around the sea shell.  Right smack in the middle of the shell would have been a mother of pearl like rambutan with a choco gold coin behind it as halo.

Since the contest was at 7pm we were very early in the venue . 530 pm we started gathering our materials from the supermarket. I intended to prepare my own although Lulu management would provide sprinkles, cherries etc. I wanted to go beyond what they have. Besides, one of the organizers mentioned to me that they wanted new ideas for their cakes. And so, I was determined to give them just that.

A breath of fresh air!

Unfortunately, much to my dismay, a much smaller white icing cake was provided. Perhaps the diameter of only 4 inches. My shell stencil was made for a much bigger cake of around 6 inches or more.

And, the presence of a lot of people as audience and my co-participants, all in black abayas, put me in a pressure cooker moment.

My hands shaked a bit during the first 3 minutes while I was on the spot light with another contestant beside me. We worked in pairs at a time.

Ruel did not stop teasing me about it later on.


I told him, at least, I  entertained him.

Anyway, I was in for the experience. That was the fun and prize built in.

I did not mind what the exciting prizes as promised awaited us…I just wanted the simple exercise of using my creativity.

Another bonus, while waiting for the contest to begin, I saw Marina. She is the girl, or should  I say, lady, that I sat beside to while my Marina joined a poster making contest back in September of thereabouts last year in the multipurpose building of Our Lady of the Rosary church.

I never got to get her number and she was such a nice chatterbox to be with. I have been hoping to see her again.

And so, in  the perfect time, my wish had been granted.

I now have her number and have promised to see each other with the kids soon.  In sha Allah.

And so, God, in His goodness, has granted me my simple prayer to meet this wonderful person again and enjoy the day with Ruel and the girls.

Thank you God you are so amazing!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An Outstanding Filipino Teacher: Dr. Erdulfo B. Fernando

Awesome April 23,2014

Tonight, I want to repost a written assignment I submitted to my professor in the University of the Philippines Open University way back 2010.  I had to interview a teacher I had known with some ready made questions for him/her as part of our requirements for our Educ 101 course.

I called him long distance from Manila to Zamboanga City. Thanks to his daughters, the interview was made possible. It is with much regret and apologies that I dedicate my blog today to this great individual, who, I wanted to send a copy of this piece and also visit…unfortunately time and energy were not so much available.

I hope my unfulfilled promise would have been forgiven.

It took me a while for me to ransack my old  back up disks to retrieve this data. I have been wanting to blog this and finally, tonight, it is now possible:

An Outstanding Filipino Teacher: Dr. Erdulfo B. Fernando
December 11.2010
EDUC 101 TMA#1
University of the Philippines Open University

This week, I should have been in Zamboanga city to celebrate our 25th Alumni Homecoming from the Western Mindanao State University. I am somewhat an honorary alumna since I was there from Kindergarten to 2nd Year High School. Unfortunately, my very high risk 13 week pregnancy would not allow me to travel nor be exposed to very exciting or emotional activities.
But   still  ,I  got a very nice trip down memory lane when I had to interview our then  Elementary School Principal for this assignment.
Now, why did I consider him my Outstanding Filipino Teacher, hands down?
You see, I was somehow, a maladjusted kid in school. It took almost half of the school year in kindergarten for me to break out of my shy shell and  go   into  our  building and be part of school. I obstinately   relented to being left at school by staying by the door only. No more beyond that. My siblings would not stop teasing me until now that I was the very first lady guard ever.
It took my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Cuartocruz,   the whole last morning period, just trying to make me recite in class. I    stubornly  sat  deeper and deeper into my chair hoping that it would swallow me up so I could be spared the embarrassment of attention, scrutiny and exasperation of my peers.
I suffered from impaired Myopic vision that required correction glasses to which I refused. Just imagine all  the  zeros I got in especially in  Math exams since I could not see the computation and instructions on the black board from my seat.
How I survived from Kinder to grade six is something short of a miracle.
Picture the pain I endured to have my test papers with all the red Mongo seeds marking on the corridor wall outside our classroom.
It was enough for me to wish I died so I would be spared the agony of going back to 6th grade class after a long holiday break.  Then  only to be told that I was required at   the Principal’s office one day.
As I trudged the long  stretch from our room in  one end of the building to the office, my legs felt so heavy and I did not know what to expect.  Am I  now going to  be kicked out finally from school? Will it end my misery or will it mean the beginning of another?
I will never forget getting into the sunlit office of Mr. Erdulfo B. Fernando. It felt like it was a piece of heaven. So bright and so cheery, as if I could hear the chirping of birds somewhere assuring me that the end may not necessarily mean sad and depressing.
He asked me to read a book. I think,  a pile of books where ready for me to choose from on his massive wooden desk.
Everything from the floors to the walls to the windows seemed to glisten in the mid morning sun.
It really felt good to be able to given a   choice.
Something, I was not familiar with.
Then, I started reading the book beside him while he sat behind his desk.
At first, the print was blurry.
My voice could not escape from my very parched throat.
Somehow, I did not detect any note of impatience from Mr. Fernando.
It was enough encouragement for me to go on until somehow my voice and reading tempo was getting more relaxed until I reached  a  point where I surprisingly was enjoying it.
I cannot clearly recall anymore if I finished the whole book or even the title of the book.
What I know now, was that, for the first time in my elementary school years, I no longer was afraid.
Mr. Fernando gently ended our time together with a simple compliment: That will do, you did good.
It was enough affirmation for me to be bursting with joy.
Going back to my classroom, I was somehow almost leaping and brimming with relief and a new found voice and hope.
For the first time in my life, I saw light at the end of a long tunnel with my newfound voice and strength.
It was a  somewhat insignificant moment, but it  spelled : LIFE & FREEDOM  for me.
I did not have much exposure to Mr. Erdulfo B. Fernando because he was sent to Manila immediately after  that  for further studies until a few days ago, when I placed the long distance call to Zamboanga.
The following interview will further affirm why I thought He was the best.
Question #1. What led you to the teaching profession?
Dr. Fernando explains that  He chose to take Education from the then  Zamboanga Normal School (now Western Mindanao State University )  for the following practical reasons:
1.       It was most affordable.
2.       He lived a mere walking distance from the school.
Question #2.  What do you consider is your most challenging experience?
Dr. Fernando recalls the time He, and 14 other candidates had to vie for the Presidency of the Western Mindanao  State University. He was already the OIC of the university from 1988 to 1990 and yet it was maybe perhaps like passing through the eye of the needle again so to speak. The list was  further trimmed down to 3. Then, after a period of deliberation, the late President Corazon C. Aquino handpicked   him to lead the university for another 7 years.
Question #3. What do you consider are your significant contributions to Education and to the community?
Under his leadership, the university was conferred the distinction of being a Center of Excellence for Teaching Education. Closely after that, the College of Nursing and College of Architecture were  given the same recognition as well.
He was able to quell   some pockets of trouble and rebellion from the student ranks now and then.
Today, at 78 years old, Dr. Fernando is  still  a very  energetic  member of the community. He goes to mass everyday and serves as a Lay Minister of the Eucharist and makes home visits to the sick regularly.
He is also the Vice President of the local Red Cross chapter in Zamboanga City.

Question #4. What are the major issues facing the Philippine Education system? In what ways can they be resolved?
Dr. Fernando believes that the move to lengthen  the number of  academic school year by 2-5 years more is not necessary. He   does not believe that length spells quality.
He suggests  that the Teacher Education curriculum be revised to make it more relevant to a particular/given community. Teachers  are  encouraged  to have the missionary zeal as they practice their profession within the community by  being very sensitive to the local culture as He/She  attempts to make the pursuit of Education as relevant and  necessary as possible.
Question #5. What is your vision of  Philippine Education in the near future?
He envisions Education to be brought much closer to the “footsteps” of the local  Philippine communities where the statistics show a huge dropout at grade 4 level.
He hopes that children do not need to walk miles and miles to be able to reach school.
He hopes that Philippine Education be strengthened with ALS or the Alternative Learning System where the focus will be developing learning skills at the Grade 1 and 2 levels that even if  a student drops out, He/ she is equipped with skills making him/her open to more learning outside of school. Thus making the individual self sufficient and a not a burden to society.

In closing, the 45 minutes we had chatting animatedly with each other was like a full circle experience for me.  It left me so amazed and in awe that yes, instinctively, I knew,   way back at 6th grade, Dr. Fernando was such an exceptional person. He lived  and  breathed  excellence in a very simple and unassuming manner. He never had the airs about him. He always had a cheerful disposition. I would encounter him making his rounds around the school premises beyond 5 in the afternoon making sure everything was in order.   Something  which  he  serendipitously  mentioned in the interview.  I am sure, Senor Will, our school janitor would have also attested the fact, that this special person, had a gift of bringing out the best in a another in a momentary and simple encounter. He has such a big heart  that gives encouragement and good regard  no matter the stature and circumstance of the  person in front of him. It is not surprising to hear him  admit  that Dr. Fernando  finds his strength and the secret  of his success in his Lord and maker.

*** photo credits:
1st picture,
2nd picture, Agnes Fernando, when Dr. Fernando and I had our chat back in 2010.

Monday, April 7, 2014

8 Things I Love About Qatar

Awesome April 7,2014

Today marks our 9th month anniversary in this beautiful land in the sands!
Last night, after the 7pm pass, which was surprisingly a healing, charismatic inspired mass, we went for some Shawarma and Vegetable pizza at one of our favorite Turkish resto’s along old airport road to celebrate this wonderful day.
It is a wonderful day because, it is a day where our Lord and our Maker, showed us He loves us so much   to answer our prayers to be one family under one roof.
Thank you indeed Lord!
Thank you!
There are so many things I want to blog about but today, I will devote my time and words focusing on the  TOP 8 Things I Love About Being in Doha, Qatar. Let us begin:

1.       The winter to spring months of cool to very cold and windy evenings are quite long. It starts from late  September or October to late April. It  over compensates for  the sizzling hot months from July ( the time we arrived) to August.  I just LOVE IT!
2.       Seeing Arabs in their spanking white Disdashas and the women in their chic  black makes me happy with  my affinity to the colors. I love wearing blacks to camouflage  my figure and white as well to feel cooler in certain days. So BLACK and WHITE for me has never been so as pleasing as now!
3.       Corniche and downtown Al Dafna. The color of the Persian gulf is such a wonderful shade of blue and green especially at this time of the year!  It is so refreshing! Looking at the exciting architecture of the various skyscrapers  and how they sparkle and shine at night makes it so enchanting and mesmerizing. It reminds me, that all things are possible. One just has to be bold and dare to dream and take those steps to realize them.
4.       The flower filled parks, street islands, roundabout and landmarks. It makes the ride more lovely and pleasant each time.

5.       Souq Waqif! It is a quaint market of almost anything and everything you can imagine. The old buildings and architecture makes you travel back in time and give you glimpses of what a different kind of world it really is here in the middle east. The unfamiliarity and newness  of  everything  foreign is still so exciting to discover and learn more about.
6.       The camels and sand dunes of sealine beach. The smiling face of the camel reminds you to be patient  at the face of the harsh realities  life and to grin and bear it with a pleasant face.
7.       Baklava, a sweet, flaky, almond and honey delight that is such a treat!
8.       Arabic call to prayer. The reminder to pray is so divine. The priority given to it is sterling and laudable. Each time I hear it on the radio, it is an opportunity to hook up to THE source of all power and strength.

God is good!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jean Valjean

Fit and Fab February 19,2014

Ruel woke me up with a question.

I hesitated to move from my very comfortable position, my right side. Thanks to the Clofen, I liberally applied on my right shoulder last night, there was nary a pain.

I felt light and a bit sluggish.

Anyway, by the grace of God, I was able to cook rice, prepare  Ruel's   breakfast, pressed  his office clothes in 30 minutes flat.

Usually, I rise earlier than 5 giving me a longer period to do all of the things required of me in the early week morning.

Before attempting to iron his cargo pants for tomorrow, I had to psyche myself fully…I kept telling myself, being an adult and mature means, doing the things, I normally wouldn’t like to do.

And lo and behold,  almost upon completion of the task at hand, I did not like to stop. The repetitive motion, almost lulled me into a soothing and calming meditation, where all negativity, faded into oblivion.

Watching my beautiful angels in their sleep, in my 15 minute break, surely energized me…and doing something challenging for the sake of another, is surely invigorating…and is the reward in itself.

** ** **
Today’s gospel is about Jesus healing the blind man with His spittle. Jesus had to touch the man’s eyes twice to complete the gradual healing.

It is the same with us, most of the times, we don’t really accomplish great big goals or tasks in 1 click.

It requires, constant, regular and continues progress to attain perfection and or success.

In the spiritual walk, it is too, the same case.

Many times, our eyes, our blinded.

Our ears, deaf to the cries and needs of other.

And it will take an extra kind of grace to come out this stupor or illness or indifference to kindness.

Let me end my reflection today with a line made famous by many and numerous West End  and Broadway productions as penned and inspired by one of  Victor Hugo’s most memorable work:

“ To love another is to see the face of God.!”

The be all and end all is LOVE….where God abides, love resides is another beautiful quote I just encountered yesterday.

If you please, spend the next moment reflecting on this poignant and inspiring scene of the same production…where  we can all get the proper perspective of things…At the evening of our lives, when we take our last breath.

And this next one…to ponder on the powerful words and life of wretchedness and redemption.

May God be always glorified in each and every breath we take especially the last.

 REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you see the face of God in others?
Lord Jesus, heal me of my blindness that I may see You in others.( Fr.Erick Santos OFS from TKFDBR)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dazzling Qatar Total Open 2014

Fit &  Fab February 16,2014

Simona Halep!

Hanep sa galing!

Translated as:  Amazing  greatness!

I kept  asking Ruel, hey, why am I so into tennis lately? I have never been so zealous in watching matches …even in  the time of Cris Evert, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Billy Jean King,  Martina Navratilova or  Andre Agassi or Hinges ,Seles or Graf.

Ruel too was at a loss for a possible explanation.

Last  Feb.10, I did not go with the kids and Ruel to Khalifa Stadium to watch the games cause, like I said, I was lukewarm to the game.

Now, since the Qatar Total Open 2014 is live on Ooreedoo sponsored  TennisTv here in Doha, where you are able to see and know more about the players, catch them in slow mo for the important point or serve, one cannot help being bitten by the tennis bug…and I am definitely hooked.

My goodness, I just wanted to see in live action the Williams sisters. But, since Serena is injured, my only chance was Venus. And so, yes, I was able to watch her loose to the rising star, Petra Kvitova  of Czechoslovakia. And, I have not wanted to miss anymore games.

Last night was so exciting between Simona Halep ( Romania) and Agnieska Radwanska( Poland)..and am so looking forward to the match tonight between Halep and Kerber of Germany.

I missed the game between Kerber and Jankovic ( Serbia) but so enjoyed the game between Jankovic and Petra Kvitova.

** ** **

This weekend was so jam packed with this and that.

We all missed an invitation to go back to Sealine in Meissaied  to try out the dunes with an ATV and  or the camels again. Ruel and I  had these troublesome headache  Thursday night. I guess too much of his roasted peanuts while watching the tennis matches.

Also, we were expecting workers to come and repair once and for all ( 1 year in the waiting) our bathroom ceiling which has it’s mouldings  peeling off and  ugly due to a water leak from the upstairs flat.

We are so happy with the outcome. It so nice to LOOK UP each bathroom visit!

I am also happy that finally, my constipation, due to all the flurry of activities and excitement, has finally ended. It gave me such a  discomfort last night.

photo credits: Simona Halep (Romania) 1st picture, Agnieska Radwanska ( Cze) and  Jelena Jankovic ( Serbia) 2nd and 3rd photos all in Qatar Total Open 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lovely Day!

Fabulous February 11,2014

Today was another wonderful day full of awe and wonder at the how beautiful Qatar is!

The  weather is so wonderfully cool while the sun is shining so brightly!

On our way to Lusail International Circuit today, for the Dolphin Energy Doha Dash for Qatar’s National Sports Day, I marveled at the  beautiful round abouts  filled with wonderful flowers…different styles of  topiaries  and hedges designs. Oh so wonderful!

It was super fun to see where the  car races our conducted, where the Equestrian games ( next town away) are ran and see the  seaside once again in Al Khorr in search for  lunch after the 1 km walk we had.

Chinkie and her friends were so fun to be with. Marina and Marcelina sure enjoyed being part of this loud, funny and just wonderfully cool people!

Thank God for this event which is a good reminder to be more healthy with our lifestyle choices to be healthy for life!

** ** **

I want to end with King Solomon’s prayers in today’s bible readings:

“Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below; you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants who are faithful to you with their whole heart. 27 Can it indeed be that God dwells among men on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple which I have built! 28 Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O Lord, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day. 29 May your eyes watch night and day over this temple, the place where you have decreed you shall be honored; may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place. 30 Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer in this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.” 1 King 8: 26-30

Once again, my soul proclaims the greatness of my God, who has favored me with a body, that can renew itself, a mind, that can point the way, a heart, that can make me more true to my authentic self of integrity and a  core of goodness  that can rise up to  each challenge in the morning and see a beautiful sunset each time!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Goodness Gracious!

Fabulous February 10,2014

Marina and  Marcelina are playing with their scooter and bike in the hallway. Lunch of fried tuna fish and  lettuce salad is ready and waiting for Ruel to come home anytime now. A little of last night’s super yummy ( as per the kid’s reaction) of pork Sinigang is  awaiting consumption as well.

I just finished administering the California Achievement Test form E and F to Marina for her Seton Home Study  School  assessment. I hope I was able to be a good and faithful proctor doing so.

People who are still not familiar with how and what the principles and values of Home Schooling are or how it works,  find it really hard to wrap their minds around test being administered at home by no less than the parent.

The question foremost would be,  who will secure or make sure that no cheating  is happening?

My almost canned answer through these years is: If I cheat by leaking or giving my daughter answers or tips in answering the question/exam, who am I fooling?

Cheating cheats no one else except the cheater!

My honest to goodness answer somehow puts  any worries or confusion surrounding the validity of test results to rest temporarily to some, but seals the deal for me.

And just to share a bit of my principles and values in life in the area of Honesty, is this, the true test of honesty is when, you can truly, answer yourself, looking at yourself, your heart, and mind and soul and say, even without security guards watching, I will remain honest and true…especially when no one is looking because the Almighty One, is all seeing. All the time.

Forget Big Brother, or Home Land Securty wire tapping into all Snowden can reveal, our integrity as a person,  should remain, in our real and authentic nature, our GOODNESS.

*** *** ***

I had to do diaper change. The weather is still so chilly. It is 20* but feels like 11* for me. Thus, diaper change is more frequent that usual. Anyway, my little one was so up early, that, I had to give her time and attention because she wanted to read stories. Meaning, make her own stories about this and that, wide eyed and so eager to practice her “ Once upon a time!” mixing up the sounds and adding  S to beginning and ending sounds. She loves to do that. I refrain from correcting her too much, she doesn’t like to be corrected. Sounds familiar.hahaha… As my dad would say, Ang Mangga!

Meaning to say, what would a Mangga or Manggo bear? But, if not, another Manggo!


I had a nice chat with my sister Hazel yesterday!

I so miss them.

** ** ***

Please allow me to quote once again from The Kergyma Family Daily Bible Reflection by Father Erick Santos OFS,

May we seek healing for our physical sickness, emotionalbondages, financial difficulties and spiritual struggles today, as we seek totouch His cloak every day as our faith response. 

REFLECTION QUESTION: Have you experienced touching the Lord and being touched by Him while at prayer?

Lord Jesus, I claim healing of my infirmities in Your mighty name.

Our Lady of Lourdes,  (feast day Feb.11) please continue to intercede and pray for all of our intentions and prayers.

 photo credits:
pictures of sisters Marina and Marcelina and Chinkie and I,  in the shore/beach of  Sealine one fine day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Karwa Ride

Fabulous February 5,2014

Praise God!

We had such a nice and exciting day yesterday!

With a little faith and prayer, yesterday, was another blessing!

You see, we are 2days short of 7 months here in the land of sands, and yet, my husband refuses the fact, that we have to learn how to commute. Meaning to say,to  try out the turquoise colored taxi called the Karwa here.

Another thing, that Marina, Marcelina & I, are raring to experience is to ride the same colored bus here. Each time we head for home from church, a solitary bus by the bus stop near the parking area beckons to us.

I have this thing in me to really teach my kids to learn how it is to commute and never to feel ashamed or to lose face if one has to go public utility.

And so, yesterday, was our very first trip via the Karwa from pick up point, our doorstep, to Hammad Hospital.  Ravi, our driver, has been here in Qatar for more than 5 years. My good neighbor, Edna, referred him to us. Ravi tells us, Shasha, Edna’s kid was still very small when he got to know them.

Anyway, our ENT experience was another nice experience. Marcelina was very brave. And their apparatus was very modern, that the procedure was quick and almost painless. The doctor answered our million dollar question  of where to have Marcelina’s ear’s pierced. That will be next in the bucket list for her.

Anyway, on the way to QatarPost, in the intersection before Corniche, while  we were figuring out how to get to a particular landmark for photo sessions, Ruel called our attention to men donning bright LIME vests, while mini high powered rifles where  slung across their bodies.  More men, were alighting from red police vehicles to stop the traffic. We were asked to move back more than 10 meters from our point in the stop light intersection. Then after a few minutes, 6  land cruisers sped down the road.

A royal spotting!

But, you cannot really tell…although the white land cruisers were not tinted, you could just see the same white disdahsa attired Arabs in them. Was it the Emir?

I really don’t know, except that, we were front row to a Royal sighting event!

And yes, our QPost experience was not without the usual snack kiosk visit. Marcelina super enjoyed the moment while Marina beamed with delight at her Seton package of the remainder requirement of her books. It now included the standardized assessment test that we need to return quickly.

** ** **
Today’s gospel reading is about Jesus’ hometown rejection of him. His kababayans took offense of him and could not understand where his wisdom was coming from because they were stuck with the thought that he was just a carpenters son.

Stereotyping at it’s best.

This leads us to the following reflection question posed to us by The Kergyma Family Daily Bible Reflection:

What blinds you to the truth?

Cleanse me, O Lord, from all my biases and prejudices that I may clearly see my neighbor for who he really is: a child of God.

What’s your fondest memory about your home?

Lord Jesus, thank You for the many lessons learned from the harsh realities of life.

I shall end this blog with a link to a song made popular by Kuh Ledesma as written by Charlie Small for Broadway Musical . Home.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

In Search of Sandy

Joyful January 24,2014

Oh wow!
Such a wonderful day!
I actually slept at around 5am today because, I kept on researching wonderful love songs to dedicate to my husband each day starting from our 12 month wedding anniversary.
I could not wait to do it that I revealed it to him.
Perhaps he also has pregnant thoughts.
Anyway, my sister Chinkie roused me from my slumber at 11am  with a call announcing her arrival time for our adventure to search for Sandy.
And so, we left for Humsaied at a little past 2.
I seated  with her in the back seat with Marcelina while Marina was with her dad upfront.
And we chatted away.
We just stopped for her tourist guide information of the spots along the way. How we  marveled at the burst of colors of different flowers that filled every roundabout center and side walks….that I had to stop myself from getting off and getting the most important photo op. Hehehe.
For the first time we saw the oil rigs or oil wells…that look like giant matchsticks…or POSPORO HIGANTE from the distance.
Real abundance in our midst.
Black diamond.
OIL…all around with the burning flames at the tip of each tower!
Wow! we neared Sealine after Messaeid…the long stretch of sand dunes where rows after rows of dune buggy rentals populating  the landscape…the different models and sizes of All Terrain Vehicles ATV …looked like ants from the distance running up and down the sand hills and mountains. Of course, the SUVs also did not lag behind in their presence and insistence to climb the unstable natural formations brought about by the wind blowing these sand particles.
It was a marvel to behold.
Then we got to Sealine proper.
Then….We got glimpses of the towering, gentle and  awkward, gawky animals.
Marcelina was not pleased with the noise as we stepped out of Whitey.
The Dune buggies were whizzing all around… maybe heightened her sensitive ears due to the infection she has currently.
And so, we chose our camel.
Our guide was a pleasant man.
Marina first rode.
Then…it was my turn without Marcelina as I would have hoped otherwise…she was just not interested to take a ride…she somehow felt my initial tenseness and excitement rising in me.
I kept giggling and laughing at Marina…then when it was my turn…Oh how challenging was the mount. I knew…most of them just kept themselves from laughing at my awkwardness. I mean…the width of the crouching beast was a bit difficult to straddle.
Then…when I was finally in place.
The guide said, HOLD ON.
I was thrust forward in a vicious jolt bringing me to a scream, delirious laughter…runny nose mixing with joyful tears streaming from my eyes continuously throughout the 20 meter walk ( approximation only.)
It was should I say, quite a ticklish ride!
My goodness, the 7 feet height or so made me a bit nervous at the thought of my slipping and falling and I was now, anticipating the rude dismounting! Oh no!
Will I make it?
I did with a yelp and a quelled scream!
I survived my first ride with Sandy…the thick lashed desert wonder!
Thank you dear God!
We transferred  to a nearby location near the seaside…and had some light snacks…the kids and their dad strolled near the water while sisters chatted away.
After talking about something sensitive…and heading back to the parking area…we saw the most amazing sign of hope in the sky.
A rainbow!
Not the 180* kind traversing the horizon…
It was circling the sun!
Only the east and west  points cutting across the 4pm sun was visible.
What a sight to gaze upon.
It was the magic hour when the sand dunes was turning into a different shade of light gold!
God you are so good!