Think before you speak

Our mind is a dangerous place to live as our words are sharper than the deadliest sword .. think before you speak

Our mind will play tricks on us if we just let it flow. Stop ,think take a deep breath.

Look and listen to that tiny voice of positively .. shift that negative thoughts to a happy one .

Our words are like a double edged sword it cuts both ends .. Words that hurt are sometimes difficult to undoen .

Stay still… process your thoughts be concious of words . After all it is not what you have said that matters it is how you have delivered the message .

Be kind , understanding and gentle for we do not know truly the journey of one’s soul …

Mother

She who carried you for nine months

She who gave you life

She is the safe haven when everything around you is in havoc

She is the confidant that you can count on . A person that will standby you no matter what .

She is a friend who would hold your hands without questions ask . She respects your choices and at the same time guides you through .

She is the wind under your wings . Let you soar and if life is sometimes hard she is there to catch you with her kind understanding words .

To the person who have perfected the meaning of multi -tasking . The person who have love us no matter what ….

Happy Mother’s day ..

M O T H E R .. She is the secret -keeper , the friend and the person who loves us most .

Light in Us

Light that burns ,light that shines .. always believe that there is a light shines in you

Light that guide us through the darkest tunnel . Warms our soul when the world turns cold .

Share your light ,share your brightness . Illuminate to those who needs warmth and ray .

Be your own light , let it radiates around you till the people that surrounds you felt uplifted.

Be the light in someone’s dark path be the smile in someone’s frown .. Be kind .

Dusk of brightness , dusk of hope

❣️

Manay

I will always celebrate my friendship with you . Regardless of time ,distance and age I will always embrace our fond memories .

Growing up with you , shaping our beliefs was easy because you were there to listen and share your uncensored thoughts .

How miss our “stair conversations” at your house years ago with coffee in our hands .. How you describe our love and differences . In your own words

” There is this two souls that are facing a cliff in able to continue with their respective journeys they must jump over the cliff to see the other side . The carefree holds the hand of her friend and asked her if would like to just jump over the cliff with her . Her friend said Carefree one just go ahead and wait for me at the other side . Without any second thoughts the carefree soul took the leap over the cliff and made the most infectious giggle while the other one stands there calculating that what are the possibilities that might go wrong .” You look at me and said .. “I sometimes love your lust of adventure ” and I answered ” I wish that I have your ways in handling situations logically. “

I know you love hearing my craziness it is a given ..I want to believe I somehow colored your life as you have mine in every single ways .

Manay , I am always grateful for our friendship and for allowing me to come home in every adventure .

Our friendship is beyond words , distance and time ..This is the rock that holds my heart. I love you Manay ..

We both love this poem . For it describes our individuality and friendsip

Travels , connections and friendships

Let me journal our travels ..

This journey started back in Dec 2018 when a couple of my highschool batchmates came to Belgium and have a small meet up. Some of them I have already met a couple of years prior to this gathering while the others …. its was ages that we have seen each other and one in particular reaaaaally don’t know me . πŸ™‚πŸ™‚πŸ™‚ ooh the good side of it is that she is now one of my good friends .. ( love you Viv 😘)

A gathering that I thought would only be a one time affair. As a private awkward person as I am. I have gathered all my social skills for heaven knows I am quite uncomfortable in these kinds of gatherings. One of the many reasons that I seldom attended a reunion.

To my surprise it turned out to be a very fun tapok . There was no moment dullness nor have I felt uncomfortable . So , at the end of this reunion we have agreed to try to do it yearly ..

2018 the start of more travel stories to be shared . Belgium , The Netherlands and Germany Dec 2018

Copenhagen here we come

2019 same month but with a much larger group. Three old aquintances joined the 2019 tapok .

Seeing Noel, Ralla , Jadine for the first time after all these years made me a bit of emotional . Getting to know the lovely personas of Roselyn , Bong and Reymund adds another shade of color to this gathering . Unfortunately some of us were not able to join Copenhagen but we have tried to connect through video chat .

Hugs , bit of tears of joy makes the streets of copenhagen bit warmer and louder .

I believe that Bong and Reymund were not as comfortble at the start of the tapok but at the end of the week both have become the Prince of this tapok .

We have explored the food markets, trivoli , christmas markets and of course visited the little mermaid of Copenhagen . While we ate chinese food at Malmo , Sweden πŸ™‚

Like the in 2018 , there was no dull moment only memories were made and the friendship that has been build back then have become stronger . We can’t get enough , we have then planned the next travel gathering for 2020 ..

We always see to it that we will have a dramatic ,iconic group picture, Copenhagen and Sweden , Dec 2019

It should have been Bilbao

High from the Copenhagen get together we then planned for our next trip . 2020, we would explore the home of the golden beaches , Guggenheim museaum and delicious pintxos ( local tapas) . Yes! We were planning to explore Bilbao with a side trip to the culinary world capital of Donastia or San Sebastien .

Planning was on going until the unforseen circumstances came … COVID 19 rule the world and taught us to plan day by day .

We hang on and hope it would be over before our actual trip . By late September gave in to reality 2020 will be not our year to have a get together ..

We would wait up for this pandemic to passed and the world to reopen …

While waiting up for the world to re open we did what we could to keep in touch .
And of course our traditional dramatic picture whether we are on exploring or just simply stating a statement , Pandemic 2020

Taking our chances, Making memories in Santorini Greece

Santorini trip was so far one of the most personal get together that I have experienced . It was very intimate . We have lived in one house and did everything as one group for we must create one social bubble as one of the safety measures that we have observed during the 6 days gathering . We even share one shampoo 🀣🀣🀣

Only those who were ready to travel joined this gathering .. it was a very small group .It was here that I have developed a much more deeper fondness of both Jen and Ralla .

I love the Sim’s morning news ( covid 19 related ) updates , Viv’s coffee and who would ever forget the night that Liv prepares for Sim’s surprise party ( pre 50 party). The respect that we have for each others personal space and stories was admirable . I just know that I love cooking for these people for cooking is my way of expressing my love for someone.

Happy faces , happy hearts … Santorini Greece 2021 was more than magical thanks to these amazing people .

Mini get togethers

Because we simply love the friendship that we have build . Each opportunity given to us we will always try to make the best of it ..

From Rotterdam shoppings spree , Ju’s grand fab 50 bash and Irelands st.Patty we bond we document and keep it in our hearts.

Making every moment memorable … Rotterdam , Belgium and Ireland 2022

Where to next …

Keeping our fingers cross, end of this year we will be exploring the land of fire and Ice …One of the homes of Aurora Borealis and the legendary Blue lagoon . Yes Iceland ! And we are ready for it … We would be embracing the new one’s that would join us . This will be on on the 25th of November till the 1st of December ..

End note

Here is what I know, in every place that we will be exploring , it will always be magical because of the connection that we build . To more intimate breakfast and dinner talks .. to the laughs that we will share … let us make memories together .

❀

Eight or so in me

I read somewhere that in life’s survival we need to see the eight years old version of us and the eighty years old to guide us.

In my case I would like to reflect on that little chubby four or so girl who refuses to conform to what the society asked her to do .

I started early on going to school. At one point , I was not allowed to attend the classes because I was too young and there was not enough chairs for the legimate pre-schooler . But I love the free calamansi drink that the Protestant kindergarten school gave to their pre schooler that I have convinced my mother to buy me a chair . The following I walked confidently to the classroom bringing my own chair and a glass ( for the calamansi ) . There was no more reason that I was not allowed to attend those delicious and fun classes . For the next 4 years I have attended the kindergarten ( started as visitor at the age of two or something then nursery , kinder 1 and 2 )

Before my kinder 2 ends I have accompanied a cousin of mine who would take an entrance exam at a private elementary school .. at the end of the day I was accepted to joined the first grader for the following school year . I was five almost six I feel like I conquer the world πŸ™‚

By March 1980, I was invited together with my parents to attend the recognition day since I was one of the top 10 in my class. My mother was still doing errands and I got anxious that I have to be late for the awarding ceremony that I took the matters in my hands I wore a green long dress ( I felt so pretty ) and wore my slippers ( not the fancy ones ) and halted a tricycle (a public transportation typical in the Philiplines) that brought to my school .

This is the typical me , I dont wait for things to happen .. as much as possible and if I can I will make it happen . You see me with my wide smile easy to talk aura and I would most of the time give in easily … But the one’s that I would say NO are non negotiable .

My bounderies have a clear cut if you step on it I would politely ask you to step back but if you persist…with a smile I am closing my doors .

At eight or so I have my own rules .. These rules that has guided me through the rough patches of my journey . When I would reflect the eighty in me I know I will have no regrets .

My heart is big , full of kindness and my trust is difficult to win .. But if and if I think its too much I have no second thoughts of taking people out of my life . For I believe that the last person that I should disappoint is ME .

I am scribbling randomly because I feel like it .. My way , my Rules ..

How about you ? What is the eight or so in you?

The child who conforms only with her rules

BFF

Dearest BFF ,

I remember the day that our universe collided . That day , I know you will be a blessing in my life .

We have both shared the sunny and rainy seasons of ourlives . At times, when a storm approaches us we would tearfully sit still , listen and hold each others hand with respect .

That moment when I got stuck in a hurricane of emotions ..I love your non judgemental ways telling me to just go through the whole process . No matter how hard that was , I never felt alone for you were there . Thank you for walking with me through the Hurricane .

You will soon be 50 … You are an Amazing person it is when you think you are weak and vulnerable that I see your strength , your determination to fight on the battles that matters most to you . People that you have choosen to be your friend are lucky for you cared for them with space, love , understanding and respect. These are one of the many reasons that I fell in love with you and value our friendship soo much.

You and Me .. A friendship that I am lucky to have ❀ ( let us have a new duofie again)

Bff, may you ‘ ll be showered with victories in all the undertakings that you are facing. Just keep on moving , a step, a day at a time . Believe and it will happen ..

Happy birthday Olivia … I love you

A letter for Jen

To those who have never stopped caring .. thank you for light of Hope that you have shared .

Dearest Ter ,

God is Good and has been showing us His grace all the time .
You are one of His miracle.
Ter ,thank you for allowing us to be a part of this journey of yours .
We could never been prouder of how you fought and survived in all of this .
Yes ! Everything is possible through Love and Friendship.
This week is different than the other weeks , for you are home bound . Treatment has been done and you did it with flying “balbal colors”.
A gift of life should now be enjoyed with His Grace. Here is to New life , friendship and Love …

You are now a cancer survivor !!

❀

My kind of complication

You are both my sun and thunder

My laughters and tears

You are my kind of complication

I love you  and I hate you, I hate you and love you

Leave you but never let go of you

You are my kind of addiction

My confusion of you gives  me joy and Sorrow  .

You are my kind of complication .

My heart aches for you , my heart shivers … you are my kind of complication

St. PADDY’SΒ  with Friends ( the planned unplanned mini ANHS 89 EU tapok ).

My first Ryanair

The start

  We start here  , my sister from another mother Klara and myself did our almost nightly chat . A random talk about everything that happened to us ( which I really love with our friendship) . I became fond of Klara  ever since I met her  in NYC ( I will be talking about this friendship more later in my future write ups) . So out of nowhere I have asked her about St.Patrick’s Day  and when it  is .. we talked after this nightly chat I have already booked a ticket for Ireland . I am going to spent St. Patrick’s day for the first time  ( not bad for someone who is almost celebrating  her golden birthday ).

  What has followed next warmth  my heart it made me feel loved  and special . The rest of my Irish- filipino  friends took time to spent and made this experience special … here we go

March 17

  This was  my first Ryanair  flight .If I would base everything through the reviews that I have read  …  It will honestly  scared me . Thus , I  don’t really  expect anthing with this flight . In fact , I am bracing myself for the worse scenario case .

In the plane it was comfy ( I bought a  seat with extra leg space πŸ™‚) . Ryanair left and landed on time .. We could not asked  for more .

  In the plane when everyone was boarded .. my seatmates an american and  frenchman have started chatting about what they have been expecting about this festive event . They have chatted themselves through my dreams.

  We have landed the passengers gave  the pilot an applause and a shout out  from a Flemish passenger ” zuipen to the max ( getting drunk  to the  max ) ” .   french passenger answered  ” SantΓ¨”

Welcome committee

While I chatted myself through immigrations with my fellow green passengers . My good friends were outside waiting for me ..and also having their own festive moments

The Rose and his two torns

After almost an hour waiting for thier message to come and informed me that they were waiting outside . I went out and then I discovered that they were also waiting for me ….the waiting game is on

We got reunited and ready for the St.Patrick’s Parade to witness .

The ANHS 89 ST. PATRICK’S tapok starts now

St .Patrick’s

After almost two years of not celebrating this event it was expected to be very crowded and very festive . This event symbolizes not only the yearly St.Patrick’s but also freedom .. the near normal feeling of what the world was prior to the covid pandemic.

The basic covid safety rules was no longer respected ( I guess some of party goers already have a respected amount of alcohol in their system.)πŸ˜„πŸ˜„ More so it is very fun to walked in between these crowd with a mask of course for some precautionary measures, especially that in this event 1.5 meters distance can no longer be respected or practiced .cj,

Green and very festive folks

We haven’t see a lot about the parade itself .. if you want to watch and battled yourself with these green people and the street barricade you must be very peristent .But you can also watch through the monitors of all the cellphones who have been recording the event.

We blended

I got myself a face paint to fully be immerse with the crowd ..

Irish flag on my forehead or should I say my third eye
Me asking this street painter
Oohh one must document this too

Hunger strikes

After the squeezing in and out , walking in between the crowds it is time to eat. Bong made a reservation at Wings a world cuisine buffet restaurant. Here you can eat any cuisine, asian , turkish ooh vegan and vegetarian too desserts is a plus and oooh the bottomless drinks for a reasonable price. I love to believe the ” reasonable price” since Bong treated us … Thank you Bong!

We all agreed that we made the right choice by abondoning the parade and listen to our stomachs . When we were done with our lunch , On our way back to our car ( we were heading to Howth) the waiting was unbelievably long . Bong even said that when the time comes for these waiting people to have their lunch it will probably dinner then .

Take notice the super long waiting crowd

Happy tummy is all we need as we continue our St. PADDY’ s day . Let’s go Howth

Howth

Howth is an Irish Village on the Howth peninsula east of central Dublin and only 20 mins drive from east dublin ( depending with the traffic of course ) . It is known for its Fish and Chips , posh houses , awesome pier and my own conclusion amazing early spring sunset .

Howth pier

Before taking a walk to the pier, We went to starbucks ( yes ! After all these years we are still a starbucks believerπŸ™‚). Had our coffee and charge dying cellphones . At this age especially when you are travelling a dying cellphone means missing out taking dramatic pictures of the wonderful views .

The starbuck charging break

As we embarked in the pier , I pointed my phone lens to the sunset here and then I fell in love . It was a beauty and by force Bong , Maricar and Claire became my subjects with my picture taking quest .. I have even asked and directed a teener on how to take these pictures the way I have imagined them to look like .

Bong’s heart shape hands
Madame Maricar as pretty as the sunset
Bong imitating Bono
Dusk in Howth
Contemplation
You and I are connected .. no distance ,nor space can go in between us .. you and I are binded in this beauty of nature..
My sister from another mother
My subjects … thank you for the patience

Howth is pretty and posh . We will explore this village more next time

March 18 ( day 2 ) Powercourt waterfalls , Wexford and sumptous dinner 

Breakfast at Premier Inn was worth it .

  We started our day with a sumptous breakfast . A typical Irish breakfast with plenty of coffee ( on my part)

  As always breakfast has always been  the time ( even during our previous trips ) where planning of the day was  made  or I should say bucketlist places to be visited were being discussed .

Intial plan … We will be having roadtrips  visiting  Powercourt , Wexford and we shall were the rest brings us  as long as we will have dinner at  Klara’s place .

First stop Powerscourt waterfall , Wicklow

This is considered to be the highest waterfall in Ireland with approximately 121 m of cascading water that is set at the parkland foothill of wicklow mountains .

Powerscourt waterfall

There was also a beautiful hiking trail  that we have not fully explored.  We were more awed by the cascading waters of powerscourt . We took some pictures .. it was here that I have discovered that our Bong is not so crazy with heights , so is Maricar and Klara  . I have asked them to climb with me a little bit higher to have this wonderful picture of the falls but they told me it is safer on the level that we were standing. Me being me  love heights and challenges  made my way up near this beautiful waterfalls .. I bribe a lady to take a picture of me ..the result was magnificient

Freedom!!

  

The rest of the crew took a picture near enough to waterfalls

A nice spot for picture taking as I see it.  But there was a couple that sat there for quite  awhile and I believe took three hundred pictures of the same angle . Determine to “steal” the spot subtly  I stood there near enough to invade their small private space .. it was  that  not too rude it is more of a silent message of ” we want you guys to vacant the space it is our turn” it worked 🀣🀣🀣. Thus, asking a nice fellow to take a couple  of family picture of us

My ANHS89 EU Fam

After Wicklow , we were planned to go to Glendalough a glacier  valley with the   Irish monastic style . Unfortunately we have  detour due to the  long waiting hours due to traffic. We went to Wexford instead walk around a bit have our coffee break  at the nearby Italian pastry shop .

South of Ireland

Wexford it’s time to go .. Let’s meet Edgar, Klara’ s husband who is a magnificient cook .

When we arrived at Klar’s place  we were  met by Toby and Scarlett their  four legged babies .

Edgar made a very delicious vegan version of bibingka ( a kind of filipino dessert) , a home made pancit canton and of course Bong’s Humba favorite . We could not thank Edgar enough for the delicious filipino cuisine that he cooked for us . Klar is one lucky momma

Chef Edgar
Us and Bibingka

Time to pack and fly home

My flight was very early , it was 4:30 am when Bong , Maricar and Klara took me at the airport .

After my bagage was drop off …it was really time to say goodbye to this three wonderful host.

I am beyond touched Bong, Maricar and Klara for taking time off from all their daily routines . For spending time with me and make sure that I will have a good time .

To Bong who kept on asking me ” if I am okey or I am having a good time” .. Yes , Bong your shade of thoughtfulness made Ireland more colorful .

Maricar , despite of your busy schedules who have choosen to spent time with me . Thank you for making me special for squeezing me in between your momma duties , madame nurse and a businesswoman. It is good to see you after almost 4 years.. ❣️

Klara, you are my sister from another mother and we both feel our emotions with each other than verbalize it.. I will see you soon in Belgium ..I love you😘😘

Departure area…last groupie

I will be back Ireland ….

Memories are made of special moments shared with wonderful people . This was ANHS 89 eu mini tapok in Ireland