Thursday, December 7, 2017

Twenty-fifth Letter to Sofie

My dearest Sofie,

It's been a long time since I last wrote you a letter. I have been very busy this school year. I have actually been neglecting this blog too. Anyway, that doesn't mean that Mommy is too busy to think of you. That's very far from the truth. I still think of you every day, and I know I will continue doing so for the rest of my life. Daddy and I always talk about you, and wonder what kind of personality you have. We always argue about who you look like. I just know you look like me! But Daddy keeps insisting that you look like him. 😁

I have been trying to paint lately, whenever time permits and I can't help thinking that had you been here with us, you would be painting some pictures beside me. And you would probably even tell your daddy that it was you who made my paintings! 😊Life would have been so different with you here! So much happier with the sounds of your giggles and shrieks, the sound of little feet running around the house and maybe even the sound of you whining because Kuya doesn't want to play with you. These are the sounds I would never know but will forever wish to know.

Your daddy said he would have called you his little monkey because you would always be hanging around his neck. What I am sure of is that Mommy would have been so proud to be seen with you because you would have been the most beautiful little girl anyone has ever seen.

I love you so, Sofie!

I miss you.

Flying hugs and kisses to Heaven,

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Recent Preoccupations

September has come and gone and I was not able to post anything.

My mind has been so preoccupied lately with the tons of writing assignments I have to check. I am handling English for Academic and Professional Purposes this year and I have around 280 students in that subject.  I also handle Business Ethics with 35 students. I only have 30 minutes of recess and 30 minutes of lunch with no other breaks in between. My lunch break isn't even enough for me to clear my head and get ready for my next class.  Sometimes I feel my legs getting numb from standing too long and my chest tightening from sheer exhaustion.

And then I have my clients to attend to in my Sun Life business. I have to find time to call them, to see them, to submit what is needed at the head office and to look for more clients. I have recently made a Facebook page specially for this business hoping to attract more prospects before the year is over and I have been busy thinking of a good content to put up on that page too.

I have recently stumbled on Shopify which I am sure many of you know of.  I am attempting to build a store but I don't know if I will ever be able to finish setting it up. It's just too complicated for a technological immigrant like myself. I am having a hard time setting up the shipping fees, taxes, payment options and all that stuff.  I have, however, already thought of a name for it.

Just last weekend, I discovered  a new love. Hunnybed fetched me from a water spa where some teachers and I were at but the traffic was still too heavy that we decided to wait a while. Hunnybed and I decided to try painting at Sip and Gogh to kill time. This is an art studio where guests can try painting. They have different art works that you can copy and resident artists to tell you what to do. They also serve wine or juice together with some finger foods to their guests.

                      I chose a landscape painting to copy and Hunnybed chose a pair of Kois.

That night was truly one for the books.  It had been so long since I've had that much fun.  I cannot say that I have finally discovered my hidden talent because I do not think I am talented in painting nor in drawing.  I can draw, I can copy and sketch but my work are nothing extraordinary.  However,  seeing my painting that night gave me a feeling of such sweet accomplishment! 

As you can see, the model painting is at my left.

I can't wait but paint again!

What have you been busy with lately?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Beautiful August

August  has been a beautiful month!  There were so many things to be thankful for! 

My son turned another year older on the 4th. 

Hunnybed was the one who took this photo.

My Tootsieroll is my life, my precious gift.  And this year's Buwan ng Wika Celebration gave me another chance to witness his many talents once again.  Among his many accomplishments this August was his essay that bested 500 essays written by his fellow Senior High students.

The smile of a proud stage mother :)

My mom turned another year older three days after my son turned 18.   We celebrated her  birthday with the whole family and by whole family, that always includes my sister, her husband, and their four-year-old son.

Classes opened on the 7th and this year I'm handling 17-year-olds.  It's my first time to handle kids as old as they and I am just loving it.  Being an adviser to them is so different from being an adviser to grade schoolers.  This time, I no longer have to do everything.   In fact, they do almost everything.  :) My student leaders are the best.  They are responsible and dependable.  My students are very supportive of one another too and that's what I love about them.  They are also one of the sweetest classes I've handled so far. 

These are my students after the elimination round of one of the Buwan ng Wika competitions.   I am somewhere in the middle.

I turned 43 on the 26th and I was just so grateful for all the blessings I've received from God.  I went to Mass very early in the morning feeling so thankful that I was born in the faith was born into and feeling so blessed that I could receive the Lord in the Eucharist on my birthday. 

For the first time in a long time, I was the one who treated my family to a sumptuous lunch.

I was just a little sad that day because my sister could only stay for a short time.  I got a little emotional because we seldom see each other and we don't get to talk anymore.  She does find time to be with her friends though so that hurts me a little.

My students gave me a surprise cake the following school day.  I love their thoughtfulness.  I was so touched that they thought of a surprise for me, complete with party poppers, considering the fact that we had only been together for two weeks.

So this is how my August went.  I hope September is going to be just as beautiful and blessed.

I hope you had a wonderful month as well.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Random Thoughts on a Friday Evening

I haven't posted in a long while.  I always remember my blog and always think of posting something but I always end up not getting my laptop out of plain laziness and I don't have any excuse for that.

Tonight I decided not to let this laziness get the better of me once again and here I am sharing my random thoughts to the world.

1.The rainy season has started and school will start in a few days but if I had my way I would go on another trip to the beach.  I'm not a beach bum like most people here are but my recent trip to the beach was just so nice and relaxing that I want to go back.

Our short vacation was actually Ruel's birthday celebration.  I love that he enjoyed his birthday this    year. 

We rented a water taxi for 950 pesos.  I enjoyed going around the other islands although I spent most of the time shrieking because of the big waves.

2. I love how my son got along very well with my high school best friend's son whom he met yesterday when we had lunch with my high school friend.  I'm actually hoping that my friend and I would get to rekindle our friendship and that our sons would be friends too.

3. I need a new laptop for school work and a tablet for my business.  However, I only have budget for one of them.  I'm thinking if there is a tablet which would allow me to work on Exel and Word (I'm not tech savvy so don't judge me if you know there is one :)   )  then I'll be more inclined to get a tablet.

4. My son is going to college in a year's time so I really have to work doubly hard.  And I pray that God will keep our family safe and healthy so that we can continue working for our goals and aspirations.  I also pray that He will send me more clients for my business.

What have you been thinking of lately?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

How to Choose the Right Rosary for You : A guest post

Hello friends!  As I am still unable to post something today, I decided to post something from a friend I met online, Megan Dahle.  She's a fellow Catholic from Harrisburg, South Dakota.

How to Choose the Right Rosary for You

For millions, the rosary is something so much more than a decoration inside the home.
If you’re one of those millions, choosing that special rosary that is just right for you is an extremely important selection to make.

Praying the Rosary

The rosary is a set of prayers designed to venerate the Holy Mother. Use of a set of rosary beads when praying the rosary provides a physical means of keeping count of the prayers as they’re recited. Your fingers move along the string of beads as you recite the prayers. This leaves your mind free to meditate on the mysteries of the rosary.

Rosary beads are physical objects that represent a part of our faith. This makes them highly personal. While all the faithful basically perform the ritual of praying the rosary in the same manner, the special connection the rosary brings to our faith holds specific meaning to each of us individually.

Choosing Your Rosary

Rosary beads are a string of beads formed into a closed circle. Each of us has the choice of purchasing a pre-made rosary for our personal use or creating a customized string of beads that symbolizes our private faith. Whichever you prefer, the rosary you choose is important because picking the rosary that is right for you will increase the likelihood that you will actually use it.
Not only do you need a rosary that is visually appealing to you, it needs to feel good in your hands.

When you find the rosary beads that are just right for you, your rosary becomes a motivator that calls you to prayer instead of a fashion accessory or keychain that gets forgotten in a drawer.

Length of Your Rosary

The length of the string of rosary beads can make a difference. Shorter rosaries are commonly adorned with wooden beads linked together with a cord instead of a metal chain. The beads are usually close together with little free space between. Longer rosaries tend to have the beads spaced out a bit more, with links of metal chain providing the space between them.

A shorter rosary may make it more difficult for your fingers to slide along the string. Without a definite space between the beads, your fingers may accidently skip a bead. This will throw off your count of the prayers you’re reciting. Shorter rosaries are easier to tuck into a pocket or purse when you’ve completed your prayers.

The longer rosaries make it easier to count your prayers with confidence because the spaces make it easier to slide your fingers from bead to bead. The space between the beads lets you count without having to look down at the beads. Longer strings can tangle more easily, however, and will require more space to store when not being used. One way to safely store a long rosary is to keep it in a soft pouch.

The Feel of the Beads

How the beads feel when you touch them makes a difference. They should feel comfortable to your touch so as not to distract you from your meditation and prayers. Beads with a smooth surface will flow through your fingers easily. Faceted beads with a jewelry-like structure are usually more visually appealing but won’t move as smoothly through your hands.

Beads with a multifaceted cut will reflect the light, creating a cascade of sparkly points of colored light that may dance around a room. Rosaries made with each bead resembling a precious stone, or glass birthstone rosaries, make gorgeous strings of prayer beads. While looking great, remember that they will not glide effortlessly through your fingers.

The bottom line comes down to this: Do you want a rosary that is pleasing to your hands, or to your eyes?

Basic Design or Fancy Customization?

If you’re thinking of giving a rosary to a new Catholic, a selection that is rather plain and basic may be your best bet. Super-fancy rosaries may be overwhelming to a budding Catholic or a child. A plain rosary is usually characterized by round beads, generally wood or plastic, strung on a slender cord-like rope. These are usually inexpensive, so you haven’t lost a big investment if a child loses his or her rosary.

Remember that the rosary beads are designed to call to you and to encourage you to pray. You’ll need to ask yourself if the inexpensive, plain rosaries will do this for you. Would a more elaborate or decorative rosary provide you more motivation to pray the rosary? If you know that a visually beautiful, ornate rosary will encourage you to use it more often, then your choice becomes fairly obvious.

Special Devotion Rosary

Special devotion rosaries generally have a centerpiece that is associated with a specific saint or a particular devotion. These rosaries hold a special meaning to those holding them. The beads will usually fall in line with the theme of the centerpiece.

An example would be the Divine Mercy rosary that has a centerpiece of the Divine Mercy image of Jesus. The beads in this rosary will usually have red and white swirls to signify the red and white rays that radiate from Jesus’s heart.

If you have a specific devotion that is important to you, a special devotion rosary may help you to focus on these intentions when you pray the rosary.

Men vs. Women

When you’re choosing a rosary for yourself, or looking to give one as a gift, make certain you choose one that fits the person who will be using it. For a man, don’t pick one that is strung with jewelry-like, fancy decorative beads. A man’s rosary is usually made with larger beads in a dark brown or black color. A man’s bigger hands can manage the larger beads better, and the darker shades of beads project masculinity.

For women, consider the age of the recipient. If you’re choosing one for your mother or another adult female, choose a beautiful color that you know she will love. A classic, timeless rosary with an ornate crucifix as a centerpiece is generally a sure hit. A carefully chosen rosary can become a treasured heirloom that she passes down to the next generation.

Visit Megan at her blog today.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Twenty-fourth Letter to Sofia

Dearest Sofie,

I wasn't able to write to you on your birthday and I am so sorry for that! Although I know that my greetings have reached you in Heaven I still feel bad that I was not able to write you a letter. You see, Mommy sees this blog as some kind of portal through which she can send her letters to Heaven.

The month of April was a very busy month for your mom. You should know that your mom can do a lot of things so most of the time people ask her help for different things. I really wish you got to know me, Sofie. I think you would have been proud of your mom. :)

Anyway, I was planning to be absent on your birthday so that we could celebrate properly. But  I was asked to write and direct a play and the play was shown on your birthday. I could not be absent because there was no one else to do the work I had to do.

We had a simple dinner celebration at Contis'. Your grandparents on my side were there to celebrate with us. For your birthday cake, I ordered chocolate velvet but I had already sliced the cake before I remembered that I had not yet taken a picture of it.

We may not have been able to celebrate  your birthday the way I wanted to but I know you had a blast in Heaven.

Remember that Daddy and I think and talk about you all the time.  We miss you so!

I love you, dear Sofie!

Happy 2nd year in Heaven!

Hugs and kisses,

Friday, April 7, 2017

Twenty-third Letter to Sofia

My darling Sofia,

You'll be turning two in a couple of weeks.  Even though you are in Heaven I am still excited to celebrate your birthday.  I want it to be special just like last year because you are special and I want
people to know that you matter.

Daddy and I always talk about you.  Sometimes he talks about his plans for you as if you were still around to make his plans come true.   Most of the time, he smells my ears and imagines it's your ears he's smelling.  It's weird, I know.  But in a way, it makes him a little happier.

It's been almost two years but until now I do not understand what happened.  I still don't understand why you were taken from us so soon.  I still don't understand why God gave me a gift He never meant for me to open.  And the sad thing is that I don't think I will ever understand.  Daddy mentioned the other day how you sighed in his arms and I realized that I never even felt you breathe.  It makes me so sad that I never even really felt you except for that time I rubbed my cheek against yours  and kissed you.   Knowing that that memory is slowly fading with time makes me even sadder.  I want so much to remember how your skin felt against mine but the remembrance of it is slowly fading away.

Despite the fact that it's getting harder for me to remember how your skin felt like, I want you to always remember that you will never be forgotten.  You will always be remembered.  You will always be loved, my sweet baby girl.  Mommy will always keep you in her heart.

I love you always, Sofie!  Flying hugs and kisses to Heaven...


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Midweek Currently

It's the middle of the week and I suddenly find myself wanting to do a Currently post so here I am!

Thinking:  of the two books I want to write

               One of them is a non-fiction book about my first love, which is customer service.  The other is a romantic novel.  I've written so many beginnings and middles of romantic novels but I have never ended one.  Hopefully, when I get to write this one, I will be able to finish it, if only just so I can have something that's finished (published or otherwise).

Craving: for a bubble bath
             I recently stayed in a hotel and had what I only get to have in a hotel -- a long and warm relaxing bubble bath.  Sadly, we don't have a bathtub at home so I only get to take long showers.  :(

Wearing: a light yellow v neck blouse with 3/4 sleeves, brownish/gray pants and flats

Feeling: out of focus
            I should just be thinking of school and my business at the moment.  I cannot afford to lose sight of my goal but these thoughts of writing two books and not even knowing which one to write first is making me lose my focus and momentum.

Loving:  a particular teleserye shown every night at 9:30  on channel 7
            This light romantic comedy makes me feel young again.  I am neither a fan of the heroine nor   any of her possible leading men (there are four of them), but I just like the story and how it brings back memories of being young and falling in love.

Wishing: I was thinner.

             I think I look a lot older because of my weight so I want to lose some pounds.
Unfortunately, although one of my New Year's resolutions was to exercise and lose 20 pounds this year, I have not done any real physical activity except walking around in the classroom.

So that's what my currently is all about.  I really hope I can focus more and get back on track when it comes to my goals.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

10-Year Service Awardee

It's been more than a month since my last post.  I miss blogging but it seems I just can't find time to do it like I used to, specially now that I have another business.  It's been taking a lot of my after-school free time.

I just wanted to share with everyone something that happened in January.  It isn't really big but it was an important milestone in my career as a teacher.  On the 25th of January, I was one of the faculty members who were given service awards.  Dressed in our barongs, we were presented to the students one by one.  I was a ten-year service awardee and I never imagined that I would feel the way I did during the celebration of the eucharist which preceded the awarding.  Mixed feelings of gratitude, humility and joy enveloped me.  I was so thankful to God for blessing me with so much.  Without these blessings I do not think I would have lasted in the teaching profession for this long.

I do not know how long I can still stay in the same institution or in the same profession.  With God's will I am planning to follow a different path after a year.  In any case, may God continue to bless me that I may  continue to be a beacon of light wherever I may be.

To God be the glory!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Holidays, 2016 in Review and 2017 Goals in One

Happy 2017 everyone!

I've been meaning to post something before the New Year but my schedule did not allow me to do so. I do not know what happened last holiday season but despite the fact that our school break came three days earlier, my schedule was more hectic than usual.   I actually was able to put up our tree ten days before Christmas whereas I usually make sure  it is up on the first of December.

I brought home around 180 exam papers to check and I still have ten unchecked papers.  I still have five gifts yet to wrap!  Please don't judge me now.  I know I am bad and I feel bad enough!

I am proud of the simple feast I laid out in front of my family though.

Noche Buena feast menu:

buttered garlic prawns with chili
macaroni salad
leche flan (Mom cooked this) and buko salad for dessert

Media Noche or New Year's Eve was spent with Ruel's family in Bulacan so I didn't have to cook.  I still made it a point to prepare something though because I was not used to not having anything special to eat after the festivities. :)   We had a family get together on my mother's side the following day.

Overall, I enjoyed every bit of the holidays, although everything flew by like a breeze.  I am thankful to 2016 for many things like family gatherings, dates with my husband, the best Mother's Day celebration I've had so far, going on a pilgrimage to churches with holy doors, my son's moving up from junior high, finally getting to watch Les Miserables, celebrating Sofia's first birthday, attending our high school jubilee homecoming, finding a new friend who is so much like me, celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary in Tagaytay, passing the licensure exam to become a financial advisor, getting a chance to write and direct a mini-play, receiving so many prizes during the institutional Christmas party,  celebrating Christmas and New Year with all the people I love best and so many others.

As I enter this new year, my heart is filled with gratitude,  HOPE and FAITH.  I hope, pray and believe that this year will be one of the best years I have ever had.

Happy 2017 dear readers and friends.  Here's to an awesome year -- a year full of hope, love, priceless moments, and wonderful surprises!  May God keep us all safe, bless  us with good health and grant us prosperity.  Cheers!