Birthday in Tagaytay: Wilson’s Place

Another year to be thankful for. To celebrate, the husband suggested that we have my birthday weekend out-of-town. Where else to go but Tagaytay? I asked my BFF Aileen if she knew of any good places to go spend a couple of nights at. She suggested Balai Indang, or the swankier Wilson’s Place by the same owner. They have no website, but the photos in a post by Anton Diaz over at Our Awesome Planet convinced us to try out the latter.

Wilson’s Place is a Bed and Breakfast in Tagaytay City. I called their listed mobile number and looked for Christy (as suggested by Aileen) and booked us a room for two nights. She asked us to make a deposit of Php 1,500 to their BDO account and then we made confirmations via SMS. It was a pretty smooth transaction. Just remember to bring the deposit receipt with you because I didn’t. 😀

We left Pasig  at around 5:30 am early on Friday and headed South. We had to be out of Manila before 7am due to the car coding scheme. By 6:30 am, we were already at the NLEX and had breakfast at the Pancake House near the Petron Station. There were several buses carrying teens from Colegio San Agustin. I remember getting annoyed at the teenage girls casually cutting in the queue in the ladies’ room. Kids! Continue reading Birthday in Tagaytay: Wilson’s Place

Goodbye, Facebook. Hello, Twitter.

Everyone I know is on Facebook. Even my Mom, who does not even know how to turn on a computer, has an account created for her (not sure why since she doesn’t even get on it). I had enjoyed sharing photos and statuses on my shared account (with the husband – he didn’t want to make his own) for years now, and I have partaken in healthy discussions with friends and colleagues, even strangers, on various topics. It was all good.

But alas, I have realized that a big chunk of my time everyday is spent on it, reading through Goodbye Facebookstatuses and endless (at times mindless) posts about corrupt politicians, internet memes or some bizarre accident that happened years ago but somehow has resurfaced and has become “viral”.

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Dreaming About Someone In My Past

It happened again. A few months ago, I dreamed about this person from high school whom I admired from afar. I had the the biggest crush on him for several years until I left for college and went on to live my life. I can’t remember anymore what happened in my dreamcatcherdream but it must have been pleasant although it felt strange to have dreamt about the person whom I haven’t seen nor thought about for a very, very long time.

He figured in my dreams again a few nights ago. It was just him and me. It wasn’t sexy nor romantic – no, nothing like that. We were together, not sure as what, but we were hanging out and it felt natural. Well, natural in the dream. It was just one scene in which we were talking and the topic must have been mundane because I can’t even remember what it was about. What stayed with me was the ease that I felt being with him at that moment in my dream. Continue reading Dreaming About Someone In My Past

Donations for Recovery from Typhoon Haiyan

imageOne month after the devastating onslaught of the strongest typhoon in recorded history, my country, the Philippines is slowly recovering. Typhoon Haiyan left thousands homeless. We still need your help.

You can now purchase relief goods directly online and donate them to the victims of the typhoon through the Philippine National Red Cross.

Click here to purchase and donate.

Thank you so much for your help!

Dealing with Dementia

She’s been greeting my siblings “Happy New Year!” each time they call now. When I finally asked her today why she does that, she said that it will be New Year soon as Christmas is fast approaching. I gently reminded her that it’s just May. She slapped her forehead and said that she thought it was already November.

My Mom is 80 next year and she suffers from dementia. Her psychiatrist says that she is entering the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Her memory lapses are more frequent now and narrowly spaced. Just a few days ago we went shopping for her clothes and decided to have dinner in the same mall. I asked her if she liked the blouses that we bought but the question only brought a confused look on her face. It hadn’t been an hour since she’d been trying on the clothes at the store but she had no recollection of it at all. I showed her the bag and she gushed about how beautiful the tops were, as if she was seeing them for the very first time.

It does seem like she sees everything for the first time now. I guess it’s a good thing too because she appreciates every good thing each time and she never runs out of compliments :). On our way home from Tagaytay on Mother’s Day, we stopped by the roadside flower shops so that she can buy flowering plants for her garden. She loves her garden. She got her green thumb from her Father. Although, there’s been a few instances when her plants die because of too much fertilizer. Yes, she forgets and re-fertilizes. And she never listens when reminded. Anyway, when she saw the flowers the next day, she was so curious as to where they came from but was genuinely happy at the burst of color her garden now has.

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My Lenten Reflection

While most of Metro Manila is out either in the provinces or to resorts to spend the rest of the Holy Week, the husband and I decided to stay home like we do each year. We’d rather be here than spend hours traveling and braving the traffic going in and out of the city. Also, the peace and quiet during these few days makes us feel like we’re not in the city anyway. Hence, I’ve decided to write about my Lenten reflection.

We spent most of Holy Thursday cleaning up the room downstairs that we use for storage. About 8 medium-sized boxes were used up to fill with junk that are going to be thrown out, and 2 boxes for clothes, books and shoes to give to charity. Cleaning is always a good therapy for me – it allows me to think clearly and reflect.

Bishop and Ava

Today, Good Friday, we took the two dogs, Ava and Bishop, with us to Bonifacio High Street where we did the Way of the Cross. The roads were almost empty but I was surprised that a lot of people were at BHS. Well, I guess only half-surprised since it was the only mall that was open (only partially because the restaurants were and the shops weren’t). I liked how the stations of the cross were laid out across the compound, and there were acts that accompanied each station. The warmth and humidity didn’t stop people from following the age-old Catholic tradition.

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Giving and Accepting Compliments

I can’t remember when I had ever held out from complimenting anyone for their nice appearance or a job well done. For me, giving compliments is equal to thanking a person for bringing beauty and order to my life. I know how it feels to be thanked, and I like people to have that same feeling so I am never stingy with compliments.

I remember one particular morning before we went to work when my then housemate emerged from her room looking especially radiant and I was genuinely taken aback by her glow. I immediately told her, “wow, you are very pretty looking like that!”. She looked so surprised that someone had paid her that kind of compliment, but I could tell that what I had said had brightened up her day. She was all smiles and was especially cheerful the rest of the day.

When our helper first came to work for us, she wasn’t an experienced cook yet cooking was one of her tasks. Maybe because her father was a cook and the talent was in her genes, but her dishes were really good. I, of course, praised her a lot for it. The compliments must have really boosted her confidence because she started to call and ask her family for tips on cooking and began scribbling down recipes from cookbooks she had found around the house. Oftentimes, she would ask me if she could try a dish that she had read about and I’d encourage her even if I had never heard of it. I loved her enthusiasm.

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Lessons From Bullying

I was considered a smart kid in grade school. I attended a Chinese Christian school in Kindergarten, but was transferred to the Catholic University where my Mom taught so that I didn’t have to pay tuition. As a newcomer, I was placed in the third section, the last section, in first grade but in the same year I received the highest honors. It was an enjoyable time and I made some friends with whom I’d exchanged stationery and played jack stones on the school grounds.

It was during my second year in the new school that I was transferred to the first section where they say all the smart ones were, and I started getting bullied. The bullies were not only boys, but girls too. The big girls in class who seemed to have reached puberty early were not so nice to me. This was around the same time that our adviser would assign me to write down the names of those who disturbed the class by talking whenever she would leave the room. At first I enjoyed the task because I was a stickler for rules, but later on I realized that the other kids were calling me the “teacher’s pet” and the bullies were starting to notice me more and more. I felt their stares on my back each time I’d write down a name for breaking the rules, and they would make snide remarks that made the class laugh. That year, I only got the second highest honors.

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