The Wind in My Face

It's been a long time since I last undertook a long road trip without car long ago, that I have forgotten how the wind feels like against my face.  Last Friday, I went to Barangay Pandanan in the mountains of Murcia town riding an old KIA vehicle and although I initially balked when I first saw our ride...this experience is something I will always remember with a smile. The moment we set out, I knew it was going to be a fun day.  As soon as we were out in the highway,  the cool wind was brushing my face and lifting my ponytail...The air was filled with the smell of grass and cut sugarcane...I could smell the molasses in the air as we passed areas where there are sugar centrals...I saw the mountains of Negros and Mt. Kanlaon clearly and not through tinted windows...I heard the rush of water in the rivers and creeks we passed.  The road trip awakened precious childhood memories that I thought I have forgotten.  It was a wonderful, wonderful day!

What Am I Thankful For This 2009?

This question was posted on as part of a contest to win a Moleskine Colour a Month Daily Planner in 12 Notebooks 2010 . For those who are not familiar with moleskines, this is a brand that identifies a family of notebooks, diaries, and folio books. It was created as a brand in 1997, bringing back to life the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway. I have a small handy black notebook which I carry everywhere I go and frankly, it is one of my best finds in 2009, one that would count for someone addicted to notebooks like me, as one of those things to be thankful for. The year 2009 has been both a blessing and a stressful time for many things have been happening day in and day out since January that I seem to have lost track of time and suddenly, December is here! But one thing for sure, in everything that has happened to me this year, God's hand was there...He sen

The Great Flood of 1972 vis-a-vis Ketsana (Ondoy)

In August 1972, I remember a big flood happened also in Luzon . For more than two weeks, heavy rains pummeled Luzon before then President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law. Floodwaters merged with the Pampanga and Agno rivers and submerged most of Central Luzon. This became known as the Great Flood of 1972. I remember working in the gym with classmates preparing relief goods. Classes were suspended in some subjects so that students can help instead. Less than a month after...Martial Law was declared. I don't know why I suddenly remembered this fact...maybe because like Marcos then, GMA's popularity and approval rating is at its lowest today. It's like deja vu...the atmosphere of political conflict, the morale of the people, the air of discontent among the people is eerily similar. Is this a sign? I am not saying that GMA is going to declare Martial Law...but somehow I feel a great change coming. Maybe this is our second chance...maybe God is telling us somethi

Ketsana AKA Ondoy: Nature's Fury, Man's Folly

A truly heartbreaking video made by Glenn Omanio .

Epic Flooding in the Philippines

Last Thursday, Tropical Storm Ketsana (better known in the Philippines as Typhoon "Ondoy") entered the Philippine area of responsbility. It was not even a storm yet but a tropical depression. The next day Friday, it was declared a typhoon and signal no. 1 and 2 were raised in parts of Luzon including Metro Manila. However as it swept across Luzon on early Saturday morning, packing winds of 85 kilometers per hour, or 53 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 100 kilometers per hour, "Ondoy" dumped 42.4 centimeters, or 16.7 inches, of rain in just 12 hours, said Nathaniel Cruz, the government’s chief weather forecaster. He said the rain that fell in those 12 hours was equivalent to the amount of rain that Manila received in the whole of September. To make matters worse, it was high tide and the water levels of 2 dams, Angat and Ipo were at critically high levels as well. By sunrise Metro Manila and it's environs were underwater. And for the first time, places t

From Heaven Looking Down at Me...

My Dad would have turned 77 years old today August 25, 2009 except that he passed away 18 years ago. We have celebrated his birthday every year since then by attending mass, visiting his gravesite, offering flowers. It is not often that I would feel his presence and I'd like to believe that this is because he is happy in Heaven. But today, it seems to me that Daddy was making his presence felt in more ways than one. It seems that he knew I needed him because looking back in the events of the past few days, people I needed to aid and encourage me were suddenly there...people whom I rarely see but they were just the right people to help me! It was like I had a special angel looking out for me. Everything was falling into place...I felt so cared for and supported. Serendipity? I don't think so. This is a time in my life when I really need my father to be there for me, to guide and to fight for me...and he came through! He could not be here physically so he sent angels in the

Feel Good Times

These days life gets much harder and there is really not much to smile about. Maybe because I feel that there are just so many things beyond my control and the purity of my intentions is often misinterpreted and seen as intrusion. Then in a sort of roundabout way, a friend's friend said something that triggered a memory and all of a sudden I feel, hey! it's not that bad (^^) I remember the feel good times of my life and I was surprised that I have forgotten many of the fun christmas vacations in Manila spent with my maternal grandparents...the feeling of awe and wonder on opening my presents...the carnivals and Holiday on Ice at the Araneta Coliseum...the pleasure I felt when eating ice cream at Dairy Cream...the excursions at Balulan Beach and the effort I put in to get a tan and the allergies that resulted afterwards(although how that could be classified as feeling good escapes me at the moment...but yes, remembering those times make me smile)...the stories my