Monday, April 30, 2012


This heat is one big nightmare.  No kidding!  With a daily dose of 36 degrees C to 37 degrees C, I am burning. Despite that, I went on with yesterday's Garage Sale.  The first I ever did around this time of the year.  I did previous years either in January or June.

This photo was taken around 8am.  It felt that the heat was at its peak.  All looked dry and wilted.

Patrons continued to swarm and shop.  They seemed pleased with the goodies and  ignored the heat.

I just had one line from start to finish, "what time is it?".  The heat worsened by the minute which left me with zero drive to take more photos. Forty-five minutes before end time, I called it off.  But I'm doing a round two in  a couple of weeks.  I'm thinking of tweaking the time a bit - either sunrise or sunset would more likely work. 

Can't wait for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Off to Baguio to cool down a bit.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April Birthday Celebrants

April brings along three birthday celebrants. 

My sister Anna,  referred to as Sister 3 in previous blogs.

My brother Dennis, otherwise known as One and Only Brother. 
I chose this photo to let Dennis know that once in my life I planted a kiss on his cheek.   
It seems like yesterday when I spoke of Dennis and Anna's birthdays in this blog.  Now, they are officially part of the mid-life gang.

And, my niece's 7th birthday. 
She was just 5 when I talked about the  thrill we shared for rings in this blog.  Two years after, she celebrates 7 with color and summer style.

Little Hoola Girl

Flower Power

Highlighter colors

I see future Fashion Models.

Make-up corner.  See me?

Nail polish lounge

I loved this little girl.  I stalked and took too much photos of her.

Me and my niece

Cheers to mid-life one and only brother and sister 3! And Happy 7, Nicole!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Charmed by Bacnar

J. Bond had repeatedly questioned my reply to his query regarding my thoughts on Bacnar, Pangasinan.  First thought that popped  in my head which I quickly blurted, "I saw and felt its charm"

My reply had resulted to more questions which I felt needed a more extensive explanation on what I meant with charm since descriptions gathered in the past talked about ... Mainit (hot). Make shift banyos (No bathrooms).  Do your thing in designated grassy areas.  Or more like, dig a hole.  Maraming lamok (Mosquito-infested) ... It was with challenge to explain and expound further.  Countless stories, amazing discoveries, and an exploration of years of toiled land were all squeezed in one day, on the day I first visited J. Bond's  maternal origins.  So I became lost and confused as to how I should have  kicked off my reply.  But I knew my answer, and hopefully as I walk you through these photos I would make you see what I saw and help shed light to what I meant with charm.

We arrived at Bacnar while at the height of preparations for lunch.  This being my first visit, it was my first  to have observed such way of cooking as well -- grilling over wood burned in stone-like cooking burners.  My handy and only way of cooking revolves around electric stoves or gas stoves. Pretty much the instant way applicable to modern times.  I had imagined Nanay (J. Bond's Grandmother) while I watched the busy preparations.  She must have cooked this way, with the same burner and wooden utensils.  I am amazed on how such practice of cooking has remained the same from past to present. 

Even with the existence of scattered stone-like cooking burners around,  hollow blocks are used as grillers as well.

Piled chopped wood used for cooking stored in between trees and protected by a black guard dog.

Faucets are scarce.  Instead, bomba (pump), as they call it, has been their source of water.  Water is collected in large basins via multiple pumping acts which I thought of as good form of exercise. 

Two large water-filled basins meant for washing dishes.  This brought my thoughts back to a retreat I attended  in high school.  Students were tasked to help wash used dishes by applying the 3-wash step.  First, wash off scraps and oil prior to soap-scrubbing in basin number one.  After scrubbing, move on to basin two where dishes are rinsed.  The 3rd step was the best.  I disliked the first two.  Dip your dish in  basin three with floating yellow lemons that served as conditioner. Oh happy memories!

Then here stood through time the house commonly referred to as "malaking bahay" (big house).  Malaking bahay spoke of countless stories of family from earlier generations to the present generation, their dreams, triumphs, including their challenges. It had seen and heard it all.  This was where J. Bond's mom was born and raised.

All siblings had slept side-by-side on this bamboo floor, including Mama.  Malaking bahay's  living room had served as bedroom by nightfall back then.

Framed photos of the young and old are displayed on the living room's yellow wall.  Do you see the young J. Bond in this photo?  Hint:  in black.

A prayer for blessing as you enter the main door. Amidst trials, one thing I am sure of, I saw and felt how blessed all are just by simply having each other.

The closest I have ever been to a cow and chickens that strolled freely along the backyard.

Cactuses grew everywhere, in pots and along the road. Proof how hot it is in Bacnar. But how timely I took this day trip.  I have been fascinated with cactuses lately.  While on our exploration, my uncle stopped along the road, and snapped a couple of pickle-shaped  cactuses. I brought them home.  Here's crossing my fingers and praying for survival given the doomed green thumb I own.  Even weeds die on me.

My moment of peace while I stared over a washed mosquito net and a pillowcase.

We visited a nearby land that had long existed and continually toiled. The early generations may have passed on, but the land continues to serve its purpose in terms of livelihood and LIVING.

This was Mama's big playground.

A makeshift pool for Mama and her siblings stood here long ago.

J. Bond and his brother climbed and played on this same mango tree back then.  Now, it serves as playground for the new generation.  One day, this little girl will look back and pay her tree a visit.

Meet Mr. Munding who have long toiled the land.  With Munding are his grandchildren.

J. Bond learned how to drive in this jeep.

A weed that I find very pretty.

We explored while at the heat's peak.  Mid-way, some chose to stay within the shady and cool confines of this mango tree including me.

The smallest green mango I have ever seen.

I may be sentimental in some way. It comes with ageing I presume.  I would have not surely used charm as a description in my younger years.  I would have looked at it the other way around. However, it is in this very sentiment I saw and gained deep appreciation for a life I have never lived yet dream of.  One day, I know it will come true.

The stories,  the house, the past, the present, the place all fall under one word.  Charm.  Including this guava tree planted in 1947.

The trunk has aged. 

Yet, it continues to bear fruit.

Monday, April 9, 2012

On Easter Day

J. Bond believes no one adores Tagaytay like I do.  I doubt.  I'm pretty sure someone  shares the same intense adoration I feel over the place.  But like what I said, Tagaytay is my second home.  So on Easter day (three weeks since this last visit) came another quick trip.

The Pink Sisters Chapel.

Endless visitors prayed and toured the grounds that day.

Lovely and inspiring colors found along the silent grounds of the convent.

I chose to wear By Beaded Story's Mother's Heart necklace (Our Lady of Miraculous Medal) on this day.

A timely message for Easter.

My niece and her canister of cookies made from communion host. 

 Mama (J. Bond's mom) went shopping for fresh produce.  Lettuce.

Ginger.  Squash.

 J. Bond carried our shopping bags =) 

The view from where we had lunch.

Pineapples are in season. 

Where we had lunch, Army Navy.  After a month of abstinence, J. Bond finally gave in to his crave for burritos and fries.

 My newly discovered source for coffee grounds and beans, Brewed for You.

I am a certified coffee addict, so I am ecstatic for having discovered this store.  No need to drive all the way to Baguio any longer, nor ask friends or relatives to buy and send kilos of coffee grounds to Manila every so often.

I thought of buying these coffee cups too.  I did not.

 But I bought a lot of these bags.

 While I shopped for coffee, these three toured around.

I'll be back.  For sure.

Happy Easter!  Share your Easter stories too!

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