Monday, 12 April 2021

Happy 7th birthday to a wonderful grandson

Happy birthday, Lucas!  A 7th birthday is a milestone; it is often celebrated in a more elaborate way.  I’m glad you can celebrate with 4 of your closest friends.  Enjoy your party and hopefully next year we can celebrate your birthday with you. 

You are the most anticipated and awaited baby in the family.  Everyone rejoiced when you finally came. 

I for one almost have no words to express my joy.  I love you already even before I even saw you. 

Yes, we were there at your christening, it was a solemn and happy occasion.  We also enjoyed the reception afterwards; where else but at one of your favorite places, the American club which is second only to the toy store, right?

After three months we went back to stay longer, I volunteered to looked after you and fed you at night until the small hours.  I almost didn\"t want to sleep so I can spend more time with you. 

I treasure the week I was called to bring and get you from school, do you know that I had a lot of fun being with you?  You were such a behaved little boy, you patiently waited without whining as I fumbled buckling you up on your complicated stroller. 

I am happy that you easily make friends. You are born to be sociable, it’s no surprise because as young as you are, you already have a likable personality, easy to be with. Sometimes a joker but you can be very serious too, though humor is good;  its healthy to laugh. 

You are also compassionate. We were so impressed when you shared some of your toys and clothes to the typhoon victims.  You went even further by asking your friends and classmates to donate as well.  We are so proud of you. 

I am amazed how fast you are growing up. I am happy that you enjoy sports. Recently I was impressed when you explained the steps of your whole soccer game. You know the rules by heart.   

If I were only there to watch you play, I would be your volunteer cheerleader. I would clap, jump and shout with joy when you score.  Who knows I may even do an Indian dance? 

But I worry too,  especially when you are playing soccer; so please be careful and concentrate while you’re playing.  My prayers are for your good health and safety always; free from accidents and untoward incidents; and to steer you away from bullies and people with bad intentions. 

Though we live far apart I thank your Dad and Mom who always update us on your activities.  Do you know that we delight in knowing every little thing about you. You are such a lucky kid since you have your parents\" full attention. 

We always look forward to your visits with so much anticipation.  We miss you; just remember your Nana and Papa are always back here in Manila. 

We love you so much. Stay safe, our grandson. Grow well, learn well and live a life that will make your parents proud. 

Enjoy your party. Have fun!  

Xoxo , Nana

Monday, 22 March 2021

HAPPY BIRYHDAY SWEET 16! an open letter to my granddaughter at 16

Happy birthday sweet 16! 

An ordinary greeting would never, ever do—it has to be special that’s why I’m writing you.  

Thank you; you made me a grandmother! 
When you were born, I felt lucky to have a granddaughter.  I am at a loss how to find the right words to tell you now how much you mean to me.  I fell in love with you right away. 

Papa and I couldn't wait to see you, so we rushed to Makati Medical Center to take a glimpse  at you through the nursery window.   After a day or two, we went back to fetch you home. 

Oh, what sweet smell you brought to our home.  I just love that smell of a baby.  You smelled so good and you were so beautiful. 

Your arrival was perfect timing since I just retired then.   It gave me the opportunity to watch you grow everyday as you hurdled through random milestones.  Like the time you first turned over on your stomach, learning to stand,  your first few steps, sucking on your first lollipop and many others. 

I will forever cherish those days when you were almost three and already so companionable.  Thanks to your Mom who planned for us to get you 3 days  a week. 

You loved to put on clothes from a big box of outgrown, but still beautiful and colorful dresses from ate Yela.  You kept trying them on one after another all day like you were doing a fashion show.  Sometimes you even woke up Papa from his nap to zip you up. 

I like that you are taking your studies seriously, you work hard for high grades thats why you are always on the top 10.   Keep it up and it will be second nature to you. Remember that hard work pays and will help you through future challenges. 

Remembering our bonding times at the mall always make me smile. I enjoyed those lunches when we laughed a lot and I miss that now; hopefully after this pandemic we can do it again. 

Life is good but we are not always on cloud nine.  There are times when life can be difficult, full of challenges;  but life can be happy and full of joy too.  So enjoy the good times and take the challenges in stride.  I want very much to protect you from life’s hard knocks but I know that you have to try your wings so I can only pray for your safety and well being. 

You are still so young, sweet and innocent, while  I am old and wise; so take advantage of my experience; learn from my mistakes while I'm still here, and still lucid . Talk to me, ask questions; seek me to clarify doubts, come to me for comfort.  I'm here and I always have time for you. Don't ever hesitate to call me, message me, see me; I’m just nearby. 

No matter how old you are and how high you will soar, I will always be your Nana;  Papa and I will always be there for you.  You are such a delight and a pleasure to have as our granddaughter. We are grateful that we got to know you well from birth. Someone said that a granddaughter is a wonderful dream that never ends. 

Please know that my prayers are for your success,  happiness and good health always and remember that I always love you dear.   

Happy birthday!

XOXO, Nana. 

Saturday, 20 March 2021


How it all started: 

It was this recurring chest heaviness that doesn’t go away unless I burp that caused an episode.   On this first day of March, I couldn’t burp when I felt that heaviness and tightness again. This happened while I was halfway walking my daily 10,000 steps. 

I went home and I still couldn’t burp.  My husband gave me water and after a few minutes of rest, he took my BP: 190/85. 

The very next day I had blood tests
 that was prescribed earlier by my endocrinologist. I also underwent ECG as advised by our family doctor. 

Next move is to get an appointment with my endocrinologist  and a cardiologist.  I had to download an App to book an appointment on line.  My endocrinologist only do virtual consultations due to the pandemic. 

My son was anxious that my appointment with the endocrinologist is after 4 days and the cardiologist will only see me after 10 days. “Why the wait?”, he asked  “did you tell them your condition?”  

Of course I did, the reason for the appointment is part of the profile when I  booked an appointment.  But that’s the reality nowadays, specialists only see so many patients a day, you have to fall in line unless you go to the hospital emergency. 

Booking for tests and procedures works the same way; book for an appointment on line to get a patient reference number; then call a scheduler for a particular test/procedure like ultrasound, ct scan, BMD, thread mill, etc.  This is not easy, those stations do not answer.  After a few rings, I was advised to call again. 

This added to my stress, I have been on the phone almost the whole morning to confirm one test if I got lucky.  Most of the time I gave up to do that again the next day.  

The whole process of tests confirmation  and doctors consultation took two weeks. 

I have to say though that this episode on March 1st is a blessing in disguise and I have to thank The Lord for making it happen. It is a wake-up call that prompted me to seek medical help. 

It was not the Ides of March after all that caused all this but a reality; a challenge that I need to overcome with lifestyle adjustments.  I will focus on what I need to do to overcome this condition in the succeeding posts of this series. 

Sunday, 14 March 2021


This week, my journal on “The Things I Learn Everyday”, is  about acronyms and abbreviations.
I took time to find out what IMHO means when I  encountered it twice on a post of my FB friend.  I didn’t realize there was an earlier debate on whether H stands for “humble” or “honest”. 

The debate went on until Alexis C. Mdrigal of The Atlantic, saw a glossary from a 1986 PC magazine and found that IMHO stands for “In my humble opinion”. 

When I was introduced to texting early, early on, I didn’t understand some common acronyms used in informal internet lingo.  So every time my daughters used one that I didn’t understand, I asked.  Nothing wrong in asking rather than remain ignorant forever, right? 

Acronyms are coined from the first letters of a phrase or a title to form a word or a significant set of letters.  Relevant acronyms during this pandemic times are: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Emergency Use Authorization (EUA); 
get the drift?   But there are exceptions, one is:  CUL, it means “see you later “. So it’s not only the initial letters that is being used, but also letters that sounds like a word. 

In the informal vernacular messages used by Filipinos; letters and numbers are combined to shorten a word but I wonder if they qualify as acronyms. 
22o reads totoo, meaning it’s true. 
L8 is late
This technique is used locally in sending  Short Message Service (SMS); see this is the way to use an acronym in formal writing:   Notice I wrote the full phrase first followed by the acronym. 

Have you heard about a mother who sent a text to her son about the sadden passing of an uncle.  In closing she wrote; 
“LOL, your Mom”. 
“Mom, why are you laughing?  Uncle passed”, son asked 
“Why?”, I said Lots Of Love”.  
Is this also debatable?  

When I was young and goes around the cemetery on all saints day;  there is that standard “RIP” written on graves.  My friends used to say “Return If Possible”. 

Grammar dictates not to confuse acronyms with abbreviations.  Abbreviation is a shortened version to represent the whole; common of which are: St. for street,
 Ave. for Avenue, 
cm for centinter, 
in. for inches, 
Dr. and Prof. but Atty is an acronym,which  means “a thousand thank yous”. 

Do you know this acronym?
HHOK,  “ ha ha, only kidding”! 

Wednesday, 3 March 2021


Two months passed and I’m wondering how everyone is doing about their new year’s resolution or whatever they resolved to pursue this year.  We all know that interest wane after a month or two.  Some resolve even fall apart just as they started. 

I think I have a good start, maybe even great and I feel I can do this and won’t lose interest.  

It dawned on me to log new things that I learn everyday.   Never old enough to learn, right?  

They could be in the form of:
-ordinary life lessons that appeal to me;  
-quotes that are great to live by; 
-idioms or expressions I can use; 
-words  whose  meaning I cannot understand when they stand alone 
-internet lessons that will keep me cyber-up-to-date. 

Here are a few I’d like to share though, I already logged a lot. 

I learned to use a QR code on my iPhone.
That's a good one, right?   Now I feel confident bringing out my iphone when I enter establishments using QR code instead of signing on their logbook.   

Here are some quotes:

From Predident Joe Biden: 
“Failure at some point in your life is inevitable, but giving up is unforgivable.”  Who knows when I’ll hit a rough patch and this will give me courage?

“Somewhere along the course of life, we will learn about ourselves more and realize that there should never be regrets but life-long appreciation of the choices we made. ” - from a post of my friend Nina. 

Here’s top favorite quote, a copy was always under the glass top of my office desk 
“The Lord is my Pacemaker”  
by Tobi   Miyashina. You can google this, a great one to live by. 

“In almost every aspect of life we can manage our risk but not in love; it is all or nothing. It is absolute bliss or total devastation”   -
 I got this from a novel I read but I can’t recall the author. 

Here are some of the few words I learned; words that are easy to understand when used in a sentence within paragraphs because I can grasp the idea but not when they stand alone. 

Now I am confident to use them in sentences; as my grammar teacher used to say: new words learned become “words at your command”.  
Wait, did I just use an idiom? 

Smidgen - /smijin/  - A small amount of something.  

Interloper - /in(t)er lo par/ - A person who become involved in a place or situation that he is not wanted or is considered not to belong.

Doozy- /dooze/  -something outstanding or unique. 

Gnarly- /narle/  -difficult, dangerous, challenging 

Here are some expressions and idioms new to me:

“On tenterhooks”- means, waiting nervously for something to happen. 

“The whole kit and caboodle” - means a collection of things. 

“The world is your oyster”  means being able to do anything you want because you have the opportunity to do so either through talent, looks, luck, power or money. 

There are more new words in my journal but I feel this will suffice for now and you get the idea.  Do I sound like grammar teacher?  You be the judge. 

Thursday, 25 February 2021


I recently read about Lagom, pronounced:  “La-gum”,  a Swedish word meaning “just right” - “not too much, not too little”.   It is a balanced lifestyle when we live according to our values and priorities. 

To live lagom,  we need to evaluate the way we live; examine each and every aspect to check if we are living “just right”.   How do we keep our homes?  How do we manage the kitchen?  Do we practice minimalism?  Simple living? Frugality?  Hopefully, a balanced life. 

Lagom means natural.  I have no problem with that as I prefer using real plants to decorate like dried flowers twigs and leaves and I use more wooden furniture. 

Lagom means our home is in order; minimal fixture, no clutter.  As Marie Kondo often reminders us, let’s keep only what are useful and what makes us happy. That way, it is also easier to clean and to keep in order. The idea here is to create a place where we can relax and destress and enjoy our home. 

Lagom means frugal. It doesnt mean having less. To me frugality means choosing what is practical and less expensive without sacrificing satisfaction, comfort and quality.    It is spending less on some items in order to have extra money on things that matter most. 

Lagom eliminates wastage; let us shop and cook only what is enough for the family.  If it is a  favorite dish,  cook more and  freeze in batches for future meals, thus saving fuel and effort. 

 We can try switching our diet eating more plant-based food.  When buying cooked food, take out or otherwise, let  us order only what is enough; we should not feel ashamed to split orders for two people to share as most orders are hefty anyway. 

Lagom favors the environment. It encourages repair, recycle and reuse, including segregation.  It saves the Earth for future generations. 

If we try living lagom, we save money if we are mindful of using power and water efficiently.   It is such a waste if we keep lights and fans on when not in use.  My son  said he cringed when he saw someone at the golf course bathroom let water flow while brushing his teeth. 

There are many more ways to live lagom as anyone can think of.  We ourselves will find more ways as we go along.  Practise will eventually turn into a habit. 

I’m sure that most of us are already living lagom in the way that suits our lifestyle. However having developed life-long habits would be a challenge,  but by being mindful about it all the time, we can succeed. 

Friday, 15 January 2021


This is not a sequel of “The Notebook” ,the best-selling novel of Nicholas Sparks.  This is just a regular notebook that could be used as a planner or journal. 

Every new year all of us get a new planner or a new notebook; others get so much more than one.   We feel excited and we take time to decide  how best to use them. 

On the flip side, you may argue that you do not need one; “I’ll use my phone, I prefer to go paperless”.   Of course that is always an option.  But isn’t it more exciting to hold that beautiful notebook; run your fingers over those soft blank sheets? 

It maybe great to make a family recipe notebook out if it.  Or will you use it as it is meant to be; a planner where you log your plans, appointments and other work-related matters?  Shall you use it as a personal journal, as in a diary? 

Actually we can do all that and more because we usually get more than one and its a pity to leave those beautiful pages blank.  We just have to decide which ideas will best suit our lifestyle. 

Every year, I add one to my notebooks. Most of my journals maybe called “perpetual” because they don’t expire.  I continue  to log my notes as there are ideas or info warranting documentation.  I also intend to add more and revise, customize and improve what I already have. 

Health-medical history notebook-
A priority for a senior like me especially that we feel new aches and pains everyday. Doctor’s appointments,  test results, medical prescriptions, maintenance medicine are vital info needing reminders. 

Notebook for expenses-
 I log all my expenses; those that are paid in cash and another for those charged to my credit card.  This comes in handy because I  like to stick to a budget. I also use my list to cross check those that come out of my credit card bill. 

Locator notebook- 
I list where I keep important items. This saves time to find them or just to assure me that I did not misplace them.  However, this year I intend to include a diagram of where exactly things are located. 

Recipe and meal planning- 
a) Family recipies from my Mom and mother-in-law. 
b) For daily meals and special dinners. This is useful when I’m running out of meal  ideas. I have on log what I served some Christmas dinners ago.

Personal info notebook-
Passwords,usernames email addresses, membership and  ID numbers. 

Book on Birthdays- 
Birthdates of people that matter to me. 

This year I’m adding four notebooks: 

Reading list-
I’ll list all the books I read and their authors.  I intend to include a list of favorite blogs and articles. 

Blog notebook-
Although all my blogs could be accessed on icloud, I still want to go through them written down. I may put my comments as to why I’ve written them. 

Quotes and affirmations -
Though I remember some quotes occasionally; now I’ll log all my favorite quotes, bible passages and inspirational phrases.  This is a great tool to go to when I need inspiration while going through a rough patch or when i need to lift my spirits. 

New-Things-I-Learned-Today journal. 
This is what I’m so enthusiastic about.  I already made a few notes. They will be in my next blog. 

Actually there are as many journal topics that you can think of; the ideas are endless.  We also do not need to wait for the New Year to start one. 

So good luck and wishing you joy in filling up those new and  lovely pages.