Listening to my elders, sharing their war stories fascinates me. I enjoy knowing the gory details and understanding how they came to live a full life after the war. My Uncle “Tito Jess” is the best story-teller ever. In my … Continue reading
Beginning today I will no longer worry about yesterday. It is in the past and the past will never change. Only I can change by choosing to do so. Nothing can stop this young lady from reaching her dreams. Source: Academic … Continue reading
Mayon Volcano is an active volcano of the Philippines with its perfect cone. This photo was taken by my nephew, Cyril. The last time it erupted was on January 14, 2018. With the help of new technology, they can predict … Continue reading
Quezon City, Philippines is where I grew up. Now I live in Vancouver, beautiful British Columbia, Canada. And where are you from?
I could dance with Matt to this beautiful music of Garry Schyman feat. Alicia Lemke – Trip the Light, fell the joy of being alive and remember that we are all the same.
If all the days come to pass
Are behind these walls
I’ll be left at the end of things
In a world kept small
Travel far from what I know
I’ll be swept away
I need to know I can be lost
And not afraid
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News from my native land. To read the story from New York Times, click on the image depicting Missing and New Horizon by photojournalist DANIEL BEREHULAK. (Note: news is not for the faint of hearts)
China Sojourns provided us with an excellent photography, writting, lessons and Save the Children project on the impact of Typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban, Philippines. An Excellent post! And I want to add with the gifts of faith, hope, and love the Filipinos will recover and become stronger people. Thank you, Randall for keeping us up-to-date.
Violent winds swirl the dark, ominous thunderclouds overhead. The pounding waves crash onto the rocky shore and the roar of the Pacific Ocean makes its intention clear: thrash anything in its path.
With electricity in the air, I am oblivious to everything except the power coming my way as rain beats against my face, sucking me into the depths of the storm.
Ever since I was young, the powerful forces of storms, especially on the Oregon Coast, have held a rare type of electricity for me. Electricity that excites my soul and eliminates any trace of fear I may have.
Chasing the idea of becoming one with the storm. Not just to see the power unravel in front of me, but to physically feel this rare electricity.
The past three days I’ve experienced a different type of feeling.
Walking along the Tacloban city coastline watching the sunrise, I am beginning…
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The highlight of my mornings going to school in the Philippines is singing the national anthem. Then we all can start our day of studying.
We all go out in the courtyard, dress up in our uniforms, with our right hand on our left chest, eyes fixed on the flag, a conductor moving her hand the three-quarters beat, and we sing with feelings and gusto. In doing so, this is how we learn patriotism to the country and flag of the Philippines.
Even the lyrics alone makes me feel the freedom and pride how my ancestors fought hard to gain our independence.
Land of the morning
Child of the sun returning
With fervor burning
Thee do our souls adore.
Land dear and holy,
Cradle of noble heroes,
Ne’er shall invaders
Trample thy sacred shores.
Ever within thy skies and through thy clouds
And o’er thy hills and seas;
Do we behold thy radiance, feel the throb
Of glorious liberty.
Thy banner dear to all hearts
Its sun and stars alight,
Oh, never shall its shining fields
Be dimmed by tyrant’s might.
I must say, I love the Philippine National Anthem. It was first written in Spanish, then translated in Filipino, and finally in English, a total of three versions versions you can listen here.
Symbols on the Flag of the Republic of the Philippines:
- Blue – peace, truth, and justice.
- Red – patriotism and valor.
- White triangle – equality and brotherhood.
- Three stars on the corners of the triangle – the three main geographical regions of the country namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
- Sun at the center of the triangle – eight rays representing the eight Philippine provinces that started the revolt against Spain that symbolize unity, freedom, people’s democracy and sovereignty.
Very brief background:
- Spain ruled the Philippine for 300 years. Magellan discovered the Philippines. Catholicism is the main religion due to the Spanish Rule.
- America came to the Philippines. An outbreak of war ensued between Spain and America.
- Spain surrendered the Philippines to the America.
- Philippines revolted against America.
- America proclaimed that Philippines’ independence is the 4th of July.
Just a minute now, Philippines does not want the America’s national day of holiday. They wanted their own date to fall on June 12. Finally, America approved it on August 4, 1964 that the Philippines’ National Independence is June 12.
I am a Canadian now but deep in my heart, I am still a proud Filipino.
This Memorial Day, I offer a tribute to the hundreds and thousands of Filipino Guerrillas who fought in World War II alongside the Americans. In a moving poem, General Romulo penned these words:
To the men who fought
In defense of the Philippines
In the 1941-1942 campaign
The ill-trained, ill-armed recruits
In straw helmets and rubbers shoes
The pilots without planes
The sailors without ships
The men on horseback
Fighting tanks with sabers
The gunners short of shells
The soldiers with obsolete rifles
Hungry in the foxholes of Bataan
And the batteries of Corregidor
Racked by dysentery, malaria, beriberi
Surviving on false hopes
Defeated at long last by their bodies
Sent to die in their faceless thousands
In the long cruel march to Capas
And in the concentration camps
This memorial is dedicated
By their grateful countrymen
Who will not forget
That their defeat was weakness of the flesh
But victory of faith loyalty and love.
For ten days, the Sochi 2014 connected me with the whole world and it was relatively exciting time of sportsmanship. I was even surprised to see in Facebook that the Philippines joined in figure skating even if a medal is not in the plan, to be part of it is an honor.
I did not really watch any of the games, however, I kept my ears open to the daily news, the cheering of colleagues and poking my head in the office cafeteria to see who is watching the Olympics game. I’ve read some controversies about gay right activist to animal lovers. Olympics is such a political event no matter how they put it. We had our fair share in Vancouver 2010.
The Washington Post wrote a good article about this:
“In the end, it was the right thing for the Olympics to come to Sochi, for all the wrong reasons. If the Winter Games had been staged somewhere else, then we never would have seen this still-rising emblem of the “new Russia” — so visually spectacular yet suggestive of a vast chasm between potential and reality. Here’s hoping that the promise of Sochi will be real.”
So, what’s next? Let’s see what will be the talk at the office at the water cooler, this will be interesting.
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Money cannot buy happiness but how you spend it differently will make you feel better and happier. Michael Norton experimented on making people spend money on others rather than on themselves and measure their happiness as shown at TED. Michael went … Continue reading
Today, I received a gift. For me, it’s nothing special. From the giver, it’s a very special gift. And the gift is one Mango.
This is a very special mango brought by the three special stooges (my nephews) all the way from Palawan, Philippines. Men think differently when it comes to buying gifts. I wonder what they were thinking in choosing a Mango for a gift? Maybe they though this is a perfect gift? Maybe they thought I want a mango? Maybe they thought of surprising me. Maybe they were not thinking at all? Maybe I will surprise them by returning the gift!
I am happy to receive the gift and happier even more that these young men came home safely. That is the most important part. As for the gift, it’s the thought that counts. It’s a gift from God to bring them back to us, mango included.
Now, allow me to ask these questions. Indulge me, please participate, especially the men. The questions are:
- What if you bought the perfect gift for someone you love and they wouldn’t open it?
- Would you leave it with them so they could think about it and maybe open it later?
- What do you think God does when His gift is not accepted?
If you do not believe in God, think of your higher power or think up of anything. Your comment awaits. Thank you.Source: Patricia
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Meditating on this photo with Mary in mind, she gladly accepted what was unacceptable. She said YES to conceive. What a courageous act. She waited with great understanding, anticipation and longing to fulfill her calling. As I reflected on this, my breathing slows down absorbing the joyful mystery. A one-minute-meditation, my mind and heart became pregnant with desire to be more intimate with Jesus Christ.
Yesterday’s event section at Metro News: Hilary Clinton headed to Vancouver as a keynote speaker on March 5, 2014 for an event on Women’s Leadership Circle. Expected cost $600 a ticket.
As much as I want to see Hilary, $600 dollars will go a long way not for me but to the needy.
The purpose of this post is to challenge the Vancouverites instead of spending it for the Leadership Circle to hear Hilary, donate this money to the needy in Vancouver. Or better yet, send it to the Philippines for emergency relief. Canada will match your dollar.
Be a servant leader instead.
Memories came flooding in, seeping out of my memory bank. The earthquake, the storm, death, then calm.
Being born in the Philippines Mother nature rules. Nature does not discriminate, from the young and old, from the poor and rich, from the ordinary to famous folks; we are all affected. One of the saving graces, I now live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Hardly any storm but plenty of rain and cloudy days.From what I can remember, Father was swept away by the sea, never to be found. Was there a storm at the time that caused ragging waves? I still have yet to know. Mother had a nervous breakdown when Father died. Was it his death or the thought of having to care for 13 children, the youngest four months old. I was only four years old. Most of my memory is vague maybe it was buried with Father in the sea.
Flying debris, the tin roof blown by the mighty wind, trees falling down, roaring of the wind, torrential rain and flooding are the effects of nature passing through.
Then came Ruby Tower crashing down. It was intensity 7.7 in the Richter scale. People rushing out of their homes. Me standing by the canal, the water creating a whirlpool and saw a huge rock emerged from the ground.
We were spared from these disasters except Father.
The Voice of God in a Great Storm A Psalm of David. (Psalm 29) Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,This is a Day of Grace. Related Articles:
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy array. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful,
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sir′ion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord makes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forests bare;
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
“There are causes worth dying for, but none worth killing for.” ~ Albert Camus
Trying to gather some war stories from the family to document is just like pulling teeth. Inextricable
My first older four siblings, their dad was a World War II soldier. Their dad was my Mother’s first husband. It’s just one of those things that we forget to share family stories especially our parents are no longer on earth.
Today, being Remembrance Day, I want to remember their dad. So I sent out e-mails to them asking to tell me a story about their dad with emphasis on being a soldier.
I learned that he was a Major in the military of United States Armed Forces of the Philippines. His full name is Maximo Abendan Papas descendant of Greek origin. He was a prisoner of war and helped wounded co-soldiers in the concentration camp. Their dad survived and escaped from the famous “Death March”.
Death March happened when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. The Japanese have taken Americans and Filipinos as prisoners in 1942 and made them march 128 km to reach the camp . There were many casualties that even the historians cannot take the full account of the prisoners. War is war: prisoners were treated brutally, full of physical and mental abuse.
Even their dad escaped, he did not escape the disease he contracted during the war and eventually died of lung cancer. He was 36 years old.
My eldest sibling was only four years old when his dad died. At that age, I suppose one has little memory of their biological father. One thing that stood out in their story how they spoke highly of Mother’s second husband, my father. Father was good to them and that he is the Father they know and love.
The rest is history according to my sisters.
- Bataan death march survivor Anthony Costa has new appreciation for Veterans Day (mercurynews.com)
- Play honors Bataan veterans (sfgate.com)
- Bataan Death March
Semper Fidelis is Latin for “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal.” This is the motto of the United States Marine Corps. It is a useful slogan not just for the Corps but as well as to our country and to humanity.
I have taken the liberty of posting war stories. A proper theme for the day. This is a Remembrance Day story that I am proud to share about my Uncle during his younger days and his brother Moises Gonzalez, who lost his life in 1944 who were faithful to humanity during the war.
The Gonzales brothers saved the life of James Carrington. James was a World War II veteran reunited with Uncle who aided his escape from Japanese after 64 years and died shortly after the reunion.
Both men cried with joy when they met. Carrington was thankful that if it were not for the courage of the Gonzalez, he would not be here.
I am happy for them. I wish I could make Uncle happier if I could help him find out what really happened to his brother. I posted a story about it in Love and Valor.
Take time to remember. Let us together as a nation to honour and remember the Veterans, war dead and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf in times of war, armed conflict and peace. There are many ways to remember and actively participate to honour those who served our country. For one, do not hesitate to discuss this with your family and friends. It’s important to remember so that we don’t repeat the past.
Let us honor the valiant who sacrificed their lives for your safety. Let us salute our nation’s heroes. Let us remind our friends and dear ones about the patriots who lost everything in battle. Let our silent prayers be a tribute to them.
Whether we live together in confidence and cohesion; with more faith and pride in ourselves and less self-doubt and hesitation; strong in the conviction that the destiny of Canada is to unite, not divide; sharing in cooperation, not in separation or in conflict; respecting our past and welcoming our future.
Lest we forget.Related Links:
I was searching for the University of East where I studied back in the Philippines. Finally, they are now on line however the history is still yet to be updated. I have so much fond memories studying.
This University is really top-rated. No such thing as being humble based on its logo.
That is tall order and I cannot reach that for I am only five foot and two inches tall. As a freshman, I prefer to have good times and date the men in the Engineering Department. I was a flower amongst the thorns.
There is one person, though, who jumps so high that she became a topnotcher. She must be about four feet and eight inches tall. They say dynamite comes in small packages. And that she is. With that small head, she is all brains.
Was my Mother very proud of her dreams to educate her children?
She was more than shock to find out about this. Her perseverance and dedication to raise her children with good education no matter how poor we were was a great sacrifice for her. Mother, we are proud and love you for providing us the life you didn’t have. Thank you, Mother.
I know I will be in deep doo-doo for flaunting this. Here’s to hoping that she hasn’t been reading my blogs.
Thelma was the top-notch. We are siblings and she is the second Octoberian who celebrates her birthday.
Happy Birthday, Sister!
The month of October is big in our family, too many birthday celebrations. By the end of the month, there goes my savings. Mother and Father must have been so busy just after Christmas and New Year’s. Did I count the gestational months correctly? Nine months of incubation, right?
The first three consecutive days of October 1-2-3 followed by October 10, 17, 28, 30 are the days of birth. I know I’ve missed some dates.
To top this, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving Day the second Monday of October the same as USofA. Thank goodness, we abolished adult birthday celebrations and gift giving except for children.
We celebrate Thanksgiving Day instead to be thankful for the gift of family. There is just too much love going around, can’t get enough of it, not to mention food.
This year there will be an extra celebration because my niece will be graduating from University.
Celebration might be postponed at the later part of month due to absences of a few people going on vacations.
Married siblings are doing the Love boat style, cruising, and home away from home. We just waved goodbye to them recently. The three stooges, nephews of the same age who grew up closely, will be visiting the Philippines to meet older cousin. And I will be away to do the annual pilgrimage walking the earth for 15 days.
Time for another foot spa.
There will be plenty of stories to go around when we meet on Thanksgiving Day whatever date will that be.
He is 13-year-old Mark Jayvee “MJ” Mojon and he frequents the store to beg for money or food. But on some days, he also stops by to read. At age 13, MJ is just an incoming Grade 2 student. MJ’s mother says financial struggles forced MJ to drop out of school for several years. But poverty hasn’t stopped MJ from wanting to learn. When he wasn’t begging, he would visit the bookstore to read. Even in his house, MJ has a small corner where he keeps books borrowed from neighbors. This story has a happy ending. To read the full story, visit these links:
Spread peace Peace by acting – summer4soul
“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.”
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”― Albert Einstein Related Articles: HuffingtonPost: After A Teacher Calls Your Child Stupid: by Karin Kasdin
Don’t Call Me Stupid: Ross Mountney’s Notebook – WordPress
Don’t Call Me Stupid: by Kara Tointon – BBC UK
My Teacher, Who Pets some and Tries All: by All Those Small Things WordPress
Teachers Pet, Teacher who had a real impact on your life: by myvividvisions WordPress
A question: Would you die …
– For someone who needs your help?
– For your country?
– For your own belief and virtues?
Without a moment’s notice? Hesitation?
These are questions that came to mind when I was reading an article about “Brothers in Arms” written in a local newspaper Asian Pacific Post dated December 18, 2008. That was four years ago. I kept this newspaper because it’s a story of love and valor, of bittersweet reunion, of uncertain, of no closures.
Just before the death of a former U.S. Marine officer, he was reunited with a man who saved his life 65 years ago during the war in the Philippines. Japan invaded the Philippines during World War II in 1944.The reunion was bittersweet because the officer died 11 days after they met on December 7, 2008, just before Christmas. Love is based on an intrinsic human quality that one has to help out in times of need. Valor is the by-product of love; the love for humanity to help those who are in need. The man was only age 11, still a child, 65 years ago; when he met the officer, with his older brother, age 20. This is what happened, and I quote from the newspaper: “Please give me a ride!” the stranger blurted out to Jesus and his 20-year-old brother, Moises. “He looked at that time so tall,” Gonzalez recalled. “He was running fast, just running along the cart with us.” The brothers hid Carrington amid the hay. With a Japanese checkpoint just around the corner, the younger Gonzalez was terrified and burst into tears. At each of two checkpoints, a Japanese soldier jabbed the hay with a bayonet, checking for a stowaway. One of the jabs lanced Carrington’s leg, but he remained undiscovered. Gonzalez couldn’t stop sobbing. “The Japanese soldier was asking me why I was crying, and I cried all the louder,” he recalled. “It was scary. If we had been discovered . . .” Carrington spent three days with Gonzalez family. He would later help lead guerrilla fighters who created havoc for the Japanese military before American forces retook The Philippines. Gonzalez older brother Moises – betrayed by a spurned woman – was later arrested by Japanese soldiers for his role in the episode and is believed to have been executed. No trace of him was ever found…” Why am I writing this? The man Jesus Gonzalez happens to be my Uncle, I call him Tito Jess. Tito Jess is married to Tita Baby. Tita Baby is my Mother’s youngest baby sister. Tita Baby’s family has been very good to us. Without their loving concerns, we would still be in the Philippines. They helped my family to bring us here in Canada. The least thing I can do is to play detective and hope Moises be reunited with Tito Jess. For those who are reading this article, we need your help to find Moises Gonzalez. Valerie Gonzalez is also appealing to everyone and she wrote: I am in search of any info re Filipino P.O.W named MOISES (MIKE) GONZALEZ Jr., (my uncle) who was imprisoned at Fort Santiago, Airport Studio, and possibly Muntinlupa, in Manila, Philippines, during World War II – between May 1944 to February 1945 (Liberation). My Lola (grandmother), Lucia Trullench Gonzalez, desperately searched for him but never found out what became of him after he was arrested by the Japanese. Moises Gonzalez rescued and harbored an American Marine, James Carrington, who had just escaped from Bilibid Prison (Manila) in April 1944. Jim Carrington eventually joined the Ramsay Guerrillas (ECLGA) and was decorated with a Distinguished Service Cross after the war. However, my uncle, Moises Gonzalez disappeared after his arrest and presumably died either at Airport Studio, Fort Santiago or Muntinlupa. He was also possibly a guerrilla courier for the MARKING GUERRILLAS. I am wondering how I might be able to track down any information about POW’s in Japanese prisons during WWII. If anybody has any information at all or could point me in the right direction, I would be so grateful if you could please Facebook me. Please send this to any Filipino Veterans you may know! Thank you! Should you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact me or Valerie Gonzalez on her FaceBook. Forever Grateful, Seeker. Related Article: http://www.asianpacificpost.com/article/2139-brothers-arms.html – Brothers in arms
Chief Dan George – we are practically neighbours. He lived in Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver; a few minutes where I live here. A native of Canada of First Nations origin. I have the book he wrote “My Heart Soars” as part of my book collections which is not that many. Once in a while, I visit the church reserve to be with the First Nations elders and listen to their stories.
Ah, Richard Feynman. Doesn’t he look mischievous in this picture? I met him in Isla Mujeres in Mexico. This American couple introduced me to “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman.” Ever since I became so curious in life because of his curiosity. He’s so contagious. I could easily “pick” him up anytime, that is, the book.
Maximilian Maria Kolbe – He’s a new guy in the block from Poland. We were supposed to visit the Nazi German concentration camp of Auschwitz, but due to flooding, we didn’t make it. This is a bit morbid, but I want to know what he thinks of Adolf Hitler. Definitely, I do not, I repeat, do not wish to spend time with Adolf!.
Poor Bernadette. Somehow I really did not like her at first when I was at Lourdes in Oct 2012 pilgrimage. She’s a bit whinny for my taste. But, this is a big BUT, when I stayed overnight at her place at Espace Bernadette where she died, I had a change of heart. To date, I still don’t know what it is. Yes, that’s the gravatar I am using. I am beginning to feel so fondly of her just having her presence as I write the Daily Prompt. My hope in the future is to spend more time in Espace Bernadette in Nevers. And she can tell me her favourite massage “Every human being is precious in the eyes of God”.
What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.
Total Recall of the day’s gone by – not goodbye.
There’s a song in my head: “Those were the days my friend, we thought we’ve never end, we’d sing and dance forever and day.” Plenty of playing, praising and singing. Growing up in a family of 13, I am number 10, it takes its toll. I have nine siblings to be obeyed and be respected because they are older than me; three younger brothers to play with and dominate them. My turn, hah! Aside from uncles, aunties, and cousins, we are a multitude of the stars. As God said, “Go and build me a nation,” we did. Actually, that’s just the way life was in the Philippines. The more the merrier and plenty of love to give, receive and share. Not like that “Godfather” movie, you’ll end up with a horse on your bed. Yikes.
The word to describe today’s post is hypermnesia \hye-perm-NEE-zhee-uh\
Noun: abnormally vivid or complete memory or recall of the past by according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/
I know it’s better to remember good times, good times but this one particular memory brought awareness in my little brain. My sisters love to make collages, and they post them on the wall just above the bed we all share. This is one of the pictures.
This image thought me so much, and I did not learn this from kindergarten school. From this collage, I learned to love and compassion as I grow up instilling in my heart and soul that we all have to help the children for we were children once before.
The greatest teacher for me, in my background, is Jesus Christ. Let the little children come to me. Pax Tecum, Seeker.