Fireworks at dawn

New Year, New thoughts and hopefully new life.

It seems to me that the new year has this phenomenal effect on people including myself.It's the idea and hope that the new year brings new life. That life would be better at the end of the old year.It has this reformative effects on people. Have you thought of what you are gonna do after new year. Most people would have what they call "new years' resolution". They promise to do better, they promise to change.They promise to themselves to do better with some things. Of course the very common I heard is about loosing some weight. I think it's actually a good sign.Only if they keep them and stay faithful to their resolutions. Still, it's a start.

At the middle of the year people goes back to their old ways old habits and forget all about what they have promised for the new year. And would wait till the next new year to start all over again.

In anyway, I love the ambience of new year. It marks a new start, a new beginning. A new chance is given to each and everyone of us to prove ourselves, to do better, to change our old ways for the better.

I think it is great that we have new years to be able to renew our lives at the end of every year.


Many Thanks

There are a lot of things that I have to be thankful for. It's one of the greatest things that makes me optimistic, counting my blessings.
1. For being able to have found love and the whole package that comes with loving and being loved.
2.. For the thousands of laughters and joys I have had this year. As well as the tears and frustrations and depressions. They all contributed to my growth. Although I said " I will never have another birthday again" it is of course inevitable that aging process must go on whether we like it or not.
3. For the many experiences I have had for the past years especially the past three years which I call the "transition period". It has been the most challenging and the most intense part of my life.
4. For the confusions, culture shock and the learning process that made me wiser. I have come this far and will go forward to find out what is in store for me.
5. For the good times as well as the bad times. For the great as well as the bad days. For the delightful as well as the humdrum events that hepenned in my life.
6. For being able to wake up every morning and drink cocoa and coffee
7. For the many hugs, cuddles, kisses and giggles
8. For the small miracles that greet us with surprises at our doors
9. For the scoldings that made me realize I'm doing some things wrong.
10. For the many times where I can be able to be silly.
11. For the privilege of being able to experience life

Special thanks to Ellen. You have been a great inspiration to me. You may not know it but you have moved and motivated in a lot of ways.


Ti's the season to be jolly

"It's only during christmas season that we are allowed to eat stuff from our socks."

The holiday season isn't over yet. Have you seen what the scale say already? It's this season where most people would gain a few extra pounds just because it's the season of feasting and pigging out. I know, I'm also guilty of pigging out. It's just so hard to resist food when they are right there enticing us to take a bite. Food seems to be everywhere in abundance. I try to atleast walk but then some days the weather does not cooperate.It's just so easy to be lazy and just lounge around when it is freezing cold. I tried wearing my thick jacket, but then, my face freezes cold and it felt numb.It's also a fact that when it is cold, people tend to eat more to keep the body warm. So, it's really those who are very very strict in their diet can get through the season without gaining so much weight.

You know what something amazing hapenned this month. My sister-in-law jus had a baby girl.Her name is Lauren Elizabeth. Prior to her giving birth, I did wished she would deliver her baby on my birthday. It was of course just a silly thing to say. But you know what? She did deliver her baby on my very birthday. Her elder sister S, asked if I did some kind of voodoo that enabled her to deliver her baby on my birthday. And PJ said " Oh no, she's Catholic". It's funny, I was actually amazed that it hapenned. I guess I have to be careful what I wish, it might come true. Of course this thing could just be a mere coincidence.But whoever knows? But I do believe in miracles. A few days after her birth my sister-in-law sent us a greeting card that says "No more silent nights." Indeed, no more silent nights.

So, the new year is near. Time to check our list of things to be grateful about.


All in the suit you wear

I maybe a scrooge this christmas. Maybe it has something to do with me, being broke.It's just christmas can be so expensive.I loathe the fact that christmas means spending a lot. I managed to sneak in some gifts for my friends. I enjoy giving,don't get me wrong. I just hate being broke. I did hang my christmas festive decors all over the house. I even have a santa music box that sings whenever you touch it.I have used the same christmas tree for three years now.

Of course the most exciting part is getting gifts. Oh, did I tell you I get three gifts every year in the month of December. One for my birthday, one for our wedding anniversary and one for christmas. Isn't that exciting. I already got a digital camera for my birthday. Got a Timex alarm clock on my very birthday, although it was supposed to be a christmas gift. I got a lot of little gifts on the mail too. And what made it exciting is that they are unexpected. Well, who's not excited about getting gifts? I still have some surprises under the tree. I was instructed not to peek in any of them. But of course I'm gonna open all of them tomorrow. I am excited.

It's the eve of chritsmas and it feels like a very ordinary day. I don't have that glow that christmas usually brings.Infact, I totally bummed out today. Maybe not totally. I just started trying to plolish and sharpen my literary attempts, with the hope I could one day make use of it. Well,I am just a neophyte. It's just a hobby. I have always dreamed of writting something.

Anyhu, I miss the Pinoy (Filipino) christmas spirit. I remember we would make our own decors like "christmas lanterns and parol, it is a star-shaped lantern mostly hand made. I used to make a lot of chinese christmas lanterns made of crepe papers and silver shiny papers. Very similar to that roundchinese lanterns that the chinese people hang up during chinese new year. Now, I'm reminded of the chinese people to have this kamquat trees overflowing with fruits as their decoration during Chinese new year.They look like small calamansi trees, but just very short and have the fruits are yellow and lots of fruits.It's unbelievable how they could get these trees bear overflowing fruits. Definitely in the calamansi family. Anyhow, I used to pick some of the fruits and eat them when I was in Hongkong when nobody's looking. It taste sour like calamansi, except it's yellow in color not green. I thought it would be nice to have one of those trees as a christmas tree. Just can't get them anywhere here.

I wish Santa Claus is true. I haven't lost the kid in me, but isn't it so nice if there's really a Santa, a real Santa? Oh wait a minute, I think I have my own Santa and he's real. I can even have him all year round and even the years to come.

What about you, what have you got in your stockings?


Images on the walls

I must have developed senseless paranoia from all my readings. I mean, I am getting terribly fearsome. Of course my fears are unfounded. I would hear a squeak or some humming sound and I get startled. Naturally I would run to the doors to check if they are locked and if not I would deadbolt all the doors. My fears must emanate from the books I read about crimes and all that. But it's also a safety precaution, don't you think so? To lock my doors at all times especially when I am alone and most especially at night. Okey, some nights when I go up to our bedroom and I seem to see some images in the corners of darkness. They even seem to be moving. Gosh, it's creepy. And I would convince myself it's just my imaginations. I would even turn on the lights just to convince myself they are just shadows and just a trick formed in my mind.I dread when J, doesn't turn on the night lights. I wanted to wake him up just to remind him, he turned off the night lights I just turned on because I know he doesn't turn them on despite my repeated reminders. But of course I didn't wake him up because he has to wake up early for work. I just then crept to bed avoiding anything that will cause any noise that would startle me or J who has long been in slumber. I could even hear him snorring sometimes. Some nights, sleep eludes me. I would sometimes toss and turn until I just knocked off myself to sleep. I would sometimes stare at the ceiling in frustration. I don't have any problem with insomnia, I would always find my secure and safe spot and then off to sleep.

Off to dreamland. I was under a santol tree with some friends. Then we started to try to get some of the santol fruits. I stood by the ground while my friend climbed up the tree. I saw a lot of those yellow fruits. But when she lowered the branch for me, there were about one or two and the rest were dried and old. We let go of the branch as we went back to our friend waiting. Then I saw a lot of the santol fruits under the tree. Then our other friend showed us a basket full of santol fruits.I was then satisfied at that moment. It's just one of those weird dreams.

But then yes, I miss those santol fruits we used to gather when I was younger. W would even climb the fruit trees of guava, star apples, pomelo, mandarin oranges. I know what you're thinking. Even if I am a girl, I used to be very good at climbing trees when I was younger. It's just because I grew up in a place where there are a lot of fruit trees and we just have to help ourselves in gathering the fruits. In my grandparents' yard alone there are a lot of fruit trees like mangoes.There are different varieties of mangoes. There are those that are very sour until they get ripe, there are those that are smaller and rounder. Me and my sisters like the green mangoes. We would eat them sour with salt. There were jackfruits, guyabano (I'm not sure about the english translation).There were pineapples, papaya, guavas, rattan fruit.The rattan vine itself is used as the main product for weaving and basketry. We even gnawed on sugarcanes when I was a kid. Just sucking sugar out of the canes.And of course the santol trees were all over the place.Sometimes the fruits go wasted if nobody picks them. My visits to my grandparents were exciting then. We would raid all the fruit trees we could find until and climb like little monkeys as we fill our bellies with nothing but fruits.Oh! we had so much fun.I could go on and on with my childhood stories, but I will just reserve the rest for my other stories.

Well, that was jus a piece of my fond childhood memories.So many things have changed especially the last time I visited home. I suddenly felt old.The young people I knew then were all grown up and some of the places I used to go have changed. Sometimes I miss home.


I was standing when I felt something moving inside my pants. I looked and it was a long snake squirming. I was terrified, I couldn't move.I managed to get hold of the head of the snake and held it on my left hand as my right hand squeezed the head. I killed the snake.I saw the tongue squirted out, it looked flat like fish gills. But on my left leg there were tiny snakes attacking, peircing though my skin. Then they got into my legs, though my muscles and skin. I immediately squeezed them out.My left leg, it hurt. I felt a pang of pain.Then I openned my eyes, it was a dream, but I almost feel the pain on my left leg as I ran to the bathroom. It was almost physical. It took me a few minutes then I closed my eyes.

I was with my mom and my sister Florence. I cold see a bench and my mom's purse. My sister was calling me. We were supposed to leave for home. With her, is her friend. We started hiking, walking. I was left behind. I was holding an umbrella as the rain was pouring hard. Then a strong wind blew and broke my umbrella. then the rain stopped as we kept walking. There were mud puddles, the road was muddy.There were stone walls too. I was almost lost. But then I found my way back. We passed by a house. A woman was staring out the window with a phone on her ear. She stared at me. I just walked on by. Then I was talking to D, my cousin, Jason's brother. we chat as we walk. I couldn't remember what we talked about. Then there was a lady walking beside me. I had the feeling it was Vee. She was talking on a cellphone with some one else. I was just listening to her talking. Then something she said left me wondering. Only she said it in Ilocano, something like getting raped. I was just listening and wondering.She also complained about getting very sick and having fever. Then I openned my eyes. It was all a dream. It was twelve o'clock high noon. I woke up and came down to see J by the living room. I narrated my dreams and of course he gave me extra hugs and kisses and cuddles.


I burried myself into the pages of the books.Transported to another place and time. Immersed myself and absorbed the intense emotions. Assume the roles of the characters of the story like I am actually right there within and part of the story.I soaked in myself, savoring every emotions,as the story unfolds. I try to taste the bitter-sweet ambience as it runs through my veins.Then I keep flipping the pages.Sometimes the images come to me vividly similar that of a dream, an imagination, but more real. I could almost touch and see things.Sometimes I am enthralled, charmed by the spirits of the characters as I follow the words that compose the story.Sometimes my heart skips wildly at the suspense of events.There's pain and tears. There's joy. There's deception and hearbreaks.There are twists and turns of events.There's death as well as new lives are being born.I flowed through the tides of emotions up and down. I learned lessons. Most of all I feel relief at the resolution of a plot. It is of course the climax that gives the reader relief and contentment. It's almost like a conquest. A queue to start another chapter, a new story as I close the book.


Short get away

We went on a short escape to the northern Georgia mountains. I mean me and J went to the Alpine Village in Helen Georgia.It was a romantic get away. It was our third wedding anniversary and we thought of going up to the mountains and see the splendor of the mountains.The view was panoramic and breathtaking as we went up the mountains. Life there was more slow-paced, compared to the bigger city we live. Stores and establishments were closed early. We wanted to try the Troll Tavern but they were closed when we got there. So, we ended up having dinner at the Sunset Tavern. The town was dead when we got there and it was like only 6:00 in the evening. When I say dead, I mean the town was already deserted. They seem to have closed down early, probably because it is off season and there were not a lot of people. The village is beautiful. It is located along the Blue Ridge Mountains.There are a lot of things to do, except we went up there when it got very cold. We went cruising around town that night and saw some drizzle of minute flakes of snow. Very tiny, almost not visible to the eye except under the light. We weren't lucky enough to see some snow. It got warm the next day, so definitely no snow. Although it snows in the northern part of Georgia, we didn't drive that far. Plus the weather was definitly cooler than the southern towns. We didn't stroll a lot because of the weather. It was too cold for me and since we are in the mountains we could feel the wind blowing too. The cold penetrating through our clothes that I have to add more clothes before we went hiking to the Anna Ruby Falls. At first I thought there were just tiny little water falls. I kept asking J if those little water falls were the one's we were supposed to see. Then at the end of the trail, I was amazed with the awesome view of the giant waterfalls. It was beautiful. White water rolling down the stairs of gigantic rocks and stones. There were two waterfalls. It looks beautiful at the foot of the waterfalls with its towering heights as you can hear the murmur of the water and from the view deck you could feel the mists as the water drops to the bottom. It was a breath-taking sight. I have never seen anything like that. Really spectacular! the trail leading to the falls is paved and along the way you could see some wooden stand with inscriptions on them describing some of the flora and fauna that grows in the Apalachian Mountains.Although, we didn't have any photos from the place, you could actually go on a photo tour. Two friendly people took our photos and agreed to send us through e-mail. Isn't that wonderful. We did bring our video cam, except J forgot to check if there's a tape in it. We only checked when we were about to use it. So, we just went and saved everything in our photographic brain. Although, we forgot our film, we did have a great time. We went up the trail some more past the waterfalls. I saw some deer hooves on the ground. It must be a clever deer because it followed the trails all the way. It was a 5 miles trails, so we decided to just turn around and go back. We sat by the observation decks some more and then we headed home. We saw a lot of farms on the way. Cattle farms, horses, ponnies and even ducks. I even went to a Pigl Wigly for the first time. I know, it's just a grocery store, but I have never been to one. I also went to Ingles for the first time.

I remember when I first saw this sign. I read it in my own language, in the Filipino langauge. And then I asked J, as we are passing by the place " J, why does it says Ing-gles?" and he said " Oh you mean Ingles?" So, I just laughed, and said "Oh". So, there you go. Just like when we were in New Orleans. We were passing by a bridge and it says "NO Airport". I inocently asked J "why does it say NO Airport, but I landed at an airport when I flew here?" I was just new to the place then. And then, he said "Oh, you mean New Orleans Airport?" I just burst into laughter. Just thinking of those silly and funny questions I ask.

Anyway, after our short get away, we headed home. It was a long and winding road back home. We got stuck in traffic when J decided to drive through downtown Atlanta. But we made it home. It felt weird being at home at first. Then life was back to normal again. Nobody missed us, as we didn't tell anybody we were going away.


"Life happens in a blink of an eye,so unexpected turns and surprises."

I remained unsettled after I talked to L. She's a girl from my hometown. She's older probably my sister's batch in highschool. I don't recall even talking to her when I was in highschool. But with the new technology we were able tokeep in touch and talk online. It was amazing how many people we could be able to reach out in this modern world of technological advancement.

She called me last night and told me her bitter-sweet life story in two hours of phone conversation. I know her in person, I have seen her when I was younger but I never really knew her, her life and whatever happenned to her since highschool. I asked her a lot of questions and she was able to share what happenned to her and how she ended up in South Korea, now married with a kid. It was a long journeyt for her. Full of struggles and frustrations.

It started when she went on vacation way back home from Taiwan where she worked for a year. A neighbor B, introduced her to this Korean guy named J. She thought it was mere an introduction. She went on her daily life not knowing that her life was about to change with false promises and false information. Well, B was already married to a Korean guy, named G. G, came home with J with false promises of putting up a business in the Philippines. All of that didn't happen of course when they got there. J, didn't even speak english. Naturally he didn't know what was going on. He didn't know that G, only used him to get money out of him. Of course this story was related to me, so I didn't really know the exact details of what happenned. But according to L, she just came home one day from Lg to find her granparents already agreed with her wedding to this Korean guy J. She agreed with all false hopes. I guess she somehow liked the guy or whatever happenned.Or she could have merely went with the flow. the guy didn't even speak english. But I still question why she allowed other people to just direct her life like that. Of course all of J's money were in G's and B's bank account number because he didn't have any then. Imagine he sold and gathered all his finances for that so called bussiness venture in the Philippines, but when he got there was none. So, it goes on, L and J got married in the Ifugao culture called "Imbango". So, after 8 long months they were able to fly back to Korea to start all over again from scratch. It was hard as L narrated to me. They ended up staying at her brother-in-law. Then they had a kid, life got even harder since she can't work until she spent two years in S Korea to be able for her to get permit to work.

Later on, she found out that her neighbor B, and her husband G, had been bringing Korean guys to our hometown while B goes out looking for a woman for that ceratin guy to marry. Later she found out that these guys have been paying G big amounts of money. Didn't know if they have known what that money was intended for, or agreed to paying him inorder for him to find a woman whom to marry. It's a scam! it's all bout money. Some of the women found out about it after a few months of marriage. And now, L of course full of frustrations and anger with these people. Even if her husband didn't pay anything, he spent money. It's a scam selling women to these Korean guys. B, goes looking for a girl,gets her photo and promises all nice and good things about life in Korea and lure them to meet these guys. It's really horrible. I know these people and I have seen them when I was home, I can't believe what they are doing to their own neighbor, to their fellow Filipinas.Of course what they are doing is considered human traficking. It's just a shame that some people believe them and become victims. And they do it in a very subtle way.Undetectable and of course some countries doesn't have laws against some of these abuse of other people.And so they keep getting away with it. But I bet, even if the laws doesn't get them, somehow they will pay the price they so deserve.

As L narrated her story, I could feel the frustrations and the rage within her. But of course I didn't really know deeply what really happenned and what's going on. I just listened to her side of the story. But somehow I could see the picture now. Of course I just stare in wonder and curiousity afetr we hang up the phone. It's just so weird hearing news from back home and they are all shocking. People have gone mad. People have gone greedy. People changed from what I used to know. I grew up in a very small town where people know each other. People know their neighbors. People hang out with their neighbors.So, naturally I know these people involved and it makes me feel sad.

As I write this, I'm still enraged and unsettled of what people could do to others in the name of money/greed.


Confidence can either be expressed through words and/or body language. You could tell when a person wears one. A person's personality can be expressed through ones verbal langauge, gestures, and body language. Or you could simply see it through their face.

I have always admired feisty people. Not just the quarrelsome people, but people who refuses to be trammpled upon by others.I admire people with great confidence. Perhaps part of the reason is because I don't have enough of it myself. But i learn from people. I learned that keeping a confidence voice nad facial expression help boost the confidence within. A lot of times I get numb ans speechless when confronted about things. I fail to reason out or even say something and the bad feeling of not saying what I wanted to say eats me up. I learned that saying what is obvious always helps in establishing relationships with people, especially people we work with or people whom we interact everyday. Some people may not necessarily think in the same wavelength . Or that some people does not see the obvious until you actually point it out to them. Especially selfish people.Tthey always see it in their point of view or refuses to acknowledge other people's perspectives until other parties present their own thoughts/ideas. I actually learned this from a co-worker. She seems to be able to have smooth relationships with almost everybody because she explains herself clearly and she says the reasons for her actions.And I think it is a very good idea. People really misundertands our actions sometimes. And if we fail to tell them or communicate to them, it creates some conflict. For somebody who's quiet like me, I presume that people see the obvious or can read my mind, but that's not the case. Things might be obvious to me but not to other people. Of course learn when to say things, and when not to say things. It's something that one could actually muster this in everyday life by being aware of it. This is something that I haven't considered before. I admire people who has the ability to deal with people and I observe their techniques. And these are the things I noticed and learned.

It is just freezing cold outside. My toes can feel the cold that was able to snake into the living room through those tiny crevices by the windows and everywhere in the house.I just couldn't sleep, I'm just wide awake.I have slept till noon today. It feels so nice to snuggle and sleep in this cold weather.The weather can be so cruel in some parts of the country. Al though I have never seen snow, I think I just prefer to stay in places where it does not snow. My nose dry and peeling from the cold and flue. My hands and lips are cracked and dry.My body itch from the my back to my toe. My skin so dryI could almost see some scales like that of an alligator skin.It sucks!


I don't know howto describe how I feel right now.It's definitely not a pleasant one. I feel almost empty. Drained in and out. Hollow, and I could almost feel that black hole siphoning the life out of me. It seems that all those bad feelings are coming back again. If I were to compare the way I feel to the taste, I would say it's totally bland.(Walang kabuluhan- meaningless). I loathe these feelings. It makes me uneasy, agitated. J calls it "cabin fever". It's the feeling you get when you have been trapped inside for a long period of time, or have been inside too long. And your head feels like it's about to explode. You want to scream at the top of your lungs. Or one even want to kick somebody so bad. Just too much energy within that the body wants to burst into pieces. I guess literally it means too much bumming. There's got to be things to be done to dispose the energies.

"Somewhere down the road....."
I know our roads will gonna cross, it doesn't really matter where.

Growing up, I have always wondered if I do really have a soulmate somewhere. It was a fancy thought. Perhaps it's something that I wanted to hold on. It's true I have met people. But the question always remains "How d I know if I found the ONE?". Could it be that there's really someone already whom we are meant to be with and that we only have to find them? Could it be that somewhere somehow, someone could be staring at the same star and wishing and wondering?
I think, it's this human need for love that pushes us to keep searching for that love. And i know in my heart that if we found it, we'll know that we have found it. It's almost like magic. I know I had had a lot of imaginations of what's gonna be my life when I grow old. Most of all I had had a lot of imaginations of whom shall I would share that life with. It was almost like a yearning that never faded away. A longing for that "special someone" to come along. I even wondered where will I meet this"someone".It was not like people come and go. I met a few people.

Ok, my thoughts were inspired by the movie "What Dreams May Come" It was a movie I enjoyed watching. It also talked about "life after death". It's about the great power of love and of soulmates. the beauty of art and great imagination. Most of all I loved all the panoramic background sceneries. they are works of art, magnificent!


"Just my wacky world"

We went walking into the woods. There was a sign but we still tresspassed through the property and went through the woods. We have seen some walnuts they were old and rotten. We followed the stream all the way down until we found our way back home. Luckily nobody was around to give us a hrad time for tresspassing. We passed by a lake full of swans, that's about it and into the woods. It was much better walking through the woods rather than walking on the sidewalks on the streets with cars swooping. I didn't even feel like we had walked long. The weather was just so brutal but we did bundled up complete with ear muffs and gloves. I ended up sweating when we got home in a 30F temperature.

"To talk back or not to talk back?"
There's something in my culture that I still carry with me. It's called Smooth Interpersonal Relationship. I think that in the Filipino culture, we try hard to avoid conflict at all costs. I have always done that because I have grown up with this practice. I guess I do it too much that I get so abused a lot of times. I get tormented when I am not able to express my feelings especially bad feelings when somebody hurt me. Sure, there are times that it's better not to say anything, but there are times that we do need to speak up for ourselves and that's what I am trying to practice in my life now. To know when to speak up and to known when to keep quiet.


"A Day in a Life"

Ok, I'm drained out with words right now. Seems nothing comes out of my mouth, I'm just dried out just like my mouth last night when I had to breath through my mouth because my nose was all stuffy. I couldn't breath! Having colds sucks. It feels like my sinuses where blocked with some cork stuffed into my nose. I had to make hot and sour soup sprinkled with hot chilli peppers to clear our sinuses. I sneezed about every hour and what really sucks is when I can't sneeze. I feel I was about to sneeze and it just couldn't come out somehow. I feel this tickle within my nasal passages like tiny worms wriggling. I feel like shouting or screaming when it doesn't come out. Of course J has dismissed all my theories about complicating colds or flu by drinking cold drinks and going out without a jacket or getting wet under the rain would complicate or make the colds worst. That's just how I was taught when I was young, but of course people always drink cold drinks here so, it doesn't really matter. I can't prove it anyhow by any scientific researches, so it remains my theory. But what sems works is drinking "ginger tea" which we call it in Tagalog as "salabat". I believe it really has some healing powers when it comes to colds and flu. Of course there's the famous chicken soup.