Monday, March 31, 2008

A lesson on how to eat flat tops....

I was in a Pilipino Store when my eyes were caught by a package of chocolates which name’s reminds me of youthful times. I was so addicted to this chocolate when I was a kid. I remember how expensive it is and I can only buy one at a time. I would then hide from my brother because once he sees me; my flat tops will be reduced to half. There in some corner hidden from the eyes of predators, I would lovingly eat my one piece of flat top one small bite at a time. Savoring the sensation only chocolate can provide. Thinking about it today makes me smile.

So I bought a bag of Flat Tops (approximately 30 pcs) for $2.00. Not exactly the same as Cadbury, Lindth, Ferrero Rocher but it brings back priceless memories. I then commenced my travel to the memory lane one small bite at a time….

After I finished one…I reached for another only to find out it’s all gone!

“Why do you eat so slow Mom?”. I’m speechless staring at my son’s bulging cheeks and munching on something gooey and sweet.

My Son, His Birthday and His Favorite Food

It’s my son’s 15th birthday yesterday! He’s taller than me now. I can't believe how much he has grown in 5 years time. It’s so hard for me really notice his growth since we are constantly together but when I look at pictures from 5 years ago (when we first set foot in Canada), the difference is undeniable.

His celebration with relatives and friends is scheduled next week. So yesterday was spent with just us. Went to mass to thank God for all the blessings and had a special dinner just for him. A relative sent a cake for him so dessert is no problem. Not as good as Goldilocks but close enough!

I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he said I want my favorite food. So, for the birthday boy who prefers meat, I prepared grilled beef steaks (prime cut sirloin) to medium rare and Barbeque Chicken. Of course, the traditional Noodle dish is always included.

He was totally happy and full.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Winter Friend.. .I Bid you farewell

I’m feeling giddy looking at how thin the snow is on the ground. The mounds of snow piled up by snow trucks are also getting smaller. Remnants of winter soon to pass. It was quite a long winter and if I’m to start saying goodbye to it…it might change it’s mind. But I’m really excited that it’s finally going. It’s not that I hate it… I just needed a change of scenery. Long have been the days of thick and heavy coats, of boots and mittens, of hats and scarves. Long has been the passage of gray dreary days and long cold nights. I am ready for bright days, colorful plants and warm breeze. Ready to wear my sunglasses and my skin to tan. Ready to smell the flowers and listen to the birds and the bees. The prospect of things to do!!

I bid you goodbye my winter friend
It’s been a pleasure to spend time with you
Thank you for making our Christmas white
Thank you for the snowflakes, the snowball fights
For letting me wear my favorite boots
my warm scarf and my wooly mittens
I bid you farewell until we see each other again.

Don’t worry about me
For my friend Spring will keep me company
She’s arriving soon you can see
Bringing rain, flowers and a swarm of bees
Rainbows and butterflies, magnificent and free,
Sunny bright skies, soft grass and warm breeze
Oh! We shall have good times, adventures and glee.

I'll tell you all about it next time you visit me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter

Friday, March 21, 2008

St. Michael Catholic Cathedral

We went to this church for Good Friday, 3pm mass. It was full of people to the extent that the church, as big as it is, is overflowing. People are already standing outside the courtyard. And it is a cold day that standing outside for an hour will give you frost bites. It was really hard for the aged and children to stay outside so they have to wriggle their way in or find another church.

More information about this church can be found in :'s_Cathedral,_Toronto

Good Friday Contemplations

"Does God really love us? I say look to the crucified Jesus. Look to the old rugged cross. By every thorn that punctured His brow. By every mark of the back lacerating scourge. By every hair of his beard plucked from his cheeks by cruel fingers. By very bruise which heavy fists made upon His head. God said, "I love you!" By all the spit that landed on his face. By every drop of sinless blood that fell to the ground. By every breath of pain which Jesus drew upon the cross. By every beat of His loving heart. God said, I love you. "
Billy Lobbs

Monday, March 17, 2008

Royal Ontario Museum - Breakout!

Last day of spring break was spent in the Royal Ontario Museum. We were quite excited because in our minds, the movie "Nights in the Museum" is happily playing. We just needed to get a glimpse of the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex that likes to chase after remote controlled cars. It was not only an ordinary museum but an inter active one. Hands on experiences were available. There's lots of people but we had great fun!
Here's the link to the official website:

Guilt? Obligation? Nah..... It's Just Love

I was routinely reading on my daily blogs when a certain topic has touched a sensitive part of me. Everyday opinions of this and that never really affect me. I read them, shrug and move on. Even the many colorful comments/opinions on Malu Fernandez or the famous 17 year old Bb. Pilipinas - World has never solicited more than a physical gesture appropriate to the emotion it has raised within me. Not enough to really write about it and pour with all intensity my thoughts and feelings.

Let me introduce the background. I have been reading this blog for the longest time ever and I must admit she has a talent for writing. Since I love cooking, her cooking blog has occupied a place on my Explorer’s favorite’s drop-down menu. She also has a journal blog and a few other sites she maintains. She finished law and practiced for a few years and when she married she has decided to be a stay at home mom. She is a very talented writer and it shows by the number of comments that she receives on her blog. Like me, she is a Filipina, living back home, has a husband in a very well paid job and two teen aged daughters.

If I like her, how come her blog did not earn a place on my favorite site here in my blog? Well, let’s just say that we are not in the same league and that my feet are firmly on the ground and hers is several feet above it. There’s an air of arrogance in her that I am not interested to breathe in. Judging from years of reading her blogs I have deduced that she is very well off. She would show all the nice branded gadgets she or her family has like multiple high end digital cameras, lap tops, cell phones that are bought out of whims. She would write about her life living in a big house, about how good their food is everyday, about her complaints about government services or about her house help. She would paint her page with excellent pictures of their frequent vacation places and of expensive restaurants that they had just dined in. In short, she has created a pedestal for herself. Then, she would lash out at anyone who disagrees with her or her opinions. Never! Never did I read about her or her family helping the poor or participating on any volunteer work that would benefit the poor people around her. She definitely had the money and it would be nice to read for once that she has stepped on the ground and felt the earth on her skin. Well…maybe such is the life of socialites or what they call upper class mentality and that me, being in the lower class cannot really relate to. Maybe that’s just it. Or, it’s just a big prejudice on my part.

The other day, she posted a topic that has touched a piece of my heart. It’s about how Asians should loose the thinking that they owe something to their parents. Here’s an excerpt of her post:

"Your parents are responsible for raising you. You are not responsible for them. Although it’s honorable to make sure your parents have a good life, don’t do it out of guilt.
Remember, realizing that you don’t owe your parents isn’t enough. You have to accept it and get over the guilt. That’s the most important point you have to remember. You have to practice snapping yourself out of that guilt or you’ll end up shaping your life the way they see fit. To me, living a fake life or one that you’re not
happy with is worse than suicide. "

I am a mom and I would not want my children to feel responsible for me when I grow old. There is no question about that. Whether I was able to save money or not for my old age, I would not demand compensation for what I have done for them. Neither does my mom. She has never said anything that makes me feel obliged to give her money.

But you see, I am a child too. I’ve seen how hard life is with my parents and I’ve witnessed the fact that they have done all they could to raise me and my siblings. Mind you, unlike her who is rich and have never felt hungry in her entire life, we are poor. My parents have crawled, begged and broken their back to help me finish my education so I can have a better life. Through these, they were not able to save for themselves but they are happy to see me successful. I have now a better life, I eat good food, I live in a fine house, I have money in the bank, I can buy anything I like. I now ask myself, why am I here? I look back and I see my parents getting hungry, probably just waiting for death to take them away for they’re purpose is done. What do you expect me to feel?? Guilt feeling that I should overcome?? You said appreciation is enough and not obligation. But those were just words. What’s important is action. What am I to do?? Simple and for me no question at all, for a child who appreciate what her parents has done for her, I would obliged myself to now take care of them whether they like it or not. Whether it’s appreciation or obligation, I will not turn my back on them for I love them and yes, I will not be me if not for them.

For a different perspective, even if I grew up as poor as my parents, I still would look after them. Not a matter of conscience or obligation but the fact that I love them and that it is the right thing to do. Who ever is the stronger one takes care of the family. Ours is a closely knit family and we get our strengths from each other.

I now live in a country where old people are placed in special houses. My children are now exposed to another kind of mentality plus the fact that I agree that they should not worry about me when the time comes that they have to live their own lives. As long as they are happy, I will be happy wherever I am and will continue to love them with all my heart.

As for my mom, I’ll take care of her until death takes her away from me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Cool Way to Learn

Schoolhouse Rock - Interjections

My daughter found this cool site in you-tube. The site is named "Schoolhouse Rock" and they have a collection of mini english grammar lessons specially intended for very young minds. Mind you, my daughter was already 10 when she discovered the site and she find it really interesting and informative as well. The songs and the jingles are entertaining and fun. When she showed it to me... I was amazed at how they can turn a boring subject to a completely and utterly pleasurable one! I enjoyed listening to the way they explain and animate their description of each lesson.

Attached video is the lesson in interjection. Interjections has never been so clear to me until now!!! LOL

I need to see more of these lessons in schoolhouse rock!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

No Walls, No Ceiling, No Floors

By Orsa Lia

Let me love you
Come close to me
Locked in my arms,
you’ll still be free

Don’t be frightened
my half flying bluebird
Cause my love has no walls
No walls, no ceiling
No walls, no ceiling, no floor

All my love songs are just for you
Sing them with me and when you do

Don’t be frightened my half flying bluebird
Cause my love has no walls
No walls, no ceiling
No walls, no ceiling, no floor

Go on and fly high in the sky
I’ll never try to burn your wings

Let me love you,
come close to me
Locked in my arms,
you’ll still be free

Don’t be frightened my half flying bluebird
Cause my love has no walls
No walls, no ceiling
No walls, no ceiling, no floor


I dedicate this song to my friend who have occupied most of my idle moments.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Brave One -- Jodie Foster

"I always believed that fear belonged to other people. Weaker people. It
never touched me. And then it did. And when it touches you, you know... that
it's been there all along. Waiting beneath the surfaces of everything you loved. "

I saw the movie last night. It's quite a typical story about love, lost and revenge... and the justice of it all. It's about life's unpredictability and how a person deals with such a situation. Erica is the character played by Jodie Foster. I have seen her in so many movies...the Silence of the Lamb, Flight Plan, Panic Room and the oldest I can remember is The Accused. It was all very well portrayed by Jodie Foster.

Synopsis of the movie: Erica a radio station broadcaster is due to wed her boyfriend. During one of their walks in the park, they were ambushed by thugs and they were beaten to death. However, Erica survived and she was never the same person. She bought a gun and started to kill bad persons until she found the same thugs who killed his boyfriend. There is this cop who helped her in the end.

The problem in the story is about coping. How does one cope with the lost? Let me rephrase does a woman cope with the lost? There was a phrase they used in the movie. "you were left with a are you going to fill it in?". Erica's character is extraordinary. She coped by putting justice into her hands. In order to do this, one needs to be very brave. It's almost like the story of Batman and of Spiderman. The problem was solved by vengeance.

The story ended when she finally killed the three thugs who killed her boyfriend. Does that mean that the hole was finally filled in? Or is only a start for more vigilante activities?

We can always put an ending to such stories. Mine would be...that she finally decided that she really wants to be a policewoman and fight crime the legal way! And that she and her cop friend ended up marrying each other! There, I made it a happy ending.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Greetings from the Sun Goddess

She has the sun on the palm of her hand,
The sea, the breeze, and all the elements in her command.
The furtive nymph that walks the pearly white sand
Immersed in her thoughts… pure and grand.

A friend of mine went to Boracay Island and sent me lots and lots of pictures. Although it emphasized my longing of the place, it also uplifted the winter gloom that drapes my days. Among the many pictures, above picture is my favorite. My friend, has the sun in the palm of her hand. Very symbolic and I could imagine her having that power.... to hold the sun and be one with it. Her element is the sun and they are so beautiful together. She can light up every gloomy space... anytime, anywhere. I will call her my Sun Goddess....

Can't be together -
Wish we could,
To hug you now would feel so good!
Thanks for the greetings
that crossed the miles
for the warmth of the tropics
was felt here in the land of cold and ice.