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In memory of Franco Loja R.I.P (Greenhouse Seeds)

Franco Loja – A Tribute to Life, Passion, and Friendship

Family, Musings, Personal By January 7, 2017 Tags: , , 2 Comments

I met Loja for the second time only the day after. He didn’t have so much time. He got up every now and then to talk to my daughter in her bedroom. He stood outside her bedroom, leaning against the door, asking what she is doing, and making a comment on how organized her room is. Loja, a father himself to two boys, was great with kids. My daughter said she liked him because he was funny. And he spoke English. That was always a plus to her.

He was leaving Torino to bring his kids back to Barcelona after spending the Christmas with their grandparents. He would not be able to make it to our wedding. We all came down the stairs together, and he helped us load our things into the car. And for the last time, he hugged me, and kissed me, and said, “It was so nice to finally meet you. And congratulations.” I said thank you In Italian and got into the car. I watched him walk away, and down the street. In a black coat and a black bonnet, his silhouette barely visible in the dusk.

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To All Things Old and New – A Look Back at 2016 and Years Past

Family, Musings, Personal By January 1, 2017 Tags: , No Comments

Today I start the new year as a new wife. Having been married before, never did I imagine myself getting married again. In fact, I didn’t want to. I balked and bailed. I took two steps forward and one step back. I started and stopped a million times. I have commitment phobia. Maybe I even have abandonment syndrome. Maybe I have a gazillion of other undiagnosed mental disorders. Maybe I just didn’t want to be married, committed, and my sense of freedom and independence bound. Or maybe I did not want to make the same mistakes or fail again. But Lia, the light in our lives, the center of our big universe, the cord that ties all of us together, is the reason why we are here.

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We All Just Do The Best We Can

Family, MOMents, Musings, Personal By April 18, 2016 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

As a mother, I know enough not to judge anybody else’s parenting or mothering skills or approach. I always say that we can only parent the way we know how, and in the way we know best. No one can teach you to become a good mother or parent. We all just do the best we can. And this is a story of how I did it, at least in all the past seven years. Last year, I embarked on this two-month journey on my own to find myself and thankfully, I did. I came home with the realisation that I must prepare my daughter for a life without me and I came home with a journal. In this journal, I write letters to her when I can, for her to read in the future when she is much older and hopefully, much wiser. Let me share with you what I wrote on the very first page…

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The Half-Rice Bill – Are You Kidding Me?!

Musings, Other Events By October 2, 2013 Tags: , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Yes, are you kidding me?! Because that is Lia’s favorite line and because, if you know me, I eat at least 2 cups of rice every meal. Not that it shows, but that is not the point. According to this bill, if I go to a restaurant and order a meal, instead of ordering 1 extra rice for myself for say Php10-30, price depending on what kind of restaurant, or where this restaurant is located, I will be ordering 3 extra cups of rice! And that means Php30-90 more on my bill, right? Unless of course they only charge half the price because it is only half the standard serving.

As if it is not enough that it irks me endlessly to know that we, as an Asian country, and the location of the Rice Research Institute no less, cannot produce enough rice to feed the population and have to resort to importing rice, these lawmakers have the audacity to propose a law that will supposedly reduce rice wastage. Fine, I may be one of the few who eat more rice than the usual serving (and actually have nothing to show for it) but this bill does not address the problem at all – which is rice shortage.

Mikka Wee of Pepper.ph wrote about the issue yesterday on her article, “Will Serving Rice at Half Portions Now Be Mandatory Because of a New Bill?” in reaction to the article that came out on Manila Standard Today last month, “Amid rice crisis, two lawmakers push anti-wastage bill“, while HecklerForever made mention of it in his blog titled, “Megan Young Pork?

To quote from the article that came out on Manila Standard Today:

…Two administration lawmakers on Tuesday vowed to file a measure that would address the P8.4-billion worth of rice that Filipinos waste every year.

Mark Llandro Mendoza of Batangas and Agapito Guanlao of Butil, chairmen of the House committees on agriculture, and on food security, respectively, said that their proposal intended to address the increasing rice prices amid uncertainty regarding rice supplies.

Once enacted, the bill would require restaurants and similar establishments to serve rice in one-half cup portions, instead of one cup each serving.

Citing the International Rice Research Institute, Mendoza said Filipinos waste rice worth at least P23 million every day, or about P8.4 billion a year.

On the other hand, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) revealed that every Filipino wastes an average of 3 tablespoons (9 grams) of rice daily, which is equivalent to 3.3 kilograms per year.

“This means that 96.7 million Filipinos waste as much as 319,000 MT of rice annually— an amount even greater than the amount we imported this year,” Mendoza said.

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Photography Journey: Early 2013

Musings, Photography By March 13, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

I said, “Welcome back to me, Photoshop. Long time no everything,” because it is only now, in the past three months, that I have opened this application to work on my photos. So long that I have, I believe, forgotten how to use it.

If you notice, I have a new watermark, and I am trying to do justice to it by putting it on photos that I am proud of myself and amusing myself with its placement every time.

If there are some differences in the ways I process my photos now, I have the following to thank for:

1. Mark Terence Sy – for the mentorship and the workshop last December where I learned a few camera tricks and tips, as well as how to use Adobe Bridge in some ways, among other things, of course.

2. My workshop classmates who basically taught me the existence of some, as well as how to use, awesome Adobe Photoshop plug-ins. I have not mastered them as I have not been sitting long enough in front of my laptop in the past months to effectively learn anything.

3. Some cheap filters that I acquired in November 2012 that I have also not mastered enough but yes, I will get there, that because they are cheap and I do not know anything, have also taught me how to use my camera in such a way that I shoot with the knowledge that I will crop the vignetted edges.

4. Some people and experiences to draw inspiration from. Not to mention infographics brought to me daily by my fantabulous Facebook feed.

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Wandering Thoughts

Musings By March 11, 2013 Tags: No Comments

It is my first day back in Manila, after spending almost 11 days in the Visayas area – mainly in the islands of Cebu and Bohol. I have a lot of catching up to do: four months worth of photos and quite a number of blogs. My blog has been eerily quiet for the past three months. The days fly by, as do my thoughts, and my life. I try my best to keep up and basically live my life as quiet and productive as possible.

I have a lot to write about, a lot of people to see, a lot of places to go to, and it seems the days aren’t enough. Or even me, there is not enough of me. But again, I try my best to keep up.

Sometimes I do not know what exactly is happening, but I try to do things, always with my fingers crossed and hope and pray that what I am doing is right, or at least leads to something useful and worthy of the time I spend on it.

In my wanderings in the past months, I have managed to lose friends, and make friends, at the same time. Some of these friendships, I have surprisingly, managed to keep and nurture, regardless of time and distances. This gives me something to be proud of, despite many failings and shortcomings.

There have been a lot of changes in my life or the way I live it, but I am more inclined to wish that there are some changes too in the way I think and approach things, which I consider more important, for what is the purpose of changing things, when my heart and mind do not?

I once read a blog on the harvard business review website and thought about writing about it, a few months ago, when my life has not taken a significant turn just yet, but it got buried in the complexities.

It made me think about the many people that have been in, out, and around my life, and can only marvel at how much I owe them what I am. I am what I am right now because of these people, who have shaped me, and I cannot be grateful enough. I can only hope that they are as happy to have me in their lives as I am to have them in mine. All that I am, think, and do, have been shaped by the many people and things that I fit into my life, no matter how fleeting or enduring, and deep or shallow.

In the coming days, I hope to be able to post the photos from the following events since December, in my website, or my Flickr, or even in my Facebook. I have not really posted anything much. A friend messaged me last week to inform me of his observation, “How are you? You have been quiet on Facebook of late.”

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Do Not Spend Your Time Crying

Musings, Personal By February 5, 2013 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

“According to his family, the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo loved writing them letters. When he was in Germany for official business in 1992, he wrote this letter to his oldest daughter Aika, who was four years old at the time.

Photo from Aika Robredo/Robredo family via GMA NEWS”

I was in El Nido when news of Jesse Robredo’s plane crash reached me and I spent days, agonized, hoping, praying, wishing for the best but bracing myself for the worst, on standby for the latest news and updates by the minute, by the hour, like he was my own father. And I wondered how I could be so distressed about someone whom I have not really known.

Born in Naga City and raised in Pili, Camarines Sur, I only spent four years in Naga as a student at the Colegio de Sta. Isabel. I saw him around a lot, and his family, as I was schoolmates with one of his nieces; but being young and carefree, I never really knew him for the great man he was.

But I have been a witness to how this man transformed the city and everyone around him through his words and actions.

And I wept and wept with the rest of my fellow Bicolanos at his early and unexpected demise. And maybe, we were also weeping for the loss of the country. He was a great man.

And he was great, not only because of what he has done, but what he stood for.

Public servant, friend, uncle, husband, father.

I still wept when I saw this letter, as if I was his daughter, and understanding the pains of being separated from one’s child because you have a job that a lot of people need you to be a better person for. And perhaps, I still will when I reread it. Over and over. This sadness just does not stop; but we all have to move on, whatever it is we are going through at this moment, or this day, or even tomorrow, we just have to keep moving forward. Stand on your two feet, put a smile on your face, and most especially, do not spend your time crying.

I just feel that this needs to be shared.

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Love, love, love – Of Monsters and Men

Musings, Personal By February 3, 2013 Tags: , , , No Comments

When this site started out, it was really a very personal blog – a space for all my ruminations, intellectual masturbations, thoughts on family, motherhood, activities and photos with and of friends, short stories, and emotional creative output. It was basically a more permanent version of my Multiply site and a repository of my very personal blogs from Friendster written all the way back from 2005.

This was not meant to be a blog that was supposed to make an internet personality out of me, or make money for me, or a landing page for information the general public might find useful. I was into travel and sharing information for other travelers like me, so I put out a site specifically for that, onetravelstory.com. Maintaining two sites became too tedious though, that in the end, I merged both. And with the expansion of my interests, friends, and activities, this site became a catch-all for everything related to my own personal lifestyle; and subsequently, put me in that category. That being said, I have tried to avoid posting personal blogs. I have not written one, in my effort to avoid putting myself as the person that is me in the limelight, but instead, putting myself as a purveyor of useful information.

I have not written any personal blogs in a long time, but this is the day I will. Because I just need to.

I am at a crossroads of my life. Today is the day I move out of the house that in paper, fifty percent of which I own. Today is the day I officially begin a new chapter of my life.

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Updates for Now

Musings By August 27, 2012 Tags: , No Comments

Hi everyone, if you are wondering why there have been no new posts in the past two days, it’s because I have been busy crossing out one of my travel wish list for the year – a visit to San Vicente, Palawan, the location of the longest beach (about 14 kms!) in the Philippines. I first heard about it back in 2005 from two guys from Boracay who brought over their dirt bikes just to check out the beach and I have been wanting to see and check it out for myself.

The trip was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be and we tried to do everything we could in the day and a half we we’re there. We we’re able to check out the beaches but have not been able to visit the waterfalls, or go island hopping, or even take the trip to Port Barton but there might be a next time!

We took as many photos as we could and I’ll write about the trip soon.

We went sailing on a yacht around Bacuit Bay today and that pretty much took the entire day.

That’s it for now. I still have a very busy week ahead of me as I also want to see Nakpan beach as well in Calitang and Nagkalit-Kalit waterfalls here in El Nido (Yes we are still here but counting the days til we get back to the city) as well as, hopefully, get that diver’s license.

I also hope to do a walking tour of the town to compare with the many photos of the town I took six years ago to show how much things around here have changed. I’m happy about the many improvements but sad about how things are deteriorating because of disregard for town planning and environmental conservation.

I need to do a list of all the places to eat as well as accommodations in town too. It might also be helpful to do a list of Things to do and the likes. All those are quite daunting because there are now about a gazillion places to stay here, as opposed to back in 2005, as well as more restaurants.

So many things to do, so many photos to take, so many things to write about, plus so much work to do as well, and so little time. (So true.. so true.)

Well, until then. I just wanted to keep you guys posted.

Cheers!
Angku (and Lia)

 

P.S.
Do like our Facebook page if you have the time and if you wanna be updated on the posts.

 

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