Spring In Oregon

I just like to share some photos of spring at Oregon 2012 thru my brother’s lens….

The last photo is thru the lens of my android phone,  jasmine flowers blooming on spring at Florida.

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Ang Sampaguita

larawan ng sampaguita kuha sa hardin ng aming kaibigan at kasama sa simbahan sa Florida.

Isang hapon noon ako’y nag iisa

Ako’y naka upo doon sa teresa

Hindi mapigilan ang luha sa mata

Kaya’t naisipang pumasok sa sala.

Doon sa may sala sa tapat ng bintana

May napansin akong simoy na maganda

Pilit kong tinunton bangong ninanasa

At doon sa hardin nanggagaling pala

Doon sa hardin aking nasilayan

Maputing bulaklak kay gandang pagmasdan

Nang aking pitasin at aking samyuin

Sampaguita pala aliw ka sa akin.

Isang  dese-sais anyos at baguhang mag aaral sa aming kolehiyo sa Silang Cavite ng aking likhain ang tulang ito. Binigyan kami ng lektura tungkol sa pag gawa ng tula at pag katapos,  sinabi ng aming guro na lumikha kami ng isang saknong ng tula sa loob ng labing limang minuto. Marahil ay maganda pa ang takbo ng aking isipan at nakagawa ako ng tatlong saknong. Hindi naman mahirap masapatan ang naisin o palugurin ang aming guro at akoy pinag kalooban ng magandang grado sa Pilipino sa tulang ito ng mga panahong iyon. Panahong marami pang pinto ang naka bukas at wala pang dingding ang mga landas.

Poetry can be written in two ways; meter-the rhythmic arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables and the other way is free verse-a poetry without meter or rhyme scheme. I wrote this with meter measurement having 12 syllables on each line and in a form of ballad. With so many preoccupation nowadays it’s difficult for me to create a poem with syllabic measurement. Poetry seems mostly suited for the young and maybe to those who are young at heart, the mind is dynamic, uninhibited and with much liberty to express one’s thought and feelings. So far that is just my opinion.

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Stephansdom, Vienna Austria

My first travel to Vienna is not intentional. I’d rather go to the Philippines because lately the only time I can see my mother is when I visit the Philippines. Yet somehow things turned up differently than how we like it to be. Our eldest brother who live at Vienna cannot go home to the Philippines. He was into a health regimen necessitating his presence in the hospital 3x a week. Stopping or altering the medical regimen will mean toying with death. We came to the point were my sister from Tokyo and my brother who live at Oregon and me from Florida went to Vienna to see and bond with our eldest brother.  It was not really my intention to tour while visiting Vienna. Seeing our eldest brother and my other siblings was the main reason I went. The rest  was a bonus or I’d rather say blessings. Thanks that my elder sister who toured many places in the world was eager to explore even though that’s her third time to be in that city. So off we go. In this blog I’ll only discuss and show some pictures of the Stephansdom cathedral.

It really look like my visit to Vienna was incidental but in God’s timetable, it is time for me to see the historic place that I first saw only at the movie, the one titled “The Sound of Music (film).” Advance reading of the city’s history could have been helpful for me, instead I had an impromptu learning. The city is not very big but home to many historic palaces, castles and of notable people of history like MozartElisabeth of Austria , Maximilian II etc. On the night of my arrival me and my siblings together with our sister-in-law went to see the Stepansdom cathedral also known as Stephansplatz. The Stephansplatz is a square at the geographical centre of Vienna. It is named after its most prominent building, the Stephansdom, Vienna’s cathedral and one of the tallest churches in the world 1. The cathedral was being renovated then.

After resting overnight the following day we went to the cathedral again and took some pictures of the interior, some of the pictures below are taken by my brother and sister but since I’m the only one that brought a laptop they uploaded the pictures from their cameras to my laptop and I’ll show some of them here.

I’m not really sure if the Austrian still conduct mass there because now it is more of a tourist attraction. The interior are fenced and there’s only a small area of the place where the onlookers can just see and admire the magnificent structure. Anyone can buy a candle outside, lit the candles and place them in a designated place for candles.

Below the cathedral are tombs of prominent heroes and saints of Austria. One have to pay extra Euro if he/she like to see the tombs. Inside the cathedral, we find the tombs of Prince Eugene of Savoy, commander of the Imperial forces during the War of the Spanish Succession in the Chapel of The Cross (northwest corner of the cathedral) and of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor under whose reign the Diocese of Vienna was canonically erected on 18 January 1469, in the Apostles’ Choir (southeast corner of the cathedral)2

It is not my obsession to know details of these people’s history but I learned that Eugene of Savoy is a general and the one who erected the palace at Belvedere. On that day I was just thankful to God that I was given the prospect to see part of Vienna with my siblings. The girl from a small town in the province of Laguna Philippines.


1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephansplatz,_Vienna

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Stephen’s_Cathedral,_Vienna

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The Clearing

Recently, my family went to the Mountain View College alumni annual camp meeting near Leesburg Florida. I work on the weekends so I wasn’t able to join them. I found myself alone that night in our four bedroom house so I made sure that all the doors leading outside were locked. I did not want to turn on the alarm system of our house because if I did, the alarm would go off if I simply just walked into our living room or into the kitchen. Nowadays I’m no longer scared of being alone but a moment like that reminds me of the time I felt alone and afraid.

 In the book of God’s providence, the volume of life, we were each given a page. That page contains every particular moment of our history. If I’d like to be delighted over a particular thing. I would usually go to the shelves of my memories and fondly look back on the time I grew up in the Philippines, on the days of my trekking adventures. Actually my first trekking activity was not intentional. It happened when I was 8 years old, the year I was in second grade, in a humble school and in a small town.

river similar to the river near my school

The geographic location of my school offered a variety of activities after class, to a curious child who wanted to have fun before going home. Most of the students walked on foot between home and school. On the East and West side of my elementary school a little distance off, was a lazy river that seemed to be inviting young children who wanted respite. On the North side were meadows with chains of coconut trees conducive for camping and other outdoor activities. We usually play “Chinese Garter” in that meadow. The South side led to houses and roads leading to town.

One hot sunny day, our class was dismissed early, around 3:30 in the afternoon. When I was about to leave for home, my attention was caught by two coconut flower sheaths  (“uyo” by local name) laying on the meadow. I picked them up and looked around to see if I could find some more. I walked north heading to the woods trying to spot more coconut flower sheaths. My mother said she liked to use “uyo” as wood. It burned well and was good for starting fires and cooking.

Photo of coconut flower sheaths

Wanting to please my mother by bringing her bunches of coconut flower sheaths, I trekked further north. Sometimes when I spotted brown colored woods that looked like uyo, I would run towards it. Dreadfully I found myself already enveloped by the dark shade of the forest. I suddenly I realized I was alone. All I could hear was the cicadas’ hum, the occasional call of geckos, the swaying of the leaves blown by the winds, and the chirping of sparrows alternating with eerie silence. Still, I wanted to find more Coconut flower sheaths. Many times I spotted mounds (punso by local name) which reminded me about goblins, elves, and dwarves that according to our local folklore and superstition, can cast bad spells and curses if you happened to pee or step in their mounds. I sometimes asked “Is there someone behind me” when I heard noises that I couldn’t discern. Although alone, I exercised my reasoning power and recalled what I learned from Saturday School, that there are angels given to each child. To cheer myself I decided to hum the song “Our father who art in heaven” in the tune of Nora Aunor. I guess my desire to please my mother paramount to my fear, so I dispersed the scary thoughts that liked to shake my composure. Walking further as if led by somebody, I came across a clearing. Alas the dark shadows from the tall trees was not pervasive in the clearing. The ground was covered by (damong kalabaw) carabao grass. The place was free from darkness, I felt safe and I could move around without the fear of snakes, or stepping into a mound. Much to my delight, I found lots of coconut flower sheaths on the ground. I welcomed the breeze that kissed my face. I felt some presence of higher being in that place. If ever, I think that was the first gleams of a different light and about spirituality in my life. That there’s a mighty being who will walk with you even in the dark. I decided to call the place “Our father in heaven”

photo taken under two guava trees near a lake while I was waiting for my daughter having her piano lesson.

 Satisfied with all the coconut flower sheaths I found, I decided it was time for me to go back home. Heading back, I had to pass under the dark woods again. However, this time it was different since I no longer had any fear. I traced my steps back towards my school almost running while carrying a school bag on my right, and bunches of coconut flower sheaths on my left. With my small feet and faster steps I reached home panting, just in time for dinner and proudly presented the treasures I got from the woods to my mom. She gave me a sweet smile and a hug. Which for me seemed to be an approval.

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Poinsettia My Guava Tree

"Two guava trees in our front yard"

One guava fruit in my hand can flood my brain with many happy childhood memories. Growing up in the province of Laguna, I have created and weaved many delightful adventures. One that will stay as one of my fondest memories while growing up in the province. Being pseudo-only child of my mother back then, I am usually up for fun and adventure after school. My best friend Helen and I are in tune when it comes to meeting together after school.  Although  she is one year ahead of me, we have mutual respect and enjoyed each other’s company. I was in third grade and she was a fourth grader. Our close friendship lasted until she graduated from Elementary School. I guessed we were closely knitted because we both liked tomboyish activity. We liked swimming in the river and climbing trees. We were also not intimidated of naughty boys when they picked a fight with us. We both were up to climbing the small mountains or hills near our school. We searched for trees bearing fruits. It doesn’t matter whether it was guava, mango, kaymito (star apple), anonas, or young coconut. We both could climb these trees very well.

As a child, I am also comfortable being alone. I am not dependent to other children in creating adventures for myself. When I’m by myself, I used to go to the backyard of my aunt. There are many things I can do at her backyard. It is at an area where two rivers meet. I usually found solace there. I sometimes sat and lay on a parked fisherman’s boat under the bamboo tree, and day-dream while looking at the cerulean sky beyond the bamboo leaves. I also climbed this one big guava tree in my aunt’s backyard. Either melodramatic or imaginative, I talked to that guava tree and told the tree that she is my friend, and that I will name her Poinsettia. Every day during the summer it seems whenever I climb her, Poinsettia has guava fruits for me, much to my delight. Often I thanked her. I even solemnly gave an oath to Poinsettia that I prefer guava over apples, which is really true even up to this day. I sometimes hung myself in her bark and liked to climb to the topmost part of her. I climbed her even if sometimes she is wet with rain.

Poinsettia was one true friend  for about two years. Then one languid lonesome day, approaching Poinsettia’s spot, I was so saddened to find her cut down to her trunk.  I could not climb her anymore. Shocked and with a heavy heart, I went to my aunt and inquired why they cut the guava tree. My aunt said, her neighbor cut the tree because they are going to build a pig fence near that spot. Still in disbelief while dragging my feet, I went to Poinsettia and told her how sorry I am that they cut her. As a child I do not care whether I am foolish in talking to that tree, but I consoled my guava tree that someday, she will grow some bark again. Her trunk is still standing firm and deeply rooted to the ground. As time passes by she grew some bark and leaves, but it is not like her former glory where she can hold many children that like to climb her. I also grew up and  moved on, but I will always remember that guava tree named Poinsettia whenever I have a guava fruit in my hand.

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