Sleeping Under The Stars

A couple of nights ago before going to sleep, I opt to step out of my balcony so as to decide whether to shut my windows close and turn on the AC or leave the balcony door and windows open since its tranquil and nippy.

And while gazing at the night sky I was thrilled to see multiple stars in the heavens.

too sad my camera couldn’t capture it

It dawned in me that it has been more than a year that I haven’t seen those stars hanging from the sky.  It was beautiful.  Seeing stars in the metro sky has been so rare.  It has gone so infrequent that metropolitan folks have started to link seeing night time stars as positive signs from the heavens that their longings will soon be granted.  No thanks to the smog and pollution of the concrete jungle.

I decided not to link seeing stars to the multiple wishes that I have.  I simply smiled and enjoyed the site.  And while stepping inside, I opted to keep the balcony door and windows open.  When I closed my eyes, I realized that sleeping under the stars is a perfect way to end the night.

My Ash Wednesday 2021 Version

I am a Catholic and last year I had one of the weirdest and rarest observance of Palm Sunday.  The country was already on a strict lockdown due to covid19 and I had to contend myself from hearing the Holy Mass in front of a TV.  And since no one was allowed to go out then, the “palm” that I used was actually an outgrowth of a vine that I plucked from the few pots of plants in my balcony.

attended palm sunday in the comforts of my home as celebrated by the pope last april 2020

palaspas! (that is how we call palm sunday in filipino)

Today is Ash Wednesday.  In the Catholic tradition Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Lenten period.  It is the season of repentance and reflection.  It is also marked by a Holy Mass in which priests or church leaders will make the sign of the cross out of paste made of ash and sacramental oil on the foreheads of the congregants.  Part of this tradition is that ashes are made from the palm fronds that have been burned from the previous year’s Palm Sunday.

Since I was lucky enough to have kept the fronds (dried leaves and vine) that I used in last year’s Palm Sunday and because I refuse to go to church due to the crazy scary pandemic, I decided to do my own observance of Ash Wednesday.

Part of my creating my own ash for the celebration of this special day is the symbolic burning of my sins.  I decided to write down on a piece of paper my confessions and burn it at the same time with that of my last year’s Palm Sunday fronds. 

With the thought in mind that “for dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return”, instead of placing the formed ash on my forehead, I decided to return the ashes to earth.  I alternatively add the formed ashes into the soil of my plants as a symbol new life with the hopes of a rosy spring for the rest of the year.

glad to have kept that fronds for today’s observance…

I know that my ceremonial version of this day is a total deviation on how a Catholic Ash Wednesday should be observed.  But honestly, while doing what I was doing, I felt free, I felt light and I felt at peace.  And I guess that is what matters on this holy day of Ash Wednesday.

Valentines: Got Myself an Ice Cream

Like Rock Hudson who promised that he would treat himself for an ice cream if he gets the acting-role he first-time auditioned for, I too promised myself in the past that I would treat myself for an ice cream in case I finally found my “significant other”.

smiling today! haha!

I am writing this because it is Valentine’s Day today, the day of hearts, the day of love and the day to celebrate with a “significant other”.  Unlike other Valentine Days in the past where I would just stay indoors, be quiet, sometimes be cranky and do nothing, I this year mustered a lot of chutzpah to be seen in public. 

With testicles the size of asteroids, I stepped out, I went out and smiled outdoors!  I decided to be cheery and light-hearted!  A good amount of it was spent in my office so as to beat a deadline, shop at the biggest people-infested mall for larger-sized shirts because I’m getting plumper and do a little grocery at a nearby hypermarket.  Included in my grocery haul was a pint of ice cream.

Yup, I decided to treat myself today for a big calorific amount of ice cream.  You may be wondering now if I finally find my “significant other”.  Let me answer it then…

ice cream!!!

Did you know that Rock Hudson went to his nearby diner and ordered for an ice cream despite knowing that he was not chosen for the acting role that he auditioned for?   Though sad and down he was nevertheless was full of hope.  Rock Hudson treat himself for a big goblet of an ice cream because he was proud of the courage he showed during the first time he auditioned.  

I got the strawberry flavor!  Happy Valentines everyone!

Cute Human Beings

It’s the last day of the crazy year.  Let me be very positive today.  I know I failed to post and greet everyone a very Merry Christmas last December 25 that is why I made sure to write something on the last day of the year.

I have been seeing and bumping unto highlights of what has been this tremendous year online.  The internet specifically YouTube has somewhat been my escapism during this scary pandemic year.  My incapacity to explore outside and my inability to socialize personally with my friends and family gave me the opportunity to instead switch to watching sweet and delightful videos on YouTube.  These are the videos that somewhat filled the void of my needing to smile and my wanting to feel pleasant despite the scary contagion lurking outside.

Let me give homage to the cute human beings whom I encountered this year via YouTube.  These are the cute babies, toddlers and kids whose parent’s vlogpost I frequently watch and look forward to during the months that passed. 

They are…

Nitro (the cute baby of Dwaine and Shanta Wooley)

Nitro: cuteness overload

Holland and Stone (of Dustin & Burton Buffalo)

you will definitely be charmed by the chic and trendy Holland and Stone

Zach, TJ and Holly (of ChonaAndMyKids)

these kids’ antics will never fail to put a smile on your face

Uma (of Matthew & Elliot)

Uma the adorable and stylish little sunshine

Leila and Stella (of Ingrid in Bosnia

the cute sister-power of leila and stella

May our new year be as beautiful, as happy, as promising and as full-of-life like these cute human beings!  Happy New Year everyone!

Someone Celebrated His Birthday

It was his birthday days ago but only had its simple celebration yesterday.  There was the obligatory cake, the sumptuous food, wine and cheese.  There was even the crazy blowing of the candle!

stay sane and happy!

with my mom and the rest of the fam!

May you have the strength of the heroes, the wisdom of the divine, the wealth of the gods, the smile of the angels and the body to die for! Hahaha!

Happy Birthday to me.

Touched by Disney UK!

Disney UK got a cool and heartwarming Christmas advert!  I am particularly touched and moved by this video ad simply because it features bits of the Filipino qualities and culture. 

Mano:  the gentle placing of the back of the hands of your elders to your forehead is a unique Filipino gesture to show sign of respect to elders

Parol & Parol-Making:  a lantern which is made of bamboo sticks and colored paper is a major Christmas symbol of every household in the Philippines.  And it is a common practice that grade school students would create one as a school project during Christmas season so as to have it hanged in their respective houses.  I made a horrible-looking one myself during my young school days!

Simbang Gabi: a Filipino-Catholic tradition of attending midnight Mass at a nearby Catholic church for 9 consecutive nights prior to Christmas Eve.  And since I am wicked, this is one Filipino tradition that I never get to complete!

Recycling of an old cookie tin can:  Lola-s (translation: grandmothers) around the nation would never throw away metal cookie cans.  These would instead be re-used either as a jewelry box, a sewing kit container, an old photos or greeting cards chest or other similar charms, trinkets and mementos that a usual Filipino lola wants to keep.

Thanks Disney UK!  You moved me.

A Monthly Halloween-Like Scare

It’s Halloween tonight!  Aside from joyous celebration, it is also the period for those who adore creepy Halloween movies and dive right in to frightening books about ghosts, vampires and lost spirits.   Others are inspired to visit spooky ghost towns while the rest will get chills from hearing friend’s and family’s scary tales and encounters.

I, on the other hand, do not have to get inspired by the season to get a taste of the spooky and scary circumstances.  I actually receive a monthly Halloween-like fright!  And that is by simply tearing the envelopes sent to me and finding out the amount of my monthly utility dues! 

I can bear the sudden presence of scary spirits. I can endure the hair-raising screams of the naughty ghosts.  I can withstand the spookiness of nasty looking ghouls but nothing beats my being so damn scared when I receive all these freaking monthly bills! Hahaha!

happy halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Cool Carlo

Reading about good news has been so hard to come by.  In the age of divisiveness, social mistreatment and neglect of the planet, human beings would seem to yearn for some good news nowadays. 

Let me provide one to you then. Carlo Acutis, an Italian Roman Catholic teenager is scheduled for beatification today, October 10, 2020.  This is after the Pope confirmed a miracle attributed to Carlo’s intercession – the healing of a young Brazilian boy who was afflicted with a rare congenital pancreatic disease.

cool carlo acutis

This young dude who died of leukemia in 2006 at a young age of 15 did things that no ordinary teenager of his generation would do.  He frequently prayed the holy rosary, attended mass and received the eucharist.   He also made an online catalog of the miracles pertaining to the Holy Eucharist.  As if like an old wise man, Carlo offered his pains, agonies and sufferings to the Lord and the Church.  How cool is that!

The body of Blessed Carlo on display in Assisi

Another cool thing about Carlo is that he seems to be the only Blessed in Nike shoes! Congratulations Blessed Carlo! You simply rock!

I Pay for Autumn, I Buy My Winter

It’s September 1.  Considered as the start of the BER-months, this is usually the day I would start getting excited about my purchased autumn or winter season.  Yes people, since I live on a spot where there are only two climate periods in a year, I buy my autumn and winter seasons.

Living and growing up in the Philippines which only has wet & dry seasons, my childhood is deprived of knowing what it’s like during autumn and winter.  And because I live in a climate where it is either hot or hotter, donning on thick coats, a beany and earmuffs would result to some fatal heat stroke.  Instead of owning trendy coats and jackets, me and my friends grew up possessing either a plastic rain coat or the mighty umbrella.

me and my sister love osaka!

And guess what?! During my early childhood days, I thought countries where snow falls are wealthy because that is where Santa Claus lives.  I would often wish that snow would fall in the Philippines so that it can finally get rich and Santa would have easier access getting here!

Now that I am old and my silly childhood wish for a cool autumn and frosty winter in my country will never ever occur, I purchase these seasons for me to personally enjoy and experience.  How do I do my purchase?  I simply apply for an elusive travel visa, book an airline ticket, reserve a cheap hotel and file my treasured vacation leaves so as to journey to a chilly northern or southern hemisphere spot on the planet.

Here’s some of my purchases…

happy at a snow festival in hokkaido!

braved trekking the ihlara valley in turkey during winter! 

my recent purchase! a chilly autumn in st. petersburg, russia

have always been a fan of autumn in koyasan, japan

Yeah! I envy people living on places where the leaves turn bright orange and where fine white snow falls. I guess, folks who say “people long for things and places they do not have” are so correct.  But for those who got yet hate these seasons, you just don’t know how blessed you are!  I so envy you that I even spend heaps of time and money purchasing it!