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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

walking the walk and talking the talk

i read a blog few years back which i regretted not commenting then and still regret to this day. i couln't quote it verbatim but it goes about the writer's concern (?) and her views why seeking greener pasture elsewhere is not enough reason for parents to go/ work abroad and leave their kids behind to be looked after by close kins. i found myself in a "speak now or forever hold your peace" predicament and needless to say i chose the later regrettably - not for lack of conviction but rather not to make common friends uncomfortable with a long argument that will surely follow. just a note of warning, i am highly excitable and argumentative person...lol!

forever is a long time and so, here i am breaking my peace and tossing my two cents worth on the matter. its easy to pass judgement on someone when you are not in a circumstances they are in. if one hasn't experienced the neccesity of begging food from someone else's scraps of left over then you wouldn't know how lucky you are to be leaving a big portion of your meal untouched to be thrown away later. if you have never been exposed to life's series of unfortunate events - its trials and tribulation- then you are not in a position to even write anything about it because you have no inkling how it is. what you have is not even an opinion but an assumption. opting to do so shows how insensitive and ignorant you can be. it takes a strong will and a stronger sense of commitment and love to undetake such herculean and formidable task of leaving your love ones to give them a better chance in life. i am assuming they're not in the land of milk and honey to see the view but to work their socks off. i take my hats off to every parent who know and understand the true meaning of sacrifice. some people got it all and unluckily to some, something's gotta give.

talking the talk is something we all do everyday. it is as effortless as breathing in and out ( unless, of course, you had some breathing issues, lol). walking the walk is an endeavor only those with courage to do so will take the risk. ask yourself this ..... when the time comes, will you be able to walk the talk?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Security Is a Priority

One of the perks of being a teacher is the long break -there are several as it happens. There's the week-long Thanksgiving break and Spring recces, the longer two-week Winter break, and the most awaited three-month summer break. In my case, I consider it a blessing that my husband and sister are also teachers. This enables us to enjoy watching old movies in Direct TV and also to travel together unharried.

Some two weeks ago, we hit the road on a trip to the East Coast. There are so many things to consider when going on a trip. The packing list to start with, then there are the provisions such as setting a timer on the sprinkler -front and back yard, asking a friendly neighbor to feed the bunnies -fortunately for the fish, a slow, timed feeder is available; and the most important of all, setting  the alarm. In times like these, home security rainbowcity should be top priority. Even good neighborhood like ours can be susceptible to burglary.

Giving careful attention to travel preparations will give you peace of mind and will ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pamukkale's Travertines and The Roman Hierapolis

From Kapadokya, ( Cappadocia) we took the night trip bus to Denizli, then to Denizli half hour more to Pamukkale. We found a Hotel just in the middle of the village and just a few kilometers away from the Travertines. After checking in we had breakfast then we went to the Travertines just walking. The Hotel is so clean, has swimming pool , run by a Family very friendly and the food is again excellent! :)

Pamukkale's Travertines - as we come nearer to the travertines, we saw a big slope of mountain so white, i never seen such things like this before, it looks like snow but it's not, ( for Michael it's his second time to see the travertines) it is a calcium rich - mineral water, a gleaming snowy white limestones formed by the warm water coming from the mountains.

In the history it says, it is known as the "Sacred Pool of the Romans" . Some years ago, the government tried to make a law to the people not to swimm on the warm pool or travertines, but then they cannot stop the people, now, there are some shallow pools that the people are allowed to go swimming mostly on the lower parts.

Roman Hierapolis - After we walked and washed our feet on the warm water of the travertines, we visited the ruins of Hierapolis. It was a cure center and founded in 190 BC, we enjoyed walking through beautiful landscape. It was spring season so there are colorful wild flowers everywhere. We got tired of walking had a drink in the restaurant at the Hotel and then go back walking down the waterfalls of white stone. It was again a very interesting and unforgettable travel experience for me :)

The Power of the Mind

"Tita, does the glass have holes in it?"
I still very much remember this question asked by my then 5 year old niece 14 years ago. How do I answer the curiosity of the child? Do I simply feed her information or use her question to train the mind to think? Either way, whether I will give her the answer right away or let her find out the answer will sure make her more informed but it is the latter that allows us to be more comfortable with the thinking process. So, instead of providing her the answer, I grabbed that moment to teach her to think about thinking and to learn about learning.

I responded to her question by another question, to see where she was coming from when she asked the question.

Me: What made you ask if the glass has holes in it?
5-yr old niece: Because there is water in the side of the glass, earlier there was none. Where did the water come from?
Me: So, you think the water comes from inside and seeped outside?
5-yr old niece: Where else it could come from?

My 4-yr old nephew was listening to our conversation, and got excited with the question as well. He joined the conversation by asking:

4-yr old nephew: Yes, tita, where did the water come from? How come lolo's glass does not have water in the sides while all ours have?
Me: Wow, I like how you both observe, think, and ask! Do you know you are formulating hypothesis and already starting the scientific method? Instead of answering your questions, can we have some fun finding where the water came from?
Niece and Nephew: Exciting, how?
Me: First, let us try to go back to Steph's first question. Does the glass have holes in it? How do you think can you verify that question? Or what is your first answer to that question?
Niece and nephew (after pondering and conferencing): We do not think the glass have holes in it since not all glass show having water on the sides. The cold glass collects water on the side, while the warm glass doesn't.

Me: you want to verify that so you can change the "do not think to do not believe"?
They: Yes, let us have two same glass containers, let us put on one cold water and the other one lukewarm water. We'll see what happens.
Me: But how will you know if the water moved from inside to outside of the glass?
They ( after pondering): The water level will go down, so we will use marker to verify if after a while one of the water level goes down.
Me: GREAT, do you know you are actually creating your own experiment? So proud of both of you.

After a while, they saw the cold glass start to collect water on the sides, while the warmer glass does not have water on the sides at all. They also observed there is no change in the level of water. So they both said,

5-yr old niece and 4-yr old nephew: The glasses do not have holes in them! Water came from somewhere else! But where?

After their conclusion to their little experiment, they started to have more questions, and have more explanations. Instead of me telling them about the phase changes in water, they were able to explain on their own that there is water vapor in air that we can not see, and when it hits a cold glass, the water vapor condenses to liquid allowing us to see. Our conversation did not end in these two glasses of water, but it extended to air, clouds, rain, ice and of course water. After that, I asked my 5-yr old niece to read water cycle to her younger brother and sister. Now, 14 years after, both of them are pursuing Science and Engineering Degrees in University of the Philippines- Diliman and expecting to have Latin honors when they graduate. Both are looking forward into a career in research in Science and Engineering.

Oftentimes, in our world, we are so excited to answer the question of a child that we forget to teach them the process of thinking. Maybe we jump right away to giving the answer because of our excitement, or maybe because we fear they would think we do not know. How about holding your response and use their questions as a teaching to learn moment? Allow the kids to explore, formulate their own thinking and process early so they do not give up on problem solving, and in the process they own and celebrate what they learn. It is easier to hand information to someone, in fact, we can just even ask them to read and be informed, but are we using the full power of our mind if we skip the "thinking about thinking" part?

Making our decisions on how we teach our kids the thinking and learning process is almost the same thing as making decision where to get our education. My late mom used to tell us before that it is not the school that will define our success, it is us! How many schools really teach us to think and learning instead of simply giving us second hand information? How many schools really give us enough opprtunities to sharpen our minds to harness the mind's full potential and power? Some people who may have less education because of lesser opprtunities in life actually makes smarter decisions than those who are very well informed or very well educated. Though they may not have gone to formal school, but they never undermine the power of the mind to think, analyze, create, and innovate! That is why some people who wanted to continue their learning while still closely in touch with reality choose Online Degree Programs. These days, online education offers a lot of courses that includes also online degree programs in science. And with the increasing cost of education, it is also very helpful to get an extra support through http://www.waldenu.edu .

Let not only your feet and eyes wander and explore, allow your mind to run farther than where your feet and eyes bring you. When you tap on the power of your mind, we get to simplify a lot of things for us because we understand better the world and the nature around us. Find your education and make it grow. 

Swanage, England

See's Chocolates

It was a love at first sight. He handed me one white rose, a box of See's Chocolate and a pizza on our first meeting. We spent hours talking while eating pizza and See's assorted chocolates. It was a sweet and simple first date, followed by a couple of years of dating and enjoying See's chocolates on anniversaries and many special occasions.

The sight of white rose reminds me of our first meeting

Chocolate has been part of our family celebration for many years

My husband and I have one thing in common when it comes to chocolates, we love dark chocolate with nuts. He continues to make it a point to buy me a box of my favorite See's chocolates with nuts, for special occasions, to make up after deciding he was "wrong" on a subject of discussion, and "just because" moments we have in our relationship. We usually share the box but lately he eats more than me as I usually find the empty box sitting on the counter with a note inside explaining, "I know you will not mind if I eat the last piece of See's chocolate as I cannot help myself." I tease him that the reason he buys See's chocolates is because he knows my diet only allows a few bites and the rest is for him. He is in a "man" denial since he knows it is true, his smile tells the biggest story.

My co-worker sells See's Chocolates for fund raising events for his daughter's medical expenses. She suffered a severe adverse reaction to a hep-b vaccination when she was two years old. Other organizations take advantage of the See's chocolate quality in selling their assorted products for fund raising events. I like their gourmet lollipops and buy their nuts and Almond Royal for my desk at my office as a client ice breaker, business gifts and in entertaining at home.

See's Chocolates have been a part of my life and my husbands life for many years. You could say we started with See's Chocolates and each year we try their new products adding a few new products to our favorites list.

~by chay~

moving on

life must be lived forward and reflected backwards and never the other way around. life goes on whatever you do and father time will assuredly not wait for no one. so, whether you decided to simply twiddle your thumb ( for lack of better things to do ), sulk in the corner ( a relationship gone sour?) or attain remarkable feats ( well done!!) ; life continue to happen and time passes by quickly than we imagine.
i know, it is easier said than done, the moving on phrase chiefly if you are on the wronged and emotionally vulnerable. life perpetually changes and we need to adapt if we are to survive. i learned to let go of few people close to me and severed the relationship because it doesn't work anymore. i accept the fact that each of us is his own person with different personalities. those differences should pull us together rather than rift us apart. if it doesn't, i guess its time to say goodbye and goodluck! the proverbial "familiarity breeds contempt" is the golden rule in any relationship yet it shouldn't be the reason for failing to commit. we meet new people everyday, an opportunity for a new relationship. we are given morning - to start anew. do not stop looking for diamond because you have gold. aspire for it. if ever you reached that crossroad in life, choose the one less traveled. you might discover a whole new world!
there's always a time for everything under the sun. make your's worthwhile.remember, indecisiveness is like a rocking chair, it moves but takes you nowhere.
the above note may not make sense. i write what comes to mind, if it seems like fragmented pieces of a thousand thoughts, it is because they are.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Soon I'll Be Fine! *wink

I've been dreadfully miserable for the past few months. I felt so lost and extremely unhappy with my uncertain future...I'd make plans and unfortunately I'd end up scribbling unknown figures on my what to do list instead. I'd try to comprehend on my recent mistakes...I'd try to make things right but unfortunately I'd end up making the same mistakes all over again...

Until 2 weeks ago I decided to simply go out, have some breath of fresh air and have my hair done. In a nearby hair salon, I simply smiled at the wonderful lady behind the counter. I said, "Hi! I'm Beth...I'd wish to have my hair cut today..." , she smiled and said, "You're simply at the right place young lady...I'll make you smile today..." and then she started to talk about her life...and with every sigh she'd always smile and say, " but soon I know I'll be fine!"...I hardly noticed it but every time she said those words I'd blink once or twice to simply hold back the tears from my eyes...I too wish that I can say those lovely words every time I fall...I wish I too could look at myself straight in the eye and say..." Hey young lady get back on your feet because soon you'll be fine!!!" I too wish to have the same pretty smile like she does...I too would like to spread the same overwhelming joy that she has...After all those talks and all those hair chopped off from my head...I simply smiled at the wonderful lady with her amazing gadgets and said, " thank you so much for making me smile today..."...I simply gave her a hug...and she replied..." It's so nice to meet you..." and with those parting words before I closed the door of that cute hair salon on east main street I simply whispered, " thank you Mena, now I know... soon I'll be fine..."

Yes indeed...I just simply know that pretty soon I'll be fine!

Monday, July 4, 2011

table for two


here i sat in our preferred table for two
saw lovers at the corner, shadows of i and you
tried to fight back tears that threatens my eyes
heart is bursting with emotion quite hard to hide

been to places we frequently met
pay homage to memories we beautifully weaved
i vividly remember the day our path converged
the time romance blossomed in agreement with fate

scent of jasmine carried by the wind
brings happy thoughts and excruciating pain
i'm haunted by the moment when memories shall fail
for what is left of me is nothing but empty shell

i cannot but agree life simply isn't fair
when you think things will last, suddenly it ends
there's one thing though i can faithfully claim
in this lifetime i found a love worthy of its name

sometime in 2008

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lily of the Nile @ Today's Flowers

Lily of the Nile at our front yard

I'd like to thank the gracious hosts of Today's Flowers, LuizDenisePupo and Sandy

To see more wonderful blooms, click on the badge below.

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