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Til next summer

It’s the first day of June. Time sure flies so fast. Summer vacation for most students ends today as classes open tomorrow. Summer, my most favorite time of the year, will soon be over. 😦

This year’s summer had been a very memorable one. I got to meet my adorable niece Emma for the first time! I made it a point to take some time off from work to spend quality time with my family, especially because my cousins from Canada came home for a vacation.

I love going home to the province, even on short vacations, because I get the chance to watch the sun go down everyday at the beach near our house. I could just sit there on the shore or take a dip in the inviting water to cool down the sweltering heat of the summer sun until it had finally set. But mostly, I love going home because I miss home cooked meals and the comfort of being with my family.

Even at work, the past two months had been quite busy. I was mostly out on fieldwork gathering stories, capturing photos, facilitating workshops, meeting people, organizing events. I rode motorbikes, walked in the sugarcane farms under the scorching heat of the sun, and traveled from one island to the next. I’m not complaining. I love my work, actually. Because at the end of the day, in the few hours before I head home to Manila, I get to see the beautiful sights in the area.

As I was browsing through my summer photos, trying to relish the fun memories, I realized I had on this one top in a lot of photos! Yikes, I need some serious wardrobe change! I badly need to buy some pretty beach dresses online. And new swim wear, too (maybe something that could hide my growing curves).  Besides, summer may be over but it’s always good to be ready with the outfit. There’s so much picture perfect places waiting to be explored all year round.

Anyway, check out these pictures to see what kept me busy this summer:

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Thank you, summer, for the great memories and the darkened skin! Til next year.

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Oras Na!

In my little corner on top of the hill, I can hear the restlessness of the community below – dogs barking, vehicle engines roaring, people chatting and laughing, a carpenter hammering something. From where I sit, I can see people going about their day-to-day activities just as I would have been if I was at home. As I look around, I can see the trees and plants dancing with the wind, the majestic mountains in the horizon, the clouds gracefully moving along with the wind. I wonder, where is God in all of these? Where is He in our restless world? The obvious answer stares back at me: God is everywhere, His glory and Kingship is manifested in all His creation. – written during a retreat at Mirador Jesuit Villa in Baguio City, December 2010

A while ago, I watched Oras Na, GMA’s documentary on the state of our country’s environment. It saddens me to know that our environment is in such a bad condition. I admit, I too am guilty of misusing these resources. I waste water, I water paper, I overuse energy. I have hurt God’s creation. My sorry can never bring back the precious water I wasted, nor the millions of trees cut, nor the energy I mis-consumed. But… I can still help slow down further degradation of the environment. So, I promise to plant a tree (or more) every year, to use water more wisely, to recycle paper more often. I just hope that all of us will see how wonderful and awesome God has made our planet. Let’s all start doing our share of saving Mother Earth. And the best time to start is now…

Moments of Stillness

The blanket of fog is slowly coming my way. In a little while, I, too will be enveloped by it. And as I sit here in my little corner on top of the hill waiting for that moment to arrive, I feel excited… as if I could already feel it around me. The cold air brush my cheeks and I shiver. The surroundings get darker and darker as the fog draws near. My excitement intensifies. I can now see it blanketing the houses below, the trees in front of me. I can smell the cool fragrant air slowly inching its way towards me. In my busy life, I always look forward to moments like this… when I can just stay still and enjoy the awesome creation of God.

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