Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eerie Night

It’s only few days left before Halloween. Spooky stuff and Halloween costumes abound in Malls.   TV channels are showing timely features about ghosts, life after death incidents and eerie experiences just like what is shown on a local TV morning show I was watching a while ago.  That brings to mind a weird incident I encountered at a friend’s wake many years back.  Here’s what happened:

A friend of mine (actually, she was a sister of a close friend) committed suicide by shooting herself at her heart one early dawn.  She was 40 and single and has 10 siblings most of which have families of their own. Having considered myself very close to her sister and to her, I opted to spend the first whole night of the wake with the siblings to show my sympathy. Yes, with the siblings! Or so I thought!  Early that night, most of the relatives were present but at around midnight, I realized that we were only three left inside the big funeral room. The two other people who remained along with me were mutual friends who has no relation with the departed friend except being close friends.  For us, it looked like it wasn't right but couldn’t do anything but to carry on with the vigil.   We just played some card games to while the time away and to avoid getting sleepy. . The huge funeral room was so quiet.  Not a single sound could be heard except the low hum of the aircon. The three of us were too engrossed with our game when all of a sudden, we heard a very loud thud that appeared to be someone has dragged and dropped one of the long heavy pews fronting the casket. We were somehow terrified but no one made the slightest move.   We chose to ignore and went on with our game.  "It could just be sound from the outside” our male companion rationalized.  “Okay, just don’t mind it.  It's nothing.  Let’s continue with the game!” We girls seconded trying to brush our fears away.  After  only few minutes, the silence in the room was broken again by another disturbing sound. This time resembling the sound produced by someone coughing out a lump from her throat.  We were stunned!  Horrified!  We looked at each others eyes trying to sense each one.  I had goose bumps and found out we all had.  Each very well knew where the coughing sound came from.  Yet, our male friend still investigated the surroundings. No one was around. It was only us.  I froze at my seat while our male friend walked straight to our friend lying in the coffin after he's done investigating the premises.  He talked to her as if she was alive. “Please don’t scare us dear friend. We are the only people here with you now as all your siblings have gone home.  You know Ate Beng is sick, but chose to sacrifice the night with you. And “friend” and I have office work tomorrow but doesn't mind the inconvenience of sleeplessness just for you.  Now, if you’re gonna scare us again you might be left alone here. I don’t think you’d want that to happen. So please refrain from doing that again.”   
After that, nothing eerie followed. We managed to stay awake for the vigil all through the night 'though we were somehow horrified. 

The morning after, the siblings and  relatives came in, one after another looking well rested.,  fresh and lively.  For a moment, I thought I was the relative and they, the friends!

...How could I forget?!

Note:  I later learned that in her last breath, that was the exact sound they heard from her. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Enjoy life while you can

I know most of you are young if not very young.  As some of you could  be my child, my niece/nephew or even my grandchild (ugh!).  Sorry that you may find this boring.   However, time will come that this will matter to you too! Oh yes, I'm sure of that!  Because  no one escapes getting old.  Unless you die young! 

The Secrets of Old Age

Before middle age – Do not fear!
After middle age – Do not regret!
Enjoy Your Life While You Can
Do not wait til you cannot even walk just to be sorry and to regret.
As long as it is physically possible, visit places you wish to visit.
When there is an opportunity, get together with old classmates, old colleagues & old friends. 
The gathering is not just about eating; it’s just that there is not much time left.
Money kept in the banks may not be really yours.
When it is time to spend, just spend, treat yourself well as you’re getting old.
Whatever you feel like eating, just eat!  It is most important to be happy.
Food which are good for health – eat often and more but that is not everything.
Things which are not good for health – eat less once a while but do not abstain from them totally
Treat sickness with optimism.  Whether you are poor or rich,
everyone has to go through the birth, aging, sickness and death.  There is no exception, that’s life. 
Do not be afraid or worried when you are sick.
Settle all the outstanding issues before hand and you will be able to leave without regret.
Let the doctors handle your body, God handle your life, but be in charge of your own moods.
If worries can cure your sickness, then go ahead and worry.
If worries can prolong your life, then go ahead and worry.
If worries can exchange for happiness, then go ahead and worry.
Our kids will make their own fortune.
Look After Four Old Treasures
1.     Your old body – pay more attention to health, you can only rely on yourself in this.
2.     Retirement funds – money that you have earned, it is best to keep them yourself.
3.     Your old companion – treasure every moment with your other half, one of you will leave first.
4.     Your old friends – seize every opportunities to meet up with your friends,   Such opportunities will become rare as time goes by.
Everyday you MUST smile and laugh

Running water does not flow back.  So is life, make it happy!
Life ends; when you stop Dreaming,
Hope ends; when you stop Believing,
Love ends; when you stop Caring,
And Friendship ends; when you stop Sharing. 

Source: Forwarded e-mail

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lunch at Leslie's Tagaytay

One Sunday a couple of weeks ago, we brought my Mil to Tagaytay and to Caleruega.  Although the family has just been there few months back, I thought she’d love those places so off we went along with my family.  We drove straight to Leslie’s for lunch, as the big kiddos long wanted to try the popular resto.  We reached the place at noontime and it’s already full packed.  We had to queue in for our turn to be seated.  I had my name listed and we were number 4. After few minutes, I was surprised to find more groups queuing after us. Hmmn..I was intrigued!  What makes this place click?
Fortunately, the queuing didn’t take too long though the orders took eons before they are served.  Waiting was compensated by the breezy surrounding and the magnificent view of Taal Volcano.  Mil requested for Bulalo because she wanted something hot.  But what she got was a lousy, very slightly heated soup.  We returned the fare and asked for a boiling hot soup.  The waiter politely agreed with yes ma’am, ..okay ma’am.. and so Mil was glad!  In no time, the Bulalo came back! … Alas! with nothing changed.  It’s still the same “not so hot” soup.  Duh!  Mil was too hungry to wait another while, so she just accepted and didn’t argue with the inept waiter anymore.

Now I really wonder what makes this restaurant click! If I would be asked to rate this restaurant, from 1 to 10 the latter being the highest, I’d give it a 4 or even a 3.  First of all the service wasn't good and the food was absolutely not good either. Prawns in butter and garlic sauce have raw garlic in them.  Shouldn’t it be cooked so that the natural flavor of the garlic would mix with the butter and prawns as well?  I was disappointed with the cooking but I was more disappointed with the prices.  They have a vantage view of the Taal Lake and Volcano alright, but we’ve seen many other restos that have equally great view and ambiance yet not as expensive. Other than that, all I saw were below par.  I mean, for a restaurant to command such high a price, ain’t it expected that everything they have be of par excellence?  Or if not, everything just be in proper order!  I’m sorry that I have to vent my disappointments here!

Leslie's Menu
Leslie's extension hall.
 Bulalo Soup.

 Prawns in garlic and butter. .
Fried Chicken.

Lechon Kawali

Laing: (Taro leaves in coconut milk) 

The faucet props at the rest room.

The view at Leslie's.

Right after our lunch, we crossed the fence to the adjacent Starbucks.  The big kiddos took out cappuccinos then we proceeded to Caleruega in Batangas.  Having explored every nook and cranny of the scenic place before, it wasn’t as much interesting like the first time we saw the place.  But for Mil, I thought she’d appreciate the beautiful landscape for it’s her first time there.  But I was disappointed when all she wanted was to go home right away.  She said she was afraid that the cool breeze would be bad for her weak health. No amount of explanation made her change her mind.  Nothing we could we do but abide.

The live manequin positioned in front of Starbucks.
The view at the backyard of Sarbucks.

The arch that divides Tagatytay and Batangas

Caleruega's walkway.

Pond of Koi Fingerlings.

Attractive Kois

We passed by the Mahogany Market for low-priced  Batangas beef.  I never wanted to miss the beef  there because it is 20-30% cheaper than in Metro manila.   Then we trekked the long dusty road to the Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farm for some healthy honey. Sadly though, there's a limit to only two small jars to be bought. They have little stocks left and they want to give all who visit a chance to buy the very pure honey. Oh well..

There goes my late posting. Late because this happened two weeks ago and late because it’s really, really late now to catch my forty winks for the night.

See you guys and do take care!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trip to the Mall turned out to be trip to the ER

It’s not even from my farthest thought that our supposed shopping would turn out to be a trip to the ER. Last Tuesday on our way to the Mall, I was taking care that my M-i-l won’t stumble as we walked on the side of the road to get an FX taxi ride. With much caution, we were walking on what I thought is the safe side of the SM mall's terminal but I was shocked when I was hit from behind by a public utility jeepney.  That made the two of us fall to the pavement. My right foot was crushed and couldn’t pull from under the tire. It was like decades for me before the driver backed off because I was in severe pain screaming. The next thing I knew, I was being pushed in a wheelchair to the SM Mall’s clinic. Two nurses attended to me right away, one in a nurse uniform and the other in scrub top.  I noticed how skillful they were in providing first aid treatment apart from being very concerned to our condition.
After being given first aid, I was rushed to the nearby hospital in the jeepney that hit us.  We were still assisted by one of the nurses, the SM mall’s Building administrator and the guard that was pushing my wheelchair. At the ER, I was immediately attended to by doctors and nurses in scrub clothing. X-ray procedures were done and the result showed no broken bones, only deep abrasions and muscle contusions. My M-i-l incurred broken upper lip, yet I’m still thankful that it wasn’t her that got the brunt of the mishap. I still can’t walk normally, yet I’m truly grateful that we escaped a more serious injury.

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