Sunday, April 17, 2016

April showers, finally

Image sent by Carmencita Sipin Aspiras

In the part of Baguio where we live (15 minutes away from the central business district without traffic), we have been experiencing daily afternoon rains, including one heck of a thunderstorm, since April 15. We, the home-bound family members, could almost hear the plants and trees going glug glug glug as they soak in and store the water. The rains last, like the trip to our neighborhood to and from town, 15 minutes tops, enough to cool the air for Baguio has also been feeling the stifling humid air that lowlanders complain about.

I received a lot of encouraging feedback from blog readers about my April 12 entry here about watching our grandchild and the garden grow. Psychologist Yoya Bulatao, who I finally met at a Fully Booked writing workshop that Neni Sta. Romana Cruz and daugher Aina organized over a year ago, cited my grandchild Kai as "the most interesting flower of all."

Pianist Carmencita Sipin Aspiras wrote from far California, which has not been spared of drought, and shared the above photo that warms me to the tip of my toes as I like to write with feet unshod. She wrote: "What a refreshing topic! And so apt for Spring. Lucky Kai will blossom into a beautiful person as she is nourished by your and Rolly's love in the form of a lovely garden." The image she sent me looks like an illustrated cross-stitched quotation.

Thank you, Heavenly Gardener, for listening to our pleas for rain.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bird of spring

Brother Junic sent these pictures of a bird of spring feeding itself in his garden in always cold Calgary, Canada. Brother briefly visited us for close to a month to be with our mother in her time of need. Now that he's back with his family, we are grateful for both his brief presence and now the void he left behind because the latter will remind us there'll be homecomings to look forward to. Like the bird who always finds his way home.

Nice photos, bro. I post it at the time of day, before 6 a.m., when the birds of the Philippines are also wakening to the hint of sun.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Watching them grow

These days, our Not So Wee One Anymore, a.k.a. Kai, often refuses to smile for or look at the camera. "That is not polite," she says with an accompanying "Hmmmph!" And then she stomps her foot like a Baguio version of the Queen of Hearts, and I can almost hear her imaginary soldiers marching towards me to take off my head.

On my visits to Baguio, I like taking pictures of how my husband Rolly's garden, dedicated to our grandchild, is developing. Yes, developing like the person to whom it is being tended for. Scanning my files, I saw how they (Kai, Rolly and the once secret garden) have grown, too, in years. It's the spot of paradise we are proud of in our home where the grandpa can be found as soon as the sun is up, picking up dried leaves or snipping branches here and there with his pruning scissors or bare hands (careful there!). Grandchild offers to water the plants or just walk around, acting as my spotter and telling me what closeup pictures to take.

I'm posting these since we are approaching Earth Day which is observed worldwide on April 22. Gardens may be a luxury during this time of El Niño when farmers and their families are making their parched voices and grumbling stomachs heard, often to indifferent government officials. Now, don't get me started. I don't want to meander just yet to another subject as hot as the sweltering summer sun is.

Meanwhile, how green was our garden then. I used the past tense there with hopes that The Heavenly Gardener (Our Father in heaven) would send some refreshing rain soon.

Photos by Babeth Lolarga

Monday, April 11, 2016

The face of five

I have a writing coach, and she doesn't know it. Her name is Lorianne DiSabato. Although I am just an avid follower of her blog found in, I can sense when her mood takes a dip like when she wrote in her latest piece what happens when she stays away from her journal too long. She feels "rusty when I return, having forgotten the route a feeble, circuitous thought takes from brain to hand then onto the page."

My life's circumstances force me to write in almost desperado fashion for a living, especially now with illness pervading in the room where I dwell in the lowlands. My other means of sustaining the freelance writing is trying to infect older children and teens with a love of and lust for the word. These have taken me away from this space where I like to chronicle, among other subjects, the growth of my grandchild.

Makeup time came early today as I reviewed the contents of my digicam and found these selfies taken by my now five-year-old Kai on her birth week. She may sue me for invasion of her privacy when she comes of age, but by then, I'll be past caring. Hey kid, this grandma still is in love with you. Friend Rita Ledesma likes to quote the author Anne Lindbergh who once said that grandchildren are the love affair of old age.

And mine is intense! Happy birth month, Tweetie Pie!

Daytime selfie

Our "fivester" at night with just the light of a lamp

This picture of Japanese fried rice taken at the Baguio Country Club's Hamada is my reminder to Kai the Not So Wee One Anymore to eat heartily.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Meet the foremost champion on radio–and now on cable TV–of Filipino classical music artists

Bert Robledo talking about his mission for Filipino classical music artists before his stroke. Those who would like to contribute to his medical fund can email his daughter Celine Robledo Fonacier for the bank details at or go to this site:

Meet the foremost champion on radio–and now on cable TV–of Filipino classical music artists

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Making history at UP’s FC

When the university rebuilds what was lost, it would be wise to listen to the voices of its stalwarts, those who used to walk the corridors of FC with a scholar’s, and a child’s, curiosity. Remember them for making history, for fighting a worthwhile fight against a fascist state and for holding on to the good.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

Three sopranos who’re lovely in and out

The three women are the featured artists in the concert “Divas: The Beauty of the Soprano Voice” on April 9 at 7:30 p.m., at Ayala Museum in Makati City.
They go by the old definition of “diva,” which Wikipedia states as “a celebrated female singer; a woman of outstanding talent in the world of opera and by extension, in theater, cinema and popular music.”

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Anna Migallos

Renee Michaela Fajardo

Myramae Tapia Meneses