Great Miracles

Despite sad events, unfulfilled dreams and frustrations, still, I believed I had lived my life happily last year, and looking back, I should say, 2012 had been a very good year for me. I have so many reasons to thank God for performing big miracles in my life never mind if some of my wishes did not come true (maybe it's not for me). 

I encountered so many good people, generous friends and nice colleagues, my parents and siblings are in excellent conditions, we are mentally and emotionally healthy, our place was spared from the deadly typhoon, Pablo. I finished my academic subjects in the graduate school with excellent marks, I am safe and healthy and I did not encounter trouble in the workplace. These are great miracles that happened in my life in 2012 to which I am very grateful.

Last Christmas, I wasn't able to return home and had to spend it with my friends. We'd a pre-Christmas lunch at Grub Resto Cafe along Illustre street, it was a Christmas treat by Kathy Dacanay, it was a nice get-together with good friends, Juvy, Roy, Darlene and Kathy, we enjoyed the foods, the ambiance was fantastic, almost residential, at Grub, you can feel the comfort and serenity of a simple and quiet home.

With Kathy and Juvy
Foods at Grub Resto Cafe

I returned home on the 26th, I left Davao at 6:00 in the morning and arrived in our place at 3:00 in the afternoon. It was a long travel and as we passed along Compostela Valley and Agusan provinces, I saw the devastation left by the typhoon, it was horrible and very sad, just could not imagine the pain and sufferings experienced by the people there, so terrible. That's why there are plenty of reasons to thank God for continue protecting us. Prayer is such a powerful thing to hold on when times get tough.

When I reached Marihatag, it was raining, the environment was dark and cold due to another typhoon, Quinta. All through out December until New Year, our place did not experience a sunny weather but still I enjoyed my brief stay there. There's nothing more extraordinary than be with your family during the holidays.

One thing I loved about returning home is the essence of family bonding. The feeling of being loved and comforted unconditionally by parents, siblings, relatives and friends, the genuine happiness and laughter, sharing good memories, it's so priceless I don't have time to think about my own emotional struggle and worries in life. Their attention and support are enough to say that I am loved and blessed.

Pesto Fettuccine I prepared last New Year
Green Tea plants in our small backyard

On January 1, together with my mother and brother, I visited my maternal grandmother, she is already 93 years old but her memory is still very active. I missed my Lola, she took care of us when we're still young, I had the best childhood memories with her, when I was still in my teens, I often spent my vacation with her and grandpa (he died in 2004), she cooked exceptionally, I tasted the best native delicacies in life through her expertise.

Upon our arrival, she instantly recognized me. She's still the same person I used to know despite her frail age: warm and thoughtful. I inherited my grandmother's skin, she has a Chinese-Spanish blood, thus, having a fairer  complexion.

With my 93-year-old maternal grandmother. She has still a good vision, I just let her wear my sunglass for this shoot hehe

It was a satisfying holiday break indeed. I was able to spend good times with my family and some relatives and friends, we had a wonderful New Year celebration and everyone was in a festive mood. I requested a Berenghe (rice cooked in yellow ginger and coconut milk) a specialty of my paternal grandmother (she died in 2005 at the age of 98), but my mother did not get it right hehehe anyway that was a good try, we ended up laughing.

My mother cooked another kakanin, Rice Puto and I cooked a quite modern recipe--Pesto Fettuccine--which did not suit well to the taste of provincial people hehehe, they find it very strange. Pesto Fettuccine is an Italian recipe, I love cooking so I collected different recipes and tried it at home whenever I can.

I went back to Davao on the 3rd of January because we've our annual recollection on the 5th. There was a slight sadness when I left our place, I missed my family. There's something deep inside longing to be with them for a long time. Hope I can visit this summer again.

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