Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: ‘Z’ Anywhere in the Word

Self’s word is AMAZING.

Here’s a picture of something son left behind in his room. He attended college in Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. His freshman dorm was Muir, the Math and Sciences dorm. He moved to shared housing for his sophomore year, but his third and fourth years at Cal Poly, he was back in Muir — as an RA, or Resident Assistant.

When he graduated, the crowd that attended commencement included a group of students who had all gone through Muir and had the good fortune (they said) to have son as an RA.


Excavating Son’s Room: Amazing Discovery

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SWEET: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 14 February 2018

  • This week, show us something (or someone) sweet. — Cheri Lucas Rowlands, The Daily Post

Self thinks this picture of Dearest Mum and Dear Departed Dad qualifies. She found it today when she was browsing through some old photo albums.


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Beloved 2: From Self’s Recent Trip to Manila, January 2018


First cousin on mother’s side: Maitoni Cu-Unjieng


Home-Cooked Food, with Lots of Fried Garlic


Self is named after this iconic Filipino soup from the central Philippine islands: Batchoy

Beloved: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 31 January 2018

Can you believe January 2018 is over? Self can’t.

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is BELOVED.

We’re asked to “share a photo of something that is dearly loved.”

Here are a couple:

Museums. Self loves museums. This one is a picture of the last museum she visited, in the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in Manila (founded 1611):


The Art and Natural History Museum, University of Santo Tomas

Another thing self loves is history. And the University of Santo Tomas having been founded in 1611, there’s a lot of history there. Here’s the Main Building:


Main Building, University of Santo Tomas

Last but not least, she loves her son. Here she is with him, in a picture taken about 10 years ago. He lives in southern California and last October married a wonderful girl, Jennie, who hails from New Mexico:


Andrew and Self at the Beach Chalet off the Great Highway, in San Francisco. The picture was taken approximately 10 years ago.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


#amwritingfiction: “The Hole Over the Islands”

Self is really crushing the writing. This is her 2nd story in two days.



It must be her recent trip to the Philippines.

No, it must be her recent trip to London and the Philippines.

No, it must be her recent trip to Paris and London and the Philippines.

No, it must be her recent trip to Ireland and Paris and London and the Philippines.


The following story is true.

You probably know that Filipinos are considered very spiritual people. Imelda Marcos was quoted as saying that the spiritist attribute that Filipinos have is due to the direct connection of the Philippines with a black hole directly over the islands. Or something like that. Well, this story has something to do with ghosts and spirits.

Back in 1982 (or so), during All Saints Day (or is that All Souls’ Day?), our family decided to contact my Dear Departed Dad by playing ‘spirit of the glass.’

‘Spirit of the glass’ is kind of like a Ouija Board, but instead of a disc, it uses an upside-down glass.

(Story to be continued. Stay tuned)

Silence: Antonio Vivencio del Rosario Heritage Library, University of Santo Tomas, Manila

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge (as of 17 January 2018) is SILENCE.

I love having time to myself — solitude re-charges me . . .  I had never really immersed myself in a long stretch of silence beyond my occasional hour-long meditation sessions. I went to this hermitage on a silent retreat for uninterrupted, unstructured time to think, to walk, to read, and just be.

— Cheri Lucas Rowlands, The Daily Post

The University of Santo Tomas is the oldest university in the Philippines. It was founded in 1611.

During a recent three-week sojourn in Manila (city of her birth), self had the privilege to drop by the University a visit. Her first stop: the Antonio Vivencio Historical Library, named after self’s great-grandfather.

How her heart ached to see these precious books, 30,000 volumes (which had been carried out of Intramuros by hand, just before the Battle for the liberation of Manila, at the end of World War II).

If she could, she would happily spend the rest of her days in that library.

But she is back now in San Francisco. When will she return to Manila? Who knows.

The answer is: SILENCE.



Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Philippine Splendor in Makati

Whenever the breeze shivers the trees outside the window, self gets such a thrill:


With Dearest Mum in Ecology Village, Makati

Dearest Mum’s writing desk is a collection of disparate objects:


Love these old reliquarios that Dearest Mum has scattered about:


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Weathered 2: Still Manila


Alice, Who’s Been Working for Tito Tony (with the cane) and Tita Aida Since Forever!


The Manila Metro Light Transit (MRT) is very old and quite weathered. Here it is, above the main artery of Metro-Manila, the perpetually traffic-choked Epifanio de los Santos (EDSA)


Son at Seven: Picture in a (Quite) Weathered Frame


Weathered: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 10 January 2018

This week, show us the effect of time and the elements.

— Krista Stevens, The Daily Post

The desk in Niece Georgina’s quarters in Dearest Mum’s house in Makati, the Philippines. Old photos of Dear Departed Dad and sundry folk:


Pictures of the Passed On and the Very Much Alive: Dearest Mum’s House, Makati, the Philippines

The bed in Dearest Mum’s spare bedroom, with kulambo (mosquito net) and handbag tree, conveniently right next to the four-poster:


Four-Poster Bed, Makati, the Philippines: January, 2018

Niece’s pocketbook collection. She has great taste in reading matter!


Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Growth: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 3 January 2018

In this first week of the year, many people anticipate beginnings, changes, and opportunities for growth. Share with us an image that evokes this spirit of change and newness — the smile of a new friend, a freshly planted garden, an empty journal waiting to be filled.

— Jen H., The Daily Post

Self is in Manila for the first time in a number of years, and what she loves most about it is the fact that even in the smallest pocket gardens, the plant life is so fecund. Below, three examples:




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