Photo-a-Week Challenge: SOMETHING NEW

Thanks to a Photo a Week Challenge prompt: SOMETHING NEW.

And self did do something new: She went home.

Not only did she go home, she went one better and returned to her Dear Departed Dad’s home island of Negros Occidental.

She stayed with cousins.

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7th Floor, Belles Artes Condominiums, Galo cor. GV & Sons Street

She saw, for the first time in six years, the house where her Dear Departed Dad grew up, the Daku Balay:

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Daku Balay, 50 Burgos Street, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, The Philippines

In Bacolod, she had the most delicious pizza! Here, smoked bangus pizza and basil pizza:

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Café Oscar, Galo Street (Ground Floor, Belles Artes Building), Bacolod City

Great trip.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

The Great Gilda Cordero-Fernando

(Read all the way to the end; this post has many digressions)

Re-reading a fantastic short story, “Hothouse,” by Gilda Cordero-Fernando, a mimeographed copy of which self just pulled from a closet overflowing with old files.

Thank you, Jennie and Marie Kondo for inspiring self to organize! She had to drop everything and leave for Manila for two weeks, supposedly Dearest Mum Read the rest of this entry »

A Photo-A-Week Challenge: TRADITIONS

This week’s Photo-A-Week Challenge asks us to “share photos showing a tradition you have.”

Self is visiting Dearest Mum in Manila. Been a whirl of activities, since there are many people to see.

She had a small get-together with her college classmates, and lunch with one of Dearest Mum’s oldest friends, Tita Ateta Gana.

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College Reunion: Fely J’s, Greenbelt 5, Makati

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Tita Ateta Gana and her daughter Tessa treated self and Dearest Mum to lunch at Romulo’s

Finally, self’s  headboard back home in Redwood City: made by a metallurgical engineer, to self’s own design: an atis tree!

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Self’s headboard in Redwood City, CA: Made in the Philippines

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday Photo Challenge, Week 176: FALL

To self, FALL means changing weather and fading summer flowers.

It is rainy season in Manila, which means grey skies:

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Self loves the light:

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As the weather turns, the hydrangeas on self’s front porch are starting to fade:

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Hydrangeas on Front Porch, September 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: WATER

The prompt is WATER IN NATURE.

Clearly self hasn’t been spending much time outdoors because she had to go all the way back to May, in Prague, to find pictures of a body of water.

So, here are three pictures of Prague’s Vltava River, from the trip she took with her niece, Irene, end of May. All these pictures were taken during one beautiful Sunday. She wouldn’t have thought of posting them (She likes to post her travel pictures IN REAL TIME. Which is to say: as they are occurring) but she was going through her photo archives and, well, a river is a natural body of water.

A local told her that in Prague one could never be lost. And he was right! As long as you see a bridge, you can orient yourself. Luckily, the city’s not that big.

And besides, the city is so beautiful. So why be in such a hurry to get to your destination? Just relax, enjoy discovering new streets.

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Families Enjoying Sunday on the Vltava River, Prague, Late May

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Hiring Pleasure Boat on the Vltava River

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The Vltava: Giving the Seine a Run For Its Money

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

“The Dreaming Spires”

Self is still on Ch. 7 of Stephen Westaby’s Open Heart. It’s a very gripping chapter. Everything unfolds in Oxford, hence “the dreaming spires” (repeated twice in this chapter, the editor must have really liked the expression).

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  • It was almost 8:00 a.m. The summer sun shone brightly on the dreaming spires. I left Katsumata to close the chest and went to warn the ICU about the impending arrival. Something different. For the next twelve hours, Julie’s critical period, she would have no pulse.

As Westaby explains in the previous paragraph, pulse “was much less important than blood flow . . . it didn’t matter whether the blood had pulse or no pulse in it. Flow was the key.”

Further on Julie’s condition:

  • Her kidneys had quit. She would need dialysis for a few days. And she was a little yellow. The liver was suffering as well. By most criteria, she had been dead. But we hoped she would live now. Good or what?

Self would say Julie just won the Lotto. Because Westaby was paged, and because he was willing to come in despite not being on call.

He goes to the patient’s anxious family and they can read his expression: despite “mask dangling down and blood on my theater shoes, I looked pleased.”

Whew! What an event! Like a real battle, and the outcome: “Julie was still alive.” The doctor’s not sure about brain damage, though.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

“A Good Wife and Mother”: Rosario Ferré

The day of my debut as a writer, I sat at my typewriter for a long time, mulling over these thoughts. Inevitably, writing my first story meant taking my first step toward Heaven or Hell, and that made me vacillate between a state of euphoria and depression. It was as if I were about to be born, peering timidly through the doors of Limbo. If my voice rings false or my will fails me, I said to myself, all my sacrifices will have been in vain. I will foolishly have given up the protection which, despite its disadvantages, at least allowed me to be a good wife and mother, and I will justly have fallen from the frying pan into the fire.

Recommended Reading: Rosario Ferré’s short story, The Youngest Doll, from the collection of the same name

Milkman, p. 39

Three sons are abandoned by their parents. It happens this way:

  • They had written a note, said the neighbours, but had forgotten to leave it; indeed primarily they had forgotten to write it and so had written it then forwarded it back from their undisclosed destination when they reached it, not deliberately undisclosed but because they hadn’t time or memory or understanding to put a sender’s address at the top. According to the postmark it was not just a country over a water, but a country over many, many waters. Also, they forgot their former address, the house they’d lived in for twenty-four years ever since getting married until twenty-four hours earlier when they left.

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Self: Guilt is a country. Sometimes in order to go forward, one must have a memory wipe.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Cousin’s Farm, Oliva Dos, near the town of Murcia in the Central Philippines

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Near Murcia, Negros Occidental, the Philippines

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Path cleared for a tractor, Oliva Dos, near Murcia

Self lived the first 20 years of her life without knowing there was another Murcia. In Spain.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

CHARLIE CHAN IS DEAD, Vol. 1

For the workshop this weekend, re-reading some old stories to show different ways of writing memoir. In particular, thinking of a story called Lenox Hill, December 1991, which Jessica Hagedorn included in the anthology Charlie Chan is Dead.

When Jessica contacted self to solicit a piece, self had nothing, nothing, nothing.

Her sister had died just the month before. She did keep a diary, though.

The diary became the story. The first story in what later become a cycle of grief stories: Mayor of the Roses (Miami University Press)

For a while, a course called Ethics in Medicine, taught at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, included the story in their syllabus.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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