Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running In The Rain

It has been over two months that I have not done my early morning run nor walk from work to my home since I had my injury. Though my doctor told me that he could not see any reason why I cannot run again he strongly advised me to take it easy and wait for my injured foot to heal. As hard as it was I tried my best to comply but I have noticed that since I now only exercise once a week I again became sleepy at work, worst even during my rest days. I told myself that I should go back to brisk walking or running again, even twice a week at least. Would you believe that my prayers have been heard as last Friday there were literally no jeeps available due to the heavy traffic. I had no choice but to walk all my way to work and mind you I was not late. I took that as a cue so after having fully rested on Saturday I woke up at about 4 am to prep myself for my Sunday aero at the park. Coincidentally it was also the day for my son's DOST scholarship exam so as I prepared for his breakfast I took time to do some warm ups. I did some stretching while I boiled water, fried a couple of sunny side ups and  "broiled tilapia" in case he wanted to eat some rice. When the food was ready I took a couple of sandwiches, drank my cereal and woke my son for his big day. As I readied myself and got dressed, I told him that I have to leave early because it was a Sunday and that I did not want to be late. Good thing my son understood what I meant and after telling him to lock the door properly, I hugged him tightly and said my goodbye.

As I left the building I have forgotten that it had been raining the past evening and much to my dismay the sky was a bit dark. I was thinking twice of getting an umbrella but I might be late again. The warm up exercises at the park usually starts at 5:30 am but recently it became thirty minutes early because of the rains. So instead of going back I went ahead and did my early morning run until I reached the terminal on route Bonifacio Global City. Luckily I came just in time before the group exercise started however at the middle of the aero, the rain started to fall and to my disappointment it did not stop until the pavement was drenched. I was tempted to curse at the rain but decided that once the downpour lighten a bit I might as well go home and accept the fact that I have to wait for next Sunday to visit the park again.

On my way home I managed to jog with a few fitness buddies and tried to exchange some light conversation before we separated. It was good to know that there were still people who find time to get fit that even the uncertain weather could not stop them from doing what they like best. Though I felt somewhat cheated that day I tried to make the most of what's left. The rain continued to fall and as I alighted from the jeep which passed by the market in front of the San Ildefonso Church I still took time to buy some bananas and squash. Funny I was thinking of that "broiled tilapia" that my son must have left untouched and unmindful of the pouring rain, ran myself to my heart's delight on my way home. I know for a fact that some onlookers may have wondered what had gotten into me especially with my gray hair and all but I did not really care. In all honesty it had been a long time since I had ran in the rain and though it was just a short run, I am glad I had the chance to do it again.


Life is too short to live with regrets anyway.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The International Beauty,Health and Wellness Expo

Perhaps we have heard not just once that to live a healthy life is a wealth in itself and that with age comes the wisdom that beauty cannot just be seen in the eyes of the beholder but from the inner peace that comes from within. Though some resort to traveling, going to the spa, or discovering a new restaurant to unwind and to handle stress, still a portion of the pie goes to those who want and choose to live a healthy lifestyle. And because such interests had grown through the years it is only but natural that a venue not only for health and beauty enthusiasts but for business minded individuals meet and gather every year to showcase the current trends and information that would help enrich the well being of those who advocate for it. 

My interests on fitness and well being had been sparked early mainly because of my family history. Information, updates, events and even tradeshows about health and well being always catch my interests each time I stumbled upon them online. Thus when I received an email that The International Beauty, Health and Wellness Expo will hold another event this year I did not think twice on writing about it.

Headed by  Ex-Link Events manager and trade show organizer Orly Ballesteros, The International Beauty, Health and Wellness Expo  (IBHWEX) offers international trade associations, manufacturer, exporters, importers and wholesalers the platform to launch their products in the Philippines. The event's main purpose is to create a venue for local buyers, manufacturers, suppliers to meet potential foreign partners, manufacturers and suppliers as well as to showcase the newest technology and products that can compete internationally. It also invites  not just the business players, beauty, health and wellness enthusiasts but the public as well to experience plus enrich their knowledge on this three day program slated this coming September 26-28,  2013 at the SMX Convention Center.

Interested parties may pre register at the event website. You can also view the program and scheduled events here. See you there!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Lampara Story Writing Workshop

I used to spend a lot of time reading. I had always loved to read ever since I learned how, in fact there was a time in high school when I read more than I studied my lessons, something that an observant friend and teacher who turned out to be bookworms had noticed. At first I thought it was just okay but when I started misplacing  my library cards, cramming on home works and school projects, worst paying fines for overdue borrowed books I slowly reduced my time reading on school days and just made up for it during vacations. Looking back I realized I never regretted any of it and given the chance I would do it again.

When I started working I spent less and less time reading books and even novels. Deprived of regular sleeping hours plus the demands of parenting and work contributed to it. The last time I had a chance to read was when I filed for a LOA due to my mom being hospitalized. In less than a week I got to finish two James Patterson books both given to my daughter who is a much more book addict than I am. I found out that I could still do fast reads and tell when some scenes are becoming predictable, even to the point when the author is drying up creatively that the story becomes dragging. Though my expectations after reading the books were not met, still I was thankful that I got to spend time  knowing, learning and meeting a new set of friends and characters in a world that I will never get tired of coming back.

I have long wanted to write a story, not the crime and legal fiction ones packed with action and conspiracy theories that I enjoy reading nor the adult love stories with all the relationships drama where my interests are no longer triggered. Ever since I had read the Harry Potter books and watched them all in film I learned that there was this child in me that had been awakened which helped me understand and cope the crazy life of being a parent to my seven kids. I realized that stories about kids, with all their craziness made me forget how cruel this world sometimes can be and why I decided and chose to look and see the world in the eyes of a child. I also know that in order to be an effective story writer I need to know at least some basics. Considering I never really had journalism subjects way back in high school nor took up a creative writing course in college, I only have this blog, family and friends to share my stories.

Coincidentally this coming Saturday, Lampara Books Publishing Inc  together with Precious Pages will hold a Children's Story Writing Workshop at the 2/F SMX Convention Center Meeting at RM 8, from 1-5 pm on Sept 14. 2013. A special treat is given to teachers, librarians and students where they get a 30% discount when they buy three books of any Lampara Books imprint and get a free ticket for the Lampara Story Writing Workshop. Take note that books should be bought at the 2/F  SMX Convention Center starting on Sept 11, 2013. This in connection with The 34TH Manila International Book Fair   event which will run from Sept 11-15, 2013.

Slots will be limited as the first 80 registrants will only be accepted. So if you are interested to join and learn from this Children's Story Writing Workshop go grab this opportunity. It is never too late to chase the dreams you thought you have missed. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Never Ending Thanks To Grandparents

Ever experienced being grounded by you own parent only to find out that the terms of discipline had changed? Personally I never did but if you ask my kids, they will attest that such incident did  not happen just once and that they are thankful they have my own mother to run to their rescue. Not that my mom meddled every now and then and even though my kids all grew up with her in the same household she had learned through the years when to let her presence felt and when to step back. Besides she knows how independent and hard headed her grandkids that taking a firm stand had helped a great deal in bringing them up with their feet planted on the ground.

Contrary to my kids upbringing, my grandmother( my dad's mom) had lived next door  where I only get to see her mostly during afternoons after school and who only visited us when she watched her favorite Sunday TV Mass. My sister and I  would fetch her favorite gardener, Cynthia, also a relative so she could water and take care of her plants. This grandma of mine had a green thumb and had lots of roses and bougainvilleas all lined up in pots. Funny what motivated me and my sister every afternoon to follow her orders was the incentive we got in fetching Cynthia, a ten centavo coin where we can get to buy our choice of candy. There was even a time that this grandma of ours gave me a raincheck for being included on the top five of my 1st grade class. A whooping 200 Php which I gave to my dad so he could keep it and just give me the money I needed each time I bought my favorite candy or bubble gum. 

On the other hand my mom's mom we call Lola Oyang was the independent and proactive grandma who we only visited during school breaks. She chose to stay in her hometown that we literally have to take two provincial busses and a ship to get there. And since traveling and having a vacation would entail a lot of money, we cannot visit her every year. I could recall visiting  her place three times, the last one being the saddest as that was the year she had crossed over.

My kids also never got the chance to see and be with any of their grandfathers and just like me, they grew up not knowing how it felt to have a grandfather by their side. Though they do have a grand uncle who they get to visit during Christmas, it never really mattered if they grew up without one. But there were days that they could not hide their excitement and longing when I told them stories about my dad, his lone brother who is still alive and who will return for a homecoming next year.They might have all grown up but the yearning could not be hidden especially with the knowledge that they still have a grand uncle that they would finally meet after all these years.

At times I ask myself where all the excitement and yearning come from considering they were lucky to have grandmothers who took care and watched over them since they were kids. Perhaps it is the fact that one can never get enough of being loved, appreciated, affirmed, remembered and taken cared of. A feeling of home, belongingness, accepted and nurtured that one will always look forward at the end of the day. An unforgettable, unexplainable feeling that will always remind you of childhood and all the happy and good memories that went with it. An unending smile that lighten one's face each and every time you think of them.

My Mom with my two sisters in law and some of her grandkids  

You know what I think of people who have known at least one grandparent in their lives? I think of them as blessed. It takes a lot of undying courage and love to look after ones' grandchildren despite the  unending battle with age, illness and empty nest challenges. At times grandparents chose to live longer because they know they are needed still, that some broken pieces of their lives needed to be fixed still and they knew that making it up with their grandkids is their ow special way to heal it.

This coming Sunday, September 8th is National Grandparents Day. Take time to greet them or any grandparent for that matter. A simple act like offering a seat, showing them directions, assisting them while they take the stairs mean a lot to them. One can never go wrong in thanking and remembering grandparents even in simple ways because they are such a blessing.

Lucky are we who have felt such love from our grandparents.