Friday, August 30, 2013

Twenty years ago...

Sometimes things happen around us and we wonder about our own life.  It is strange that many do not think too much about their past when things are going great.  I guess it is natural to be in the present and to think only of the future.

In general, I think a lot about the past and all the things that have happened.  I believe that it is therapeutic. Sometimes talking about it with another person (that you trust) can help tremendously. Reliving old wounds needn't always be painful. 

This happened to me. 

While sharing with a wonderful friend about the ghosts of my past and even some skeletons in the closet, I realised that they no longer hurt or bother me as they once did.  Bringing it up made me realise that I was no longer a prisoner of those feelings.  I had risen above them all.  Literally, they had no more hold on me.

Twenty years!!!

How far I have come since then?  The things that hurt me then didn't really do me any harm.  On the contrary, they made me stronger.  The people who claimed to love me then weren't always genuine but I got over it. Time always has a way of showing the true nature of everything and everyone.

Twenty years. It is a long time!  

Thankfully, I was very young when I found and pondered over this quotation.  I admit that because of it I have often thrown caution to the wind and said, "oh, what the heck!". 

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time;
it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

No regrets now.  Everything has worked out much better that I could have planned or imagined. Right this moment, I am feeling very blessed.  

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dust if you must!

Pic from FB

If I had to choose, I'd pick housework instead of office work.  If you've never had to work a regular 9 to 5 job, it would be easy to imagine that it is all glamour and nothing else.  Oh yes, it's easy to dress up, wear heels, get in the car, drive through crazy traffic and be seen as one of the movers and shakers of the world but the reality is far from that.  There are always deadlines to meet and a million things to remember.  It wasn't always fun and that's the reality of office work.
Housework, on the other hand, is something you either enjoy or hate.  I quite enjoy it.  I like seeing everything neat, clean and orderly. 
When I say I am staying home, people probably envision me with apron on, hair tied up and holding a feather duster in my hand.  They might also believe that I am in the kitchen preparing meals.  No, that is not how it is at all.
I dust only when I must.  I cook only when I'm in the mood. 
Nothing is ever set in stone in my home.  I do the essential cleaning but everything else is on a "need to be done" basis.  Life is too short to be spent looking for dust.   
So I dust only when I must! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Moving on

Pic from FB

It seems clear to me that who we were in the past is always dredged up by people unable to deal with the present.  Maybe the root cause of talking about it stems from being unhappy with how things are now.  Happy people just don't look backwards.  

One of the luxuries of being contented today is not having to dwell on what was and just enjoying what is.

Why then do people like to look back?  Even worse than just looking back is when facts of their former life are distorted. Changing, shaping and re-arranging stories have become essential as the air they breathe.

Our past is important.  When we learn to accept it for what it was, we can then appreciate the present.  Some people become better but most become bitter.

Pic from FB

Only then, will we have learnt the art of moving on.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just perfect...

When we hear of someone who has died in what we believe is before his time, we tend to stop and take stock of our own life.

When I did that, I reached a conclusion that my life is beautiful. In any case, I've had enough people saying this to me so I already know it is true.

It is a perfect life.  Perfect from my point of view and the only view that should matter.  

I was discussing life, death and the hereafter, with a dear friend via emails, and I wrote "It seemed to me that most people are afraid to say that their life is perfect already.  They are worried that if they say it is perfect then it cannot get better.  It can be perfect at that particular point in time."  

I added, "I like to think that my life is perfect today.  So is yours!  I see you so happy and contented and I think that's perfect.  If it doesn't get better, it's already perfect.  If it gets better, then, by golly, it's better than perfect.  A win-win situation, I think."

Someone's early demise shouldn't be the moment when we stop to think about our lives although I suppose it is a natural thing to do. However, I am now going to make a conscious effort to count my blessings each day and not wait for a catalyst.

I realise I have reached a certain point in my life where there is no longer any reason to prove I am happy. I just am and it's a beautiful life.  

Bon Voyage, Errol!  This one's for you!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


This exhibition touched me in a personal way for two reasons.  The main being that my uncle Rufino Soliano was featured as one of the Singaporeans who made a contribution to his country.  On another note would be that many of us still practise the Filipino culture of the young taking hold of the elder person's hand to kiss, upon meeting and greeting, as a form of deep respect.  Hence, this showcase of Hands is very meaningful.  From looking at the people who were there, it was plain to see that many were surprised to have been remembered.  For this reason alone, it is worth it.

Rufino Soliano is the patriach of the family and this word is used because he is the oldest of five brothers (Rufino, Antonio, Francisco, Mauricio and Maximo).

Last night as I went to bed, some words were twirling around and this morning I sat at my computer to write this before I forget any of it.
One of the notes from the
Memo Pool at the National Library
His Hands!

These are the hands
that conducted bands
in many foreign lands

These are the hands
that make amends
when no one understands

These are the hands
that have the strands
of love for all his friends

These are the hands
whose love withstands
in all of God's real plans

These are Rufino's hands!

Rufino in his Godfather's role!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

A twist in the tale

I don't know if I've ever made anybody cry by telling the truth.  I do know that it changed many things around my life when I was in primary school.

The first time that I doubted this advice of "telling the truth" involved answering a question.  

When I was twelve years old, a school friend asked me if I was her best friend.  Truthfully, I didn't know the meaning of best friend then. I just knew in my heart that she was a good friend and that was it.  She insisted that I answer and I told her the truth.  I said, "No, you're a good friend".  In turn, I asked her if I was her best friend and she said, "Yes".  

However, I was no longer her best friend after I told her the truth. We drifted apart and after a bit, we even stopped talking.  I have wondered about this many times.  Had I lied would it have changed the course of my life?  Would it have cost me anything to have said that she was my best friend when she wasn't?

I have often wondered about her and where she is today.  Maybe she won't even remember this incident.  Maybe it no longer matters to her that I said what she didn't like to hear.  But maybe she wonders about me and where I am today, as well.  I will never know.

Although I never gave it too much thought, the fact that telling the truth didn't work out so well taught me a lesson I will never forget.

Not everybody will appreciate it when you tell the truth.  

Saturday, August 03, 2013



It always boils down to this word "IF". If someone truly loves you, distance is not a problem.

The problem is that it's not IF, it's WHEN!  When someone truly loves you, distance is not a problem.


There were many sceptics about us because of the distance that used to separate us.  The naysayers warned me that I should be cautious.  They also warned Stephen that he deserved better. We were burdened by all the negative "ifs" generously shared by our well-meaning family and friends. Nobody cared to understand the real reasons that kept us apart.

When things turned around and we finally closed that 300 kilometer gap, the opposite happened and people speculated that it wouldn't work out.  We'd been apart for too long.  We'd find living together strange and it would be difficult, they said.  No one was more worried than we were. Yet, we knew that with love for each other, it would be okay.    

As it turned out, we are happier than we've ever been. We're more relaxed now after more than a year down the road.  We've ironed out all the kinks and everything is running smoothly!

Had we given in to the temptation of letting those doubts get to us, we wouldn't be here today!

"If" is only a word but we don't realise that it carries an uncertainty in it.  The better word is "when".

When someone truly loves you, nothing is a problem.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Zoned out on...

Pic from FB

Yesterday, while Stephen was resting after his night shift, I took a bus ride to Geylang, by myself. It's not an altogether long ride but being on my own with nobody to distract me, I actually found myself zoned out from all that was around me.  No thoughts were in my head.  No words were shared with anybody.  I felt so contented and at peace with everything. My guardian angel must have nudged me back to earth because I suddenly realised that I had to get down from the bus.

Stephen gave me perfect instructions and I found myself in an area that I recognised.  I headed for the Geylang Serai New market where we had a sumptuous dinner just two days ago.  Both of us enjoyed the meal and when we tasted the serunding (meat floss), it didn't disappoint.

So your Mission, Lita, if you choose to accept it, is to get more serunding and the blackout curtains which you saw.

I don't know if the mission was a success or a failure.  Success because I found so many lovely things to buy or failure because I ended up with more than I set out to get.

My backpack was filled to the brim and weighed a ton. Never shop on an empty stomach they say and it's true.  I bought so much to eat not realising there are only two of us.  Nothing was wasted though as Stephen took the remaining kueh-mueh to work.

What did I get?  

First, the non-perishable goods!
1 set of two pieces full-length blackout curtains at S$20 (usual price S$39)
1 batik dress for my MIL for Raya (why not?)
3 blouses for me (couldn't resist)
1 hand-held sewing device (so cute)

Now, the consumables!
2 packs of beef serunding (delicious!)
1 packet of prawn serunding (something new)
1 packet of putu piring, consisting of 5 pieces! (the best I've had)
1 packet of seri muka
1 packet of kuih bingka
1 packet of kuih dadar
1 packet of roti jala and chicken curry
1 packet of nasi beriyani
All pictures from the WWW.

HOMAIGAWD, we had a feast!!!