a thirtysomething's life musings

Location: Sorsogon City, Philippines

Monday, April 17, 2006

balay buhay

this very serene place in my beloved province of sorsogon, near the world-famous bulusan volcano and lake, is a paradise.

balay buhay is the venue for the monthly meeting of a group i belong to. it helps me a lot to relax. once you set foot in the property leading to the main big kubo you can't help not to be "transported" to a bygone time.

see for yourselves... check out the pics i took the last time i was there last march.

Monday, April 10, 2006

here are some of my books. some of these (like the right to privacy, the joys and challenges of motherhood, memories of midnight) are borrowed from family & friends. i'll make sure to return them before the year ends. =)

i can't think of any valid reason why it took me sooooo long to write here again. but my church work occupied my days. oops! my year, to be exact. i had no time to jot down even a line or two. now, i will not promise to do this regularly, as promises are made to be broken. look what happened before!

my books inspired me to write again. the last time i told you about my bestfriend's gifts for me arriving soon: the woman in white & a tree grows in brooklyn. they're now with me but i still haven't read them. same old reason...not enough time to indulge myself.=(

luckily (i think the universe always conspires with me...everytime i think of a book, it will definitely come my way in, not more than, three month's time...thanks GOD!), i was able to add to my collection by going to second-hand book sales here in my place.

i now have the golden notebook, on death & dying, pride & prejudice (read it long ago, borrowed it from a friend), etc. gotta go. i'll check some more of my stuff.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


i’m super stingy when it comes to almost anything. (it’s because i don’t have the riches to indulge, that’s why (hehe!). i can survive on Wendy’s side salad worth P20.00 as my lunch for days whenever i’m in Manila (my Papa scolded me when i told him about it! he cringed with the thought that i might end up in the hospital with that kind of frugal activity, hahaha!). however, when it comes to books, my funds (if i have them, once in a blue moon) get busted.

i have been wishing to get enough resources so i could buy my long-time-dreamt-of books. sadly, my ATM account has remained zero and no millionaire has yet thought of donating to me at least just a few thousands so i could treat myself at National Bookstore. or perhaps just a few hundreds. with that amount, i’m positive i’ll have the time of my life in Recto or Booksale browsing on some used books and eventually end up buying them. not like when I was in Evangelista a few years ago. i grabbed a few books yet they ultimately went back to their old familiar places with me ending up saying goodbye to them because I lack the essential dinero (huhuhu!).

luckily, some people are kind-hearted enough to share their books to other less fortunate bookworms like me. possibly they heard God’s prodding (i’m sure He heard my prayers) for them to deal out several for me except that i read about the manna too late already (another huhuhu!). below is my letter to Mr. Butch Dalisay (of The Philippine STAR) last year. (a reader of his, Diana (whom I mistakenly called Donna! ooopps!), decided to give out 10 boxes of books (!) to whoever can pick them up from her place and will use them for a good cause.)

24 November 2004

Dear Mr. Butch Dalisay,

I hope this will reach you when you’re feeling great so that you’ll be kind enough to accommodate me (hehehe!). I know this is late but I still want to try.

I regularly read your column in The Philippine STAR but due to my hectic schedule last week, I wasn’t able to open the newspapers even just to scan the pages. I work as a volunteer (as the secretary of the Commission on Media for Evangelization) here in my parish in Sorsogon City. Our parish priest is so active, with lots of good ideas for the parishioners’ welfare so I’m loaded with work to do.

That’s why I missed your column last week. Last Monday (22 November) I was ecstatic when you mentioned about the 10 boxes of books that Donna wanted to give away. But I was immediately devastated upon realizing that she might have sent them all to someone luckier than me. I just wish to have at least 1 box. I would be truly overwhelmed to receive such a treasure! What more the 10 boxes! That someone is sure a lucky mortal!

You see, Mr. Dalisay, I tremendously enjoy reading. Ever since I can remember, my siblings and I were fond of reading because our model is Papa. He was a correspondent for the old Manila Times (during the 60’s and 70’s). He was a former public elementary school teacher. He also worked as PIO for the former governor of Sorsogon, the late Juan G. Frivaldo. Now, he publishes a weekly newspaper here in our city. “Sorsogon Today” is now 28 years old and still counting.

I have many books although they will not total to a hundred. I don’t have enough money to buy even if I’m dying to buy all the books in my “priority” list. If I’m lucky to buy one it’s because the book was “on sale”. If I’m fortunate enough to be in Manila during the cut-price booksale of National Bookstore every September, I’m thrilled to bring home at least three (3) books or six (6) at the most. Almost all of my books were gifts from my friends, siblings and my sister-in-law who doesn’t wince to buy expensive books.

Veronika Decides To Die was given by Cel (my sis-in-law) because she adores Paulo Coelho and perhaps she got a hint that I’ve been dreaming to have that book after reading The Alchemist which she lent to me. I have Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements since I chanced upon it in a second-hand booksale here. Maybe I was destined to find it together with The Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood. Same as Tara Road (by Maeve Binchy) which I stumbled upon at SM City Bicutan. The Artist’s Way (by Julia Cameron) was a long-time dream of mine thus when it was put up on sale by NBS Glorietta one September I requested my friend who works in PNB-Ayala to buy it for me because I was here in Sorsogon that time.

Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self was given last year by my bestfriend who is now based in California. She also gave me Thich Nhat Hanh’s Anger (Wisdom for Cooling the Flames) and His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Live In A Better Way (Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness) last May. A few years ago she gifted me with Gary Zukav’s Soul Stories. One of my all-time favorites is Viktor Frankl’s Man Search for Meaning which I purchased at NBS for a minimal fee in the middle 90’s.

Until now I haven’t got A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I think I’m obsessed with it for six years now. My friend asked about its price from NBS the last time she was in Manila because I begged her to. Wow! P555.00 is too much for my pocket. I can’t afford it. Maybe I’ll chance upon it in a booksale somewhere. Same with The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. It’s out of stock according to NBS sales attendants. Perhaps I’ll be blessed one day and find it here in my city. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. I plan to buy The Golden Notebook (by Doris Lessing) one day when it will not make a dent in my wallet.

Mr. Dalisay, I hope I didn’t bore you. I just want you to pity me (hehehe!) and forward my email to Donna even if it’s too late already. I believe that I was meant to read your column last Monday even if I was up to my neck with things to do so that I could still try to ask for Donna’s treasures, even just a portion of it. (Donna, I hope you’ll realize how much your books will make me happy. Rest assured that I will cherish them until I’m gone. After I’m gone, I will give them as a “pamana” to my niece Mai (she’s 7 years old) who is a voracious reader, too.)

I think I have to end here and let you decide. If some of the books reach me, I’ll be very thankful to God and to the both of you. If not, I know I’ll be lucky next time someone wants to share their treasure to people who love to read. I wish many Filipinos, especially children, will discover the beauty of reading.

Thank you very much for your time. May the Lord always bless you and your families.

Mr. Dalisay replied soon after I emailed him. Read on...

hi, nadia and _____--i'm forwarding this letter from _____ to nadia ("diana"), hoping she can still do something, if anything about it.thanks for writing, _____, and for taking the time to share your wonderful experience of books with us. Let me see what i can do myself to help. i'm sure i have more than a few around the house that i can send over, when i find the time.

all best,
butch dalisay

at first I felt bad that i didn’t get any book. 3 pieces of them are enough to make me smile from ear to ear. however, it turned out that Diana (she emailed me, too) doled out the books to a husband and wife from Samar who will utilize the treasures in their future community library. i was relieved. the books will be used for a very noble purpose. my wish (at the last part of my letter to Mr. Dalisay) will definitely come true. more Filipino children could make use of them :-) as for Mr. Dalisay’s promised books, i hope to have them before the year ends. i guess i just have to make kulit (a little). maybe he forgot about it already coz he’s a very busy man. i just hope he could spare me several of his books in the nearest future. :-)

very recently my bestfriend asked me what stuff i want from her. with much hesitation (i don’t wanna look like i’m mukhang-pasalubong coz i’m not…she can attest to this, di ba Kycks? :-D) and with further prodding from her, i told her about my sought-after books. guess what? i now have my own copy of A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and The Woman In White !!! can’t wait to lay my hands on them & devour their pages once they arrive in June. thanks a lot, Bespren! love you! mmwwaahh!

a new adventure

this is a new adventure in my life. i've been thinking about doing this for so long but many hindrances came my way. i tried to do this some time last year, i think, in another site. but then i just posted maybe three times and then i got so busy that i forgot to post regularly...or maybe i just got lazy :-) this time, i hope to post frequently. i hope to maintain this for long...

anyway, this will just be a venue to express my thoughts...but i wish i'll be able to help someone (in any way) just by sharing my ideas here...