A New Year



Hello Home!  Happy New Year!  Happy 2014!

I found this postcard (thank you to the owner) and thought that this would be a good way to start another year.

From Ground to Home was active last year (thanks to you!).  We should have named it from Home to Ground though, hahaha!

I am still a series of starts and stops, wanderings, here, there, nowhere, planted, drifting, going around in circles big and small.

But, hoping to be more present, doing things with Love this 2014.  




Weekly Photo Challenge : One >>> The Stare


One Dog

Every good photograph needs a focal point. It’s the thing that draws the viewer’s eye and tells the story.

Meet Kira, with her look of unconditional love.  Nothing beats that.


For more of this week’s Photography Challenge, go HERE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be light


Weekly Photo Challenge: Let there be light Yolanda (International Name Typhoon Haiyan) took my muse … I got it back today.

Christmas is just around the corner.

Filipinos will celebrate it, no matter what state we are in.

Maagang Maligayang Pasko sa inyong lahat.


For other perfect “Let there be light” pictures, check out this link:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/photo-challenge-lights/

MUSIC FRIDAY : I’ll See You In My Dreams (Concert For George)



I have been away for a long time.  Two months is a long time.  My last post was Music Monday.  It would be just right if I will re-start with music, this time though, and only for this time, it will be Music Friday.

There are just some days during the year when I can’t breathe.  Today is one of them days.

We remember.  Today.  Everyday.  Every heartbeat.  We remember.

Lonely days are long
Twilight sings a song
All the happiness that used to be

Soon my eyes will close
Soon I’ll find repose
And in dreams
You’re always near to me

I’ll see you in my dreams
Hold you in my dreams
Someone took you right out of my arms
Still I feel the thrill of your charms

Lips that once were mine
Tender eyes that shine
They will light my way tonight

I’ll see you in my dreams

Lips that once were mine
Tender eyes that shine
They will light my way tonight
I’ll see you in my dreams

They will light my lonely way tonight
I’ll…see you in my dreams

LOVE always.


 Dear Home,

Thank you for keeping our site up and updated.  Can’t promise I will not disappear again.  But I will always come back – that is a promise.  I will still run away.  I will still escape.  I will still hide.  I will still wander.  Maybe until the end of my days.

Hope you and Mr G are enjoying the A break 

The Cleaning Lady loves PH: When Shopping in Manila


Mabuhay!  Shopping in Manila? Drop by Kultura for quality goods and souvenirs.
Don’t you just love Smiley?  He shows a sample of the smiles you will get when you visit our country.  If you are Pinoy and looking at this blog,  please repost for sharing.  Salamat.


Hola, Ground!

I started my Christmas shopping already … was on a look out for canvas bags to promote recycling, instead of using plastic bags and got a lot with the theme Philippines.

We went light shopping at SM Aura and enjoyed looking at the wonderful, beautiful stuff (Proudly made in the Philippines) at Kultura. They are now bedecked with Christmas décor, including placemats, napkins with matching rings. G3 and I also looked at the jewelry section.

We should arrange for a weekend shopping spree. Hope you get a new ISP so you can go back to writing soon.

Missing you,

I love Windows #6 : Paz & Bien


Not Really A Death Scene:  Paz & Bien

Bien woke up with cold sweat. Paz was in his dream again … with another mission for him.   Even if it wasn’t a nightmare, the dream gave him something to think about. Her message was clear:  Go to San Antonio. Be there at 6:15AM.  You know what to do.  After which, go to the room at the right.  Say the message, light one and wait.

After all these years,  how could she still send me on a mission?  He thought about it, looked at his alarm clock : 5:30AM.  Well, better do this now.  No point in delaying the mission, let’s do this.  He did not want to get Paz angry.

You won’t like me when I am angry, Bien. 

Yes, I will be afraid.  Very afraid.


He was there earlier than 6:15AM and had time to look around.  Very few people were there, mostly the regulars.  Bien nodded to the man, nearest the door.  The old man seemed to have been there for ages.  He remembered him from so long ago — like, what, when he was 10?

So, he heard Mass, went to the candle room and selected the rack with the name San Antonio … just like what his mother said in his dream.   He silently said the message: 

Yes, Mama. I miss you, too.  Yes, I am ready.  I want to find her now.  May San Antonio help me in finding the right girl for me.

He lit a candle.  The waiting started.


Three years from that date,  Bien was holding their firstborn — who had Carmela’s big, brown eyes, getting ready for the child’s baptism, at the same church.

They named her Maria Paz,  after his mother.

And that was his mother’s last mission for him.  She made it possible for him to be happy.


The window Paz y Bien is located at the Sanctuario de San Antonio, in Makati, Philippines.  Went to hear Mass there two days in a row this weekend.

Weekly Photo Challenge : Horizon


Horizon. The space or line where the sky meets the earth. So many places where the sky meets the earth around the world, and millions of interactions between two elements. It can be water, a city skyline, a forest, a wasteland, a desert, a sunset outside your bedroom window. Is there a particular horizon which speaks to you?

There are several ways of looking at the word horizon.   Wiki says that it is the “apparent line that separates earth from sky, the line that divides all visible directions into two categories: those that intersect the Earth’s surface, and those that do not. At many locations, the true horizon is obscured by trees, buildings, mountains, etc., and the resulting intersection of earth and sky is called the visible horizon.”

I took it as a division — still between the earth and the sky … plus between being tired and getting the rest we need.

Hope the pictures deliver the message somehow.

Being a weekend, I wish everyone gets enough sleep and downtime.  Happy weekend to all!

Advanced Happy H, too!


P.S.  For other great horizon pictures, click on this link:



The 28 y.o. Bride and the Trinket


This gallery contains 3 photos.

The Starbucks bear pretending to be a frog was sitting on top of the bed … right in the center. Not on his side of the bed … not on her side either.   The bear, they fondly called ‘Toti’, was wearing the … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning Bottled Sunshine


Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning, Bottled Sunshine!

We all start our days in different ways: going for a run, hitting snooze 17 times, or watching the morning news, among many, many others.

6 October 2013.  No sunrise to take a picture of so I got me the next best thing.  This was supposed to be a gallery — but have yet to learn how to do that …. 

Good morning to all!




Other good morning photos are featured here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/photo-challenge-morning/

Daily Prompt: Reading Material >>> Pick Me Pick Me Pick Me Please


How do you pick what blogs or books to read? What’s the one thing that will get you to pick up a book or click on a link every single time?

Orange is the New Black

If I were to write why a book gets to be my pick from say, a stack in a store —- then these are the top 6 reasons (and I use just 3 books to drive home my point — if there is even one):

1.  The cover said Pick Me Pick Me Pick Me Please (this explains the title of this post)  —- could have been the title … or the picture on the cover (yeah, I am a highly visual person — I have tons of baaaadly written books with oh-so-nice covers).  I picked up Piper Kerman’s Orange is the New Black (it was laying around in our room) because the picture caught my attention.  Hmmm, nice shoes — are those espadrilles?  (Are they? Who knows?)   Yes, orange espadrilles are more interesting than black ones.  Just like that, my curiosity is piqued.

I also picked up Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project for the same reason. I got her second book for some other reason.   Until I wrote this post, I didn’t know that Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club had a lot of interesting covers (more than 6!)  I have included a picture of the one we have at home.  I don’t think our copy has the best cover and  I had to get it for someone’s book review project.

2.  Not only was the cover catchy, its title echoed Pick Me Pick Me Pick Me Please —- I had to find out why orange is the new black (ohh, someone had to go to prison),  whose happiness we are charting (it’s Gretchen’s!)  and how one gets into the JL Club (OK, old Chinese women with daughters.  Am not qualified).   Once I get the reason behind the title,  then I may or may not buy it …  if I cannot get it from the excerpts printed on the interesting enough cover, it goes back to the pile of books … bye-bye!

3.  So interesting cover —- catchy title …. the book moves on from the Pick Me Pick Me Pick Me Please stage to the next one:  You have 5 Minutes to get me to Buy You stage.   I start to read blurbs  and statements that start with “Praise for ….” by  the Blah-Blah-Blah Book Review.

The Joy Luck Club

Take this for example:  In 1949 (OK not too long ago, people live in houses already, no dinosaurs) four Chinese (OK, ancestors, possibly related to Mulan, interesting enough) women …. eat dimsum (yum yum), play mahjong (my grandma’s favorite pastime) and talk (OK, I like to talk) … call themselves the Joy Luck Club.  

Beautifully Written … A Jewel of a Book – The New York Times Book Review.

Good enough.  Minimum requirements met.

4.  Then, there’s checking if it is related to an earlier book … if it’s not, good!   No back reading required.

5.  Next and quite importantly,  I prefer big font (look for the BIG READ logo on the front cover) —-  also, books that are thinner than my dictionary, thus light-weight  and hopefully may fit in my handbag.

6.   Do I do The price is right routine?  Occasionally, but not really.  I have pretty expensive books — hardbound ones (like my copies of Rubin’s books — and I got stickers with my name handwritten by her …. yes, all the way from her desk!   My sister got me the book labels.)

The Happiness Project

So given all these reasons ….. what happened when I picked up the book which had Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling on it?   The kid got a scar on his forehead … not an interesting drawing, not in my favorite colors … no one’s book report assignment ….  mmmm, no, thanks.

Enough said.


I have a Kindle (a gift) … it has an orange sleeve.  I have not picked it up at all.

Sadly, it’s collecting dust.   I love books — honest-to-goodness books.


This is a delayed reaction to http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/02/daily-prompt-choices/  as I only get to write on weekends now.  Busy now, though not necessarily reading books.   What about you?

For photo credits:   They aren’t mine … I got them from the web.  If I have time, I will take a picture of my copies of the books, all in a row.

Happy weekend, everyone!  I saw Ground tonight —- but she said she is still busy and has not been writing any posts —- grrrr!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Everyday Saturation in Orange, Red and Aqua


Weekly Photo Challenge:  Everyday Saturation in Orange and Red

I looked for the definition of saturation in art first and got this from answers.com:  (optics)

The degree to which a color is mixed with white; high saturation means little white, low saturation means much white. Also known as chroma; saturation.

In my 8-color Crayola world,  orange can best be shown as saturated through a collection of koi.   Walked along Greenbelt Park today and took pictures of these saturated orange beauties in their Sunday choreography … showing off to the crowd.

2013-09-29 10.52.30
Koi 25

A second try is the fiery red and bright aluminum in the Chihuahua Bar, where we had lunch.   The loudness of red is toned down by pictures of various sizes:


Last but not the least, it’s my daughter’s aqua prison cell of a room:

Peaceful Aqua

Everything is in aqua and white (yup, no mixing of aqua and white to get a lighter shade) … even the word “peaceful” on the stainless steel disc / plate, reflects the room’s color.

Yelloy and Aqua

Did not have time to find anything that will exemplify “palest” for me … did not encounter any ghosts today.  For other pictures depicting saturation in art,  please visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/photo-challenge-saturated/ .

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Weekly Writing Challenge : Dialogue >>> Death Scene 8. The Hand


Scene 8. The Hand

“Hello, Grandma.” She extended her tiny hand to the old woman.

“Who are you?” the old woman replied.

“Why don’t you remember me, Grandma? You used to call me …”

“Angel,” the old woman completed the child’s statement.

They both smiled at the old woman’s recollection.

“You look tired, Grandma. Shouldn’t you be resting now? Take my hand now, I will help you.”

The old woman took the child’s hand. “You are cold, my child. Come, lie down here, I shall keep you warm under my blankets.”

“No, Grandma. Take my hand now, come with me. You shall be going home soon. Anytime now, really.”

“Oh, you mean …”

“Yes, Grandma, come leave with me now. You have done your part here, you should come rest and be with me.”

“But your mother shall be home soon. No one shall take care of her. I cannot leave her alone. She ….” The old woman started to cry.

“Don’t cry, Grandma. Momma will be fine, she will have to learn to live by herself.”

“No, she can’t. She still needs me. She will get lonely, who knows what she will do next? She isn’t all that great with her life.”

“Oh, no. She has to learn that on her own. You have given her all the chances to do so. You told her that I was her last hope at being good at something and she did not want me. Remember how you asked her to keep me?”

“Yes. I do remember. I tried to save you. You know, I did. I called you Angel since I thought she would …”

“No, she didn’t, Grandma. Come now, hold my hand. I will help you up.”

The old woman smiled, took the child’s hand and breathed her last.

“Thank you, Grandma. I love you.”


Reposted this in response to this week’s writing challenge:


I miss my grandma from time to time.  I still do after all these years since she passed away.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cleaning Lady’s Lines, Patterns & Beauty (#2)


Weekly Photo Challenge: Cleaning Lady’s Lines, Patterns & Beauty (#2)

Finally, the cleaning lady got her much needed break. Went out to look for other lines, patterns and beauty. This time around, found them outside … also in glass — lights and bottles.

Still in keeping with the first set, these are ordinary things we take for granted everyday.
A row of jars and bottles and  ….

Row of Bots 1Row of Bots 2

….  a seemingly crowd of hurricane lamps looked a lot prettier when lit.

Hur Lites 1

Hur Lites 2

Lastly, this is a circular pattern of lights … dramatic!


Enjoyed taking these pictures as much as I did the first set. This caps the weekend … until the next challenge! Ciao for now.


For other people’s take on Lines, Patterns & Beauty, click this: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/lines-patterns/.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cleaning Lady’s Lines, Patterns & Beauty



Call this her “Ode to Everyday Stuff” — the Cleaning Lady got stuck at home as it is (again!) raining cats and dogs over the weekend. Had to make do with common things for her response to this week’s Photo Challenge on Lines, Patterns & Beauty.

Bed linen, towels, curtains and even the lowly floor mat were just waiting to be discovered for their simple lines, color, detail and texture.




While taking these pictures, there is also this quiet sense of peace and gratitude that one is surrounded with the most common yet beloved of things. Bought with her hard-earned money or given by friends, her “stuff” earned her respect.


Details, like embroidery, make everyday things more “dramatic”.



Our walls have it, too —- lines, patterns & beauty. My firstborn’s uke joined today’s post and is striking a pose.


Salamat, stuff, for being here for my family and me. Happy weekend, everyone!

For other people’s take on Lines, Patterns & Beauty, click this: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/lines-patterns/.

Daily Prompt: Served with Gratitude


Nothing beats being served with gratitude. We were given a generous serving of cake at Italianni’s, BGC (our regular go-to place for Italian fare). The cake was served in a big plate, with the word “Grazie” (in chocolate syrup, yes!) on it. Added calories —- yeah — but a nice touch.
I am employed in the customer service business so the gesture was much appreciated.
Shared with friends, it was a delightful way to end a meal. Burp!


Find out more on how others appreciate great customer service here:

Celebrating A Blog’s Anniversary



Hi, Ground!

I was surprised to see an anniversary greeting from WP, saying that it has been two years since we started this blog. On the other hand, I’ve noticed that you have been away for so long now. No word from you, literally.

To celebrate the occasion, I decided to post a picture of the sunrise at Batangas, where I went a couple of weeks back.  I have not written for a number of days using the Daily Prompt (must be the topics … nah, I’ve been busy, really) so I just join the Weekly Photo Challenge, which I am enjoying tremendously. Sunrises signify tomorrows … more years with WordPress!

Salamat to our 60+ followers, so far.

Keep on visiting.

You keep me inspired … and happy.


PS:  Tags to follow. Mwah!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside, Right Next to a Giant Snowflake


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside, Right Next to a Giant Snowflake

You”ve been warned … told you I like the challenge. This is my second.
Was INSIDE the car, stuck in heavy traffic flow … and there I was attacked by a giant snowflake!
Enjoyed the view and took a lot of pics.

Inside with filter
Hope I got your favorite color. And some special effects by the rain …..

Aqua Star


More “inside” stories and pics to delight you here at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/photo-challenge-inside/.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside a Dolls’ Nest


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside a Dolls' Nest

Inside?  Matryoshka nesting dolls are my inspiration for this Weekly Challenge (I am excited — I just might have more than one post again!)

“The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin.” The art of making these Russian souvenir dolls has been around for over a century. They are hand-painted in such wonderful colors … that I have decided to also include it as a post for the multi-colored travel photo challenge.

My set was given to me by my friend Sylvia from one of her trips to Russia. My “girls” sit with me at my new home. Love you, girls!

More “inside” stories and pics to delight you here at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/photo-challenge-inside/.

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #5


Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #5

What’s more unusual than looking at the subject’s shadow instead? Chanced on this on the table top at LES Bagels at the Tuscany stretch in Taguig.
Not to say that the subject isn’t nice. Sharing here the full picture, I hope you like this post like the other 4 before it.

Flowers Casting Shadows on my Bagel

Flowers Casting Shadows on my Bagel

Happy weekend!

Just checked out other unusual POVs here … LIKE!

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #4


Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #4

I call this picture of an unusual POV, the “Bright Idea” and like the Party Peacock (POV #3), I intentionally cut off a part of the scene to show the “bright idea” — which is the lamp post …. then I show the entire scene for your appreciation.
Hope you like it as much as I did.

The Bright Idea is right next to the pool

The Bright Idea is right next to the pool

For other’s intentionally cut masterpieces of unusual POVs, check this link:

Daily Prompt: What a Twist! >>> The Check List


Tell us a story — fiction or non-fiction — with a twist we can’t see coming.

5 AM.

Woke up early.  Good!

Crisp white shirt.  Gray slacks.  1 inch heels.   Not bad!

No time from breakfast.  Maybe later get a latte.

Change routine — walk to work instead of taking the bus.  Good idea.

Ok … Check.

5:45 AM.

15 minutes ahead of sked.  Great!

Keys in the pocket. Lock the door.  Check.

Man, am I ready for this presentation.  Check.

6:00 AM.

Smile at the cute barista.  Will try to get his number tomorrow.

No today.  No time!!!!   Tomorrow.  Listed —- with exclamation point for To Do List.

Oh my, here he comes.   Leave in 5 minutes or you will be late.

6:15 AM.

I am late.  Damn this stopping for a latte and a cute guy.

The operative word is cute.

Ok.  Tomorrow?  Again?  Yes! Yes! Yes!  …. now cross the street.

God, I forgot to look before I did.



This is actually a repost. If you wish to get more Death Scenes, check out our earlier posts.
More surprises? Check this: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/daily-prompt-surprise/

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #3


Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #3

This one is interesting.
It’s a peacock … attending a party!
Part of the design of a roof of a hall.

Nice, huh?! Just so you get the whole picture, take a look at the actual party:

The Peacock's Party

The Peacock’s Party


Party, peacock, party!

For more of the unusual, check this post: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/unusual/.

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #2


Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #2

If there’s one thing I like … it’s a picture of missing parts.
My eldest seems to say: Look, Mama … no eyes! (Which will be ironic since he won’t know if I am looking). I took a picture instead.

Looking good (and cool!), kid!

For more of the unusual, check this post: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/unusual/.

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #1


Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV #1

My friends and I are becoming regulars at Ravioli at Greenbelt, Makati.
I think I come back because of their Caesar’s Salad.

And their lacy plates. I took only a portion of it for this week’s challenge.
I am not even sure if it counts as an unusual POV.
I do hope so. Even then, the fact still remains:
I love their lacy plates.

Having a happy Monday, Ground? You are too quiet.

For more of the unusual, check this post: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/unusual/.

Cleaning Lady’s Gallery #3 – Absence from WP Explained


Cleaning Lady's Gallery #

Waaaaah!  Hey, Ground!  We lost one of our followers — must be because we don’t post regularly?  What do you think?   Was out for a short holiday (well, technically not really; work-related trip)  so the Cleaning Lady was on holiday too (read:  no chores this weekend).

This is one of the many sights at Cintai Corito, Balete, Batangas.  While it is primarily suited for rest,  I was not able to get any (repeat: work-related trip … inulit pa talaga ano? ).  Anyway,  I had free time early morning yesterday and took some pics.  Not sure if WP allows 360ds, but I took some to show the people at home and at work.

To our followers,  hope you like these two pics in the meantime …. Batangas 1

Until I have more time to write … just to write.

Happy weekend to all!



MUSIC MONDAY : 21 Guns (Green Day)


I do not know why I thought of this song for this Monday. 

I just remembered that this was a song that was sung and was dedicated by a fine young man to another during the closing program of Summer Camp in 2010.

Somehow, there is something in the words & lyrics that struck me.

“Do you know what’s worth fighting for? When it’s not worth dying for? Does it take your breath away?  And you feel yourself suffocating?

Does the pain weigh out the pride? And you look for a place to hide? Did someone break your heart inside? You’re in ruins

When you’re at the end of the road, and you lost all sense of control.  And your thoughts have taken heir toll.  When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul

Your faith walks on broken glass.  And the hangover doesn’t pass.  Nothing’s ever built to last.  You’re in ruins.

Did you try to live on your own, when you burned down the house and home? Did you stand too close to the fire?  Like a liar looking for forgiveness from a stone?

When it’s time to live and let die, and you can’t get another try, something inside this heart has died.  You’re in ruins

One, 21 guns. Lay down your arms, give up the fight.  One, 21 guns.  Throw up your arms into the sky.  You and I”


End of a long weekend.  Have a good week ahead.


Thank you for the birthday greetings Home 😀

Daily Prompt: These Feet Were Made for Walking #2


Daily Prompt: These Feet Were Made for Walking  #2

In keeping with today’s, my youngest and I went out for a short walk. From a chapel in Makati, we hit the pavement and walked a block to cross to a mall.

For today’s date, we made sure we wore our favorite walking wear. There goes “The Thumb” as our guest body part.  My, my, I told him, what big feet you have.   They used to be small ones I held in my hands to smell … now, not anymore!  (Himatay!)

Mommy & Baby Feet

Mommy & Baby Feet

When you walk,  look for the unusual — like music in the air ….

The Thumb approves again!

The Thumb approves again!

And the very unusual … an ambulant vendor in the middle of the upscale neighborhood park.

Manong shouting:  Tahoooooooooo!

Manong shouting: Tahoooooooooo!

And at the end of each trip,  say thanks you got there … and look forward to going Home.

Happy Sunday again, everyone!

Happy birthday, Ground!

For great fans of walking and all sorts of boots:


Daily Prompt: These Feet Were Made for Walking #1


Daily Prompt: These Feet Were Made for Walking

Tell us about your favorite pair of shoes, and where they’ve taken you.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us WALK.


Walking is my only form of exercise. I am not much of a trekker, so I usually straight paths, walk pavements and beaches than mountains, hills or anything requiring much thought. (For Pinoys out there, thinking goes: Matatalisod kaya ako? Mahuhulog sa bangin? Made-dead kapag nahulog ako kasi mababagok ulo ko? Pansinin ninyo yung kutsara sa sand hehe feeling shovel.)

So these feet were made for walking beaches.
No foots … toes on the sand type of walking.
Use your imagination —- just how soft and cool the sand of Boracay is.
Imagine all those footprints washed away by the sea. Gone in seconds.
The enjoyment stayed on as memories.

Footprints in the Sand

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Happy birthday, Ground!

For great fans of walking and all sorts of boots:

WANDERINGS : Welcome to my Garden



Cloudy still but we decided to take the trip one Friday morning – to one of our favorite places 😀

“Welcome to my Garden” – this from a tile that greets everyone.  This garden relaxes my heart, flowers and plants everywhere, softly cascading water on glass walls.  The crisp white linen with dainty embroidered flowers covering old wood furniture never fails to make me smile.   The multi-colored crystal chandeliers seem to perpetually twinkle from above as we dined.  French love songs softly play in the background.  The place is a feast for my spirit.  If only for these, I will always find my way back to the Garden.

But the Garden is also a feast for the hungry.  There is no menu.  No rice, no meat – first timers are politely told.  The meal starts off with freshly squeezed dalandan juice (talk about pulpbits!), bottomless, by the way. 

Really fresh salad next – everything grown in the Garden.  I am not exactly a salad person, but I cannot get over the salad in the Garden.  I don’t know, maybe it is because of the beautiful colored edible flowers that peek out of the green lettuce in the bowl,  maybe it is the secret Garden dressing,  maybe it is the lightly salted crispy pine nuts, I don’t know.  But what I do know is that I would be perfectly happy with just the salad alone.

Then there is freshly baked warm soft bread with five or so bread partners – anchovies, green olives, black olives, I don’t recall the other two.  But bread with any of these partners makes me smile and sigh at the same time.

But that is not all!  Pasta (al dente!), fresh tomato sauce (naturally sweet, oh my!), salmon belly, capers follow.  And dessert, let us not forget dessert – caramelized sweet potato and banana turon with langka.  I smile some more.

The meal is capped off by hot water with tarragon leaves.  I sigh happily. 

And the meal is “eat-all-you-can”!  But really, your senses (and tummy) are full on the first round.

The Garden is also a Bed and Breakfast (we promised to spend one night there, one of these days).  It has a Panaderia whose smell brings back childhood memories of a neighborhood bread store and tucked in one of its garden locations is a Spa and an organic store.

It is a beautiful place.  A place to slow down.  A place to dine differently. A place that makes the heart warm and happy.

We will be back.  Each month, if we can. 

Sonya’s Garden.  Buck Estate, Alfonso Cavite.  Philippines.


Cleaning Lady’s Gallery #2 New Curtains



For our home inventory, I wanted to document our new curtains (which I manually sew to shorten to desired length) and while I was trying to get the best angle and coaching the couch to smile (REALLY!), sneaky youngest son got ready to be included in the picture. Since phonecam was on multiple shot mode, this was caught.

Pretty neat, huh!

Taking this oppty to encourage everyone to use environmental sacks or do called ecobags. Two were sitting on our coffee table. These are made of canvas, and which while hard to clean (heavy material), are very sturdy ones. Great for heavy grocery cans.

That’s the cleaning lady’s bit for this week. What’s yours?

Happy long weekend, Pilipinas!


Weekly Photo Challenge > Carefree Cleaning Lady’s Gallery #1



It’s raining cats and dogs (so hard that pet shop seems a better description) here in Manila so it’s kind of cold.  Am not an ice cream person but today I felt like screaming for ice cream.

There it was the last scoop, waiting just for me, me, ME!   Its flavor was coffee mangosteen — from Magnolia’s Best of the Philippines collection and Davao’s pride. That’s another shameless plug for my country.  If you have it in your locality, you should try it.

Ang sarap! I ♥ it!

P.S. If you are not familiar with mangosteen — just Google it. (Tamad ako!)

P.P.S. I decided to add this as another carefree post. See more here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/photo-challenge-carefree/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree at Playtime


Nothing shows carefree best than kids at play. This was taken during a game of my nephews and sons. They are competing and yet look at the smiles on their faces. How we wish they stay this way forever.
Happy weekend, everyone!

Thanks to my niece Ella for sharing this picture with the family and now with you.

For more carefree photos, check out the weekly photo challenge here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/photo-challenge-carefree/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow


foreshadow 1

Not sure what it means but at that time this DP was posted, I was on my Cleaning Lady mode.  A firm believer is all things positive (sucker!),  I said that I would take a picture of the task at hand.  This shows the set-up of my weekly chore.

Window Treatment

Window Treatment

If things can talk, my furniture, my floor, my curtains would have said:  Why, hello there!  We will finally get the attention we need.  Scrubbydy — scrub, scrub!  Clean us up!

Chores postponed … are just that. Nothing more, nothing less.

The sooner we get them done, the better:  Foreshadowing cleanliness and order!

Wishing all of you to get that chore-va done!  You have a long weekend for it.


Hungry for more pics?  Get them here at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/foreshadow/.