The Memories I Treasure (July 2015)

July has brought me joy and pains. Life is a journey and it is not always a smooth ride. I am thankful for friends who were there to ease the pain and made life a little brighter and for my  family who always had my back.

I welcomed July full of hope. My nephew celebrated his 4th birthday. We brought him to a pool. It was a simple celebration but seeing the smile on his face brought joy in our hearts.

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On the second Saturday of July, I received a devastating news. My college roommate, Odessa, lost her battle against ovarian cancer. She was 40 and full of life. I was able to visit her during her second session of chemotherapy last March and she was doing great. Her positive spirit radiated.  My other roommates, common friends and I were all heartbroken with the news. We consoled each other virtually because we lived far apart.  We were comforted with all the Facebook messages on Odessa’s wall- it is amazing how she touched a lot of people in her short time in this world.  This experience brought me to a realization that life is unpredictable. Even if we look after our health, there are several factors that affects its longevity.  There are just things beyond our control. The best thing we can do is live life to fullest and let our loved one know how much we love them.

So as much as possible, I make time for family and friends.

I met Grace and her family.

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I had a meetup with my cousin.

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I had dinner with friends after watching a movie with them.

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My aunt also celebrated her 60th birthday. We had a simple celebration. Her colorful cake only cost us Php200 (around USD 5).

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We also went to meet relatives. They were staying in a hotel in the city.   I took these photos in the hotel grounds.

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I also watched a movie with my cousin, Ghia.

In July, I had the chance to explore remote places in the region.

This is in my father’s hometown in Santiago, Agusan del Norte.  I have to been to Santiago several times but not in Barangay Pangaylan. It was only in the past year that  four-wheeled vehicles can pass this area.  I  am thankful that we still have thick forest cover in this area.

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I also went to Brgy Casiklan in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte. I remember that our vehicle was moving uphill then we reached this clearing. I did not see any mountain. Does this meaning we are already on top?

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Oh, I now have a mini- herb garden. I was able to buy the plants when I went to Dahilayan with Grace.

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I cannot survive the month without doing some art.  I tried drawing with ink, sent some mails and painted a realistic leaf based on an actual leaf.

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 I also made some art at the request of friends.  I am thankful for their trust in my skills.

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This is how I lived my life the fullest.  I embrace the ups and downs. Say my prayers and just live like I mean it.

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