I am going to quantify the success of 2015 based on my 8 New Year's Resolutions. Ironically I am not one for making resolutions and have never been able to stick to it until year end. But perhaps this time to change old habits and create new ones-- beginning with the 8!
I have already enumerated in previous posts the lucky eight, and even gave a detailed recount of what has happened to me this month. For the visual learners, such as myself, here's a time line of what I have been able to achieve for Jan 2015.
I wasn't able to do all my resolutions, especially those that were exercise related because of ordered bed-rest. But I was given the go-sign and have been on the treadmill for most of the days this week. As a report card, January has been quite successful! I hope February is as exciting and rewarding.
A few days ago 390+ members of the PNP-SAF stormed a portion of Maguindanao Province to capture an illegal international terrorist who was a "guest" in the area. This comes at the shirttails of tumultuous peace talks between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) trying to cease armed conflict affecting the area for decades now.
By evening, there were 43 (some accounts estimate higher) dead Special Forces lying on the ground in what the government has called a "miss encounter" with the MILF. These 43 men died heroes! And today as their remains are being flown to the capital I send a prayer for their souls, their love ones and those who are to blame for their deaths. And no, I don't not mean those who pulled the trigger.
I am referring to those who ordered an attack that was not properly planned/coordinated. I am referring to those higher-ups who were glory-seeking. I am referring to those who thought only of their personal agendas.
This is not a MISS ENCOUNTER. The death of 43 specially trained men cannot be labelled as such. Miss-Encounter is a term you use for an accident, to come upon something by chance. Such a water-ed down way to describe the gruesome way these men were gunned down and stripped of armor.
So this blog post is dedicated to their heroism-- for dying in the act of duty and securing the peace of the land. Reports have come back that they have been able to kill their target. That means they did not die in vain.
But the aftermath leaves far more questions than answers? Here are some of mine:
1. Who is to blame for their deaths?
2. Should we still continue with the Bangsamoro Peace Treaty?
3. How can we trust the MILF when they were harboring an international fugitive labelled as the Osama Bin-Laded of Asia?
What are your thoughts?
In a few short days the first month of 2015 is about to end. It may be a little to early to tell how 2015 will be like but its first days are a glimpse of what it will hold. Are you still religiously claiming your resolutions and working hard to achieve them? The hopefulness you had in the beginning, is it still with you? It may also be a good opportunity to assess and re-assess your goals for the year. What will you change? What else will you achieve?
Let me encapsulate what January 2015 was/is for me:
January 1-4 (first week)
My first week was all about weddings, 2 of them in fact. Personally I think that's a great way to start the year: events that celebrate love, hope and faith. The weddings were simple yet you could really feel the love of all those who attended. Such a heartwarming-gushy-emotional way to welcome the year.
January 5-10 (second week)
The following week signaled the return to reality. We wrapped up our 15 day long vacation and headed back to Legazpi City. When we arrived we were greeted by a lot of work-related trouble shooting. Luckily they weren't big challenges that couldn't be solved on the spot. (phew!) I also decided to tackle my New Year's resolutions head on. Right away I enrolled in a Skillshare class that would help with my calligraphy. I biked with Martin to the Boulevard. I learned my first recipe: Vietnamese Bun Cha. I updated this website about our Ilocos Trip (a three-part blog edition). And I have been very industrious with my daily reflections and bible readings. By end of the week, we needed to once more head to the Philippine Capital for a family reunion. So much done in a few days.
January 11-17 (third week)
Compared to how busy the week before was, January's third week was completely different. Upon arrival in Legazpi I got a serious case of the runs which had me stuck at home for most of the week. This gave me a lot of time to concentrate in learning new artistic things. Gathering inspiration online I have begun to learn how to watercolor and the rewarding therapeutic advantages of wielding a brush. My calligraphy has also been steadily improving. I updated myself with all the TV shows that have interested me, most of which revolved around Jane, the Virgin. Sadly, Martin and I weren't able to fly to Manila for Pope Francis' arrival. We had our tickets bought and our plans laid out. But health came first. Luckily local TV networks were really covering the event and watching TV felt like we were among the crowds as well. Also Nina came over to visit! It's rare that my sister comes to L.A. (Legazpi, Albay) now because of her job. But having her over was as giggle-fest. I introduced her to Delica Japanese cuisine, we practiced our calligraphy, we went Natio-Shopping and fed ourselves a lot.
January18-24 (fourth week)
The fourth week began to normalize. I recovered with my bout of runs and went back to work. There were a lot of things we needed to get done most important of which was the blessing of Tower 4. I didn't realize how many things needed to get done for a successful blessing: (1)book a priest, (2) cook food, (3) clean the premises, etc. It was just a simple affair where we invited just the tenants and our men. The real ceremonial one will be done perhaps after the Chinese New Year. Nevertheless, the thing went of without a hitch and everyone enjoyed the food and fun. I also joined JCI Daraga's courtesy calls to new commanding officers of the local Navy and Air Force units here. Courtesy Calls are a great way to renew partnership and ties. Hopefully this will bear fruit to further award-winning projects. Also, Martin has discovered the joys of his smoker. The latter days of the week were marked with smoked beef, smoked fish and smoked pork! Our house is starting to smell like smoke too! Friday a couple of friends and I decided to go for eat-all-you can in a local Japanese restaurant. I arrived at 4:45pm and left at close to 8!! It wasn't just the food that was enjoyable but the conversations too! Loads of fun! My herb garden has already begun to take shape. Seedlings of local herbs have been given to me by friends & family. All of which I have transplanted on teracotta pots with gold calligraphy and now located on our 2nd floor balcony. I hope I don't kill them and they grow to thrive and multiply.
January 25-31 (fifth week)
I am writing this lengthy blog at the very beginning of the week. I am looking forward to a lot of things these coming days such as crafting supplies I have ordered online, a children's birthday party, a JCI Induction of a Sister Chapter and another travel trip! So many things to get done but really excited about developments. By the end of the month I am planning to post a calendar of achievements in relation to my 8 New Year resolutions. What were my gains and losses these last 31 days?
So cheers to January! You have been awesome! I hope February will be as good to me as you have been! And on to my next adventure!
As one of my 2015 resolutions, I have begun work on my garden. Before today the only thing in my potted garden were spring onions and leeks. So with the seedlings given to me by friends and family I decided to grow my humble garden to add a few more plants.
I was able to buy teracotta pots from the market at Php50/pc. These are sturdy, heavy pots which will survive the strong winds during storm season. And by buying from the area it helps the local economy. (Win-win situation right?)
Luckily, we have potted soil with rice hull added to it. Rice hull acts like a buffer making the water flow easier through the soil to reach the plant's roots. It is also a great source of nutrients.
Slowly I transplanted my seedlings of rosemary, cadlum, and bell pepper. In addition I planted basil seeds into 3 different pots. Boy did I get my hands muddy today!
Fruits of my morning labor look lovely. I of course couldn't pass off the opportunity to put calligraphy in my new hobby --- a gold sharpie pen was the perfect tool to label the pots.
Here are the new additions to my garden:
I've gotten overboard. Ever since I realized the therapeutic powers of calligraphy and geometric shapes I have been drawing, drafting and painting numerous "gems". And it hit me, I didn't have to make gems alone I could make "stained-glass" looking shapes. So I gave it a try.
They turned out so nice that I was thinking of giving them off as cards to friends. A part of me wished I still had pen-pals so I could snail-mail them my designs. (Let's resurrect the use of our Postal System, what do you think?)
Tell me what you think! :)
Who is sab_adventures?
I have always wanted to write. This will now be a creative outlet-- home to all my arts and crafts. So feel free to browse around my everyday adventures.