Leaving the Nest

My young son asks me…
by Bertolt Brecht

My young son asks me: Must I learn mathematics?
What is the use, I feel like saying. That two pieces
Of bread are more than one’s about all you’ll end up with.
My young son asks me: Must I learn French?
What is the use, I feel like saying. This State’s collapsing.
And if you just rub your belly with your hand and
Groan, you’ll be understood with little trouble.
My young son asks me: Must I learn history?
What is the use, I feel like saying. Learn to stick
Your head in the earth, and maybe you’ll still survive.

Yes, learn mathematics, I tell him.
Learn your French, learn your history!

Image: Google Images.

when he was young, everything that he saw he asked WHAT
was that about, curious on things here and there, that IS
why did it happen or tell me more, about the birds and THE
bees and where did he come from and what was the USE,
of this thing and that. We tried to answer as much but I
sometimes wasn’t sure of stuff, then he started to FEEL
more and more confident, learning them by himself LIKE
how to cycle, how to ski, to play fair, to get ready SAYING,
I can do this and know what I want. Lots of things to LEARN
before he could fly the nest, and he took his time and willing TO
do his homework, his guitar, his football, his drama and STICK
to them like glue, after all, when all was said and done and YOUR
world doesn’t include us anymore, better to be ready in your HEAD
that we’re just a phone call away or in our case, we can skype IN
the weekend and you can tell us about your week and we’ll do THE
same from our side of the world and we see each other on EARTH,
time for us to get use to you not being here, that it’s just us now AND
we are so proud of you and what you have achieved and perhaps MAYBE
and indeed life is wonderful, as we are behind whatever you do and YOU’LL
appreciate more when you come back here, which is your home STILL
from the bottom of our hearts wish you the best of luck for you to SURVIVE.

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Tale Weaver #61 – Departure.

Times Past: Grainy Memories

We all have them. Our childhood memories – the innocence of youth. The time when we just played or messed around, when we had to go to school or play in the street. When we were free of responsibilities and worries. We remembered our games, our playground, our playmates, the laughter, falling out with some of them but being friends again after 10 minutes and most of all, the fun.

And then they were gone. We were playing hide and seek and I was “it”. I closed my eyes, counted up to a hundred, opened my eyes and said: “here I come, ready or not.” I searched for them high and low, wondering where they could be. I first saw Beth, hiding behind the bush, then Venus and Janet chattering away, so I followed their voices. Soon I was able to pinpoint where they were hiding and the next “it” had to look for us. Before long we had to go back to our houses and ate our dinner. Other days, we’d play patintero (try to cross my line without letting me touch or catch you), tumbang preso (hit the can), piko (hopscotch) or luksong-tinik (lit. jump over the thorns of a plant). Sometimes we’d rent some bikes and circled around our neighbourhood.

One, two, three, you’re “it”
The innocence of childhood
Youthful memories

Easter Breaks. The only time of the year when all of us cousins stayed in our Granddad’s house. The number of times we walked back and forth the house and the chapel for singing the passion plays. The afternoons we spent splashing in that creek while Granddad washed the carabao, the still warm fresh milk that morning and the mangoes we’ve picked on the way to the farm. We all slept on the floor, some snoring, some talking, and telling each other’s stories, jokes and secrets.

Dad and Tito (uncle) Pabling. They were more than brothers. They’d spent hours and hours tinkering with Tito Pabling’s recently acquired old jeepney. Just like good mechanics, they’d come home with all those black smuts from the engine. Sometimes, they’d spent their afternoons unblocking the canal in our street. They were the best hosts, too – the New Year’s Day party was always a blast – all our relatives, friends, neighbours and everyone on Halcon Street would’ve confirmed that – we had to close the street for our party!

Dapitan. Our house in Dapitan was small – for our parents, 4 children, Granny, aunts and cousins. It was constantly full of people and activities. Our cousins from the province stayed with us once they started college. There were 2 bedrooms, one for our parents and one for all of us with 2 bunk beds; the rest slept on the floor. My classmates and I loved hanging out there; doing our homework and projects; lunch and merienda (snacks) were at all times provided. When I needed to concentrate at college, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to revise or just to have some peace and quiet.

One of the earliest memories I had was the time when my sister was born. I was three, my big brother was four and we were waiting in the other room, my father was pacing up and down. Until we heard the midwife (my aunt) said: “it’s a girl!” We all rushed in the room, we saw some blood and the baby crying and my mom was on the floor. My aunt told us to “go away, we’re not ready yet.”

My sister was born
My brother and I waited
Then we heard her cry

Another memory was when our youngest brother was born, I was ten by this time and when we saw him, I thought he was the most gorgeous baby in the world. He had this massive black hair and his skin was all red, his eyes sparkling like diamonds, probably from crying. We knew we’ve got to spoil this kid.

Gorgeous baby
Eyes sparkling like diamonds
Our youngest brother

I don’t know why, but somehow when someone was born, it stuck in my mind. When my son was born, I was 32. He came too early, premature at only 33 weeks of my pregnancy. I had a caesarean operation and the surgeon was telling me what they were doing as they operated on me. It wasn’t painful, I felt it when they pulled him out, I heard his cry and they showed him to me. Since he was a premature baby, they had to put him in an incubator. I fell asleep afterwards.

Our pride and joy
Born too soon but we didn’t mind
Our one and only

Other memories came and went, each one merging to another, but each one very memorable, like when I first left the country and how excited and sad I was at the same time; the first time to see snow, I was jumping up and down and we threw snowballs to each other; my first salary when I bought some ice-cream for the family; when Him Indoors and I got married in a 14th century building and that was the only sunny Saturday in June; when HRH the son first learned how to walk, how to ride a bicycle, his first day of school, his first date and when he graduated from university and we were proud parents. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. I love my life and the memories it gave or still giving me. And for the record, I’m one of the Baby Boomers, born in the Philippines but have lived in different countries, now in Bavaria, Germany. Cheers everyone!


For: Times Past: Grainy memories by Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist (sorry, but the memories were not about beaches, but some snippets of my life)

Ten Things of Thankful 145 (On Cheerfulness) #10Thankful

Happy Easter everyone!!! Hope everyone is having a great time and that the Easter Bunny has been to your house. Here in Bavaria is a lovely morning. Him Indoors is fixing our bikes so we can cycle somewhere later, perhaps have our first Maß (1 liter of beer). Anyway, here are my ten things of thankful:


Now that it’s nearly over and that my brother is finally getting home on Thursday, I’m telling you his story. My brother is a Chief Engineer on his ship. Unluckily, their ship has got bankrupt since December 2015. They were stranded in a remote island in China. The crew didn’t know what to do, they asked to be paid, or if not, asked to be sent back to the Philippines (well, 21 of them, including my brother). The Philippine Government who’s supposed to help them, didn’t do anything. Or because of bureaucracy and passing responsibilities from one department to the next, no help was given to them. Their families back in the Philippines were also affected, the wives tried to hire some lawyers so they could help them, still nothing. It was getting into desperation and frustration mode, the crew are losing their sanity, they are getting on each other’s nerves instead. What a tragic experience. Imagine, no salaries, no food and no help in the middle of nowhere, like animals being trapped in their cage. Meanwhile the families in the Philippines are also suffering, but they still sent the crew some money for their survival. Still no exit visa given to them. Last Friday, they tried to go on a ferry boat to reach the nearest Philippine Embassy, but the immigration police caught them, put them in detention for three hours, like criminals. 21 of them in one small room. Then they were returned to their ship. For some reason or luck, somehow, they managed to pay for exit visa and plane tickets and they’re off to Shanghai on Tuesday. I’m very grateful for this. Hope they reach their destination safely and no hassle on the way. I’m not that religious but I’m kneeling down and praying. Praise the Lord!


I’m thankful that my niece (my brother’s daughter, see the first story, so this is one of the blessings) is finishing her primary years on Tuesday and she’s Salutatorian in her class. Congrats my pretty niece! Other niece is also graduating from college next month, as well as another niece and nephew from primary years, too. Good luck on your next step and your future!


It was my aunt’s birthday yesterday and they celebrated it with style. My Mother went to her and they celebrated it together with the son and family and other friends. They had dinner and watched Les Miserable. I’m sure my aunt enjoyed her day.


HRH the son and his beautiful K are still in love and the wedding plans are still going and we’re all looking forward to it. Tickets from Canada, Germany and the Philippines were bought, hotels have been booked and the venue has been sorted out. Last weekend they had food tasting in the hotel and they said they were brilliant! Not long now…


I’m thankful that spring has finally arrived here in Bavaria, new buds appearing, the grass turning green, narcissus, crocuses and snowdrops are popping up. Yay for spring!


I had a restful week last week and another week off this coming week for our Easter break. I promise to go to the gym more, eat healthily, walk or cycle more, etc.


Have a Blessed Easter everyone!

For: Ten Things of Thankful 145 (On Cheerfulness) #10Thankful . Also for: Thank God, It’s Monday! -28 March 2016 by Pia Jingco


Carolina – A Tribute to my Aunt

Tia Carol

Carolina, my aunt in heaven
She was born in Marinduque
An island in the South China Sea
The first among eight or so siblings
Some of them died before birth
It was a tough time in those days
Her parents had them all raised
Carolina was a beautiful lady
Both inside and outside
Very responsible big sister
Their question she had answer
Looked after her siblings
Was loyal to her parents
She won’t utter any grunts
The first doctor in the family
Everyone proud of her
Married a doctor, too
Made life together
And they lived in Albay
Had five children
Now all married
Lots of grandchildren
Who still remember her
Carolina, my aunt in heaven

For: Music Prompt #35 “Caroline” Performed by Old Crow Medicine Show

Objects in a Box #3

For today’s prompt, I suggest a fictional story—however long or short you wish it to be—that starts with the following paragraph:

Going through the contents of my mother’s safety deposit box is a journey a child rarely, if ever, gets to take through a parent’s mind. Here she put the things she thought important and precious, neatly laid out in one, little metal box. A “strong” box, as they used to call it, tucked away in a bank vault behind multiple doors with multiple locks, combinations and passport codes, all requiring three people with three matching keys, and none of it accessible until I proffer three official forms of identification to prove I’m me. People protect the tender secrets of their hearts with less embattlements.


My first poem with my handwriting; big brother’s first pair of shoes, size 23; little sister’s tiny socks, our hair when she first cut them, our medals and ribbons, even though some of them were just for the 10th place, old passports, photographs and some other documents. Oh mother, I miss you so, your soft voice which could be loud when you wanted us to get them right, the way you brushed and braided our hair before going to school, and no matter what, you were on our side. Whatever I do, I could hear your advice that I could do it, that I am strong and that I won’t be given something I couldn’t handle. Rest in peace now, our beautiful mother.

For: Objects in a Box #3 by the Blog Propellant

RSVP – Daily Prompt

Plan the ultimate celebration for the person you’re closest to, and tell us about it. Where is it? Who’s there? What’s served? What happens?


HRH the son just skyped us with the good news
He has just handed in his Master’s thesis
And now just waiting for the result
We know it will take some time yet
When they’d say he’s made it
That he’s got a Masters
But for us, it’s definitely good news
We’re so proud of him, he’s done it
So time to celebrate, wish he was here
Him Indoors and I will celebrate
And think of HRH the son
We’ll drink to his health and his future
So what shall we have? Champagne, of course
That’s a good start, then a good appetiser
Perhaps some big mushrooms with garlic
Main meal would be some juicy steak
Chips and green peas
Apple strudel for dessert
All these with a nice bottle of wine
Chateauneuf Du Pape would be ideal
Here’s to you, HRH the son, cheers!


Music Friday Prompt #16: “Rattlin’ Bones” performed by Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson and Wordle 117

by brenda warren
by brenda warren

Hopefully Forever
We met in the lab a long time ago
Every time we see each other we glow
We became friends and then lovers
We became each other’s anchors

Even though you said I’m still a mystery
And we know that life is not always peachy
Together we experienced with lots of things
We don’t have to be kings and we fly with our wings

We’ve made lots of mistakes, we fought, we argued
But we always enjoy cooking and eating our food
Always sweeter the second time around, after the tiff
We like to challenge ourselves by climbing up the cliff

We’re taking notes on the lessons we’re learning
And we know that life is short and we’re ageing
Even translating to something we both can understand
We were brought up in two totally different homelands

And if we detect something fishy, we tell each other
When we are together we glow with a gentle lustre
We give it a rest sometimes, as in space for each one
We know that we are each other’s universe and the sun

And we’re in this together through thick and thin
Sometimes we joke that we’re like a twin
In sickness and in health, we’re together
Hopefully forever, we make each other better

For: Music Prompt #16 and Wordle #117


Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!


It’s been a year since I started blogging
Happy first year anniversary!!! hip hip hurray!
Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
And I’m having the time of my life
I started with an article which was part
of one of our online courses – Academic Writing
and after a year with 1,216 articles published
389 followers and 19,616 hits – I’m so happy!
Here’s to all of you in the blogosphere – cheers!

Here are some of my favourite blogs:
LOVE – Writing Prompt #99
a butterfly flies
Ode to Jessamine
Pleased to Meet You Neighbour – Not!
Daily Life in Munich
“Love Is In Da Blog” ~ Grandparents