Tag Archives: Philippines

Merry Christmas


This post will be very short but sweet.  This is my first time to write a post not in our Sydney home but in my country of birth the Philippines.  I would like to share to you the gladness in my heart, the love that is overflowing since this Christmas I’m not only with my hubby and son but with my parents, siblings, nephews and nieces.  I had the chance to see my relatives as well and got the opportunity to meet old friends.  So, what more can I ask for?  There’s none, I just need to say thank you to the One who’s the reason for this season.  Have a Merry Christmas everyone and may your home be filled with JOY this Christmas and always!!

IMG_2276Our Hallway table with simple Christmas decoration ( in our Sydney home)


God bless,






I’ve been busy lately since I’m now working full-time that is why I have not been posting lately.  I’ve been reading the blogs which I follow on my phone while I’m in the bus or before going to sleep.  So I was not expecting to have more followers and to receive some awards.  But today, I’ve been blessed to have 3 more followers and I’ve been awarded two awards by Yashikibuta of the Thriving pessimist.  Yashikibuta was also the one who gave me my very first awards as a blogger, “very inspiring blogger” award and “one lovely award”, that is why I would like to thank her for being so generous and I know she’s not only generous in giving awards for bloggers but she really has a giving and generous heart.  She is based in Canada and has a good life but she never forgets her family in the Philippines and she wants to share whatever she has.

Since she has given me these “versatile award”, I will try to be multifaceted, to be an all-around writer/blogger.  I know I’m inspired to decorate and try to do some DIY projects and I came to realize I need to write more too about my thoughts on varied topics, to write more about my feelings on different situations, to write more about how to tackle hindrances on personal growth..to write more about life.  Likewise, since I got the “sunshine award” I need to make sure that every person who reads my blog can appreciate a “ray of sunshine even in the midst of rain”.

Wow, in spite of being busy, I am inspired AGAIN!!

Next time, I will nominate bloggers to receive these awards as well.

God bless,


Winter mantel


Few more days and autumn here in Australia is over.  The first of June marks the official winter season down here.  So today, I’ve decided to put up our winter mantel.  First I thought of the gift I have received recently from my aunt from the Philippines.  It’s an oil lamp which we call it there as “storm lamp” ( ilaw bagyo  ).  It is used during the olden days during storm and electricity is cut off.  This brings back memories from my childhood, brings back memories of the town ( province ) in the Philippines where I grew up.

What came with this lamp from the Philippines is the love and concern of my precious aunt.  Then, I put the fabric flowers which  traveled all the way from the United States down here in Australia.  I was chosen to be the recipient of these lovely flowers by Beth from chicenvelopements.

What comes with these creation is the creativity and appreciation of a another blogger from the other part of the world.

Then I also added my own chalkboard paint project ( picture frames I used for my son’s birthday party ).  This time, I have written these:

For me it the love that you share that will keep you warm this winter, more than the electric blanket that you use, more than the gas heater that your house has.  Love is the best shield in the coming chilly days of winter.

So here it is, my simple winter mantel:

Keep warm and continue loving!!

God bless,


I’m sharing this to:

52 mantels                    crafty confessions

It’s a Blog Party           organizing and decorating everything

fun on a dime               Delightful Order

I heart nap time         Kristen’s Creations

Raising memories

my 1929 charmer

My Pinterest represents me


I have made a post that my Pinterest is a reflection of me and it’s really true.  So again, allow me to show you what I’ve been pinning and why I say my pins in one way or another represent me.

Let’s start with this little entryway

Source: Young House Love

This is squeezed in between the living room and dining room and this is the one that you will see once you open the front door.  This is so functional because the moment you step in to your own house you want to put down your bag, remove your scarf and take off your shoes.  This has it all.  The huge letter N made it appealing especially for me since N can stand for my name: Nova!

Let’s take a look at another one:

love the simplicity

Source: Know All That I Seam

For me, you can place this in your entry way and the crate is where you can put your shoes from work or your kid’s school shoes.  At least it won’t be left anywhere.  Also the furniture here provides the solution for your house and car keys.

So much for the entry ways, try to have a look at these living rooms that I’ve pinned

rustic coffee table..love!love all the things in the entry way, and the coffee table as well

I am drawn to something that is rustic and vintage like the coffee table that you can see in the above pictures.  I love anything vintage, rustic and antique with a modern twist.  I think I have an explanation to this.  I acknowledge that I now live in a modern world however, since I grew up in the country ( province as we call it in my motherland of birth, the Philippines ), that is why a part of me still longs to see furniture or items that would remind me of my childhood. It gives me a connection to my past in order to appreciate what I have now and where I am now.

Let’s try to view some other living rooms that I’ve pinned.

welcome sun!ceiling, floors and walls all in white..pure!

Source: Brabourenfarm and frugalfarmhousedesign

The furniture here are mostly modern yet it gives you a feeling of the “olden times” since the house is old but renovated.  You can see the very high wooden ceilings which I really love.  Again, these houses take me back in time and gives me a chance to relate to my past and see the future clearly.

Let’s move on to dining rooms that I have pinned.

Striped Wallrustic and chic

Source:  Flourish design and style  and Young house Love

Again, the dining chairs and the china cabinet are old yet for me they are beautiful.  These pieces are so rich in stories, these pieces have witnessed so much from the past and yet still ready to serve the modern family with its original charm.

white living room

Source: ehomee.com

This modern house also contains antique cabinet and worn table yet they give so much life on this white living room.

So from today’s post a part of me is revealed, I love anything that characterizes the past yet useful and functional for the modern home and family who tries to have introspection at times yet remain to be practical and live for the “here and now”

This is not my last post about my Pinterest..there will be a lot more.  Stay tuned

God bless,




Almost 13 year ago, on the third of May 1999 in Manila, Philippines, a boy who weighed 7.8 lbs was born through a Caesarian section at FEU-NRMF hospital. He was called Joseph Maynard. Joseph because his mother has a devotion to St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus Christ. Maynard was from a baby book which means strong. His mother thought that she wants a boy who is not just strong physically but will grow up as a boy who’s strong emotionally and spiritually. He was given the nickname, JM which obviously stands for Joseph Maynard.

When he was growing he was such a delight to the whole family, before his first birthday, he was mistaken sometimes as a girl because of his long hair which was only cut after he turned one. It was sort of an old belief and tradition among Filipinos. He started school at the age of three at Blessed Scalabrini Institute. The Scalabrinian sisters were so happy with JM because he was such a well- endowed and talented boy. At the age of 5, he won Mr. Talent by doing a declamation piece written by his mom. He also danced during that contest and so by unanimous decision, he won the title. He became too, the overall winner for a popularity contest and he was crowned as the first Mr. Scalabrini.

He was six when his parents decided to migrate to Australia. He was sad to leave his friends and their big extended family especially from his mother side. He was not good at conversational English when he arrived in Sydney. He adapted to the language and to the culture of Australia quite easily although in between the adaptation, there were few kids who made fun of him because of his diction and pronunciation. His parent’s heart even broke one time when one kid told them explicitly ” You know what, I just do’nt like JM”. When his parents asked the kid what was the reason, he just replied without hesitation, ” I don’t know, I just don’t like him”. This was the same kid who ruined his favorite toys which they brought from the Philippines. During that time, his parents were trying as well to fit in with a group of people ( Australian citizens but from the Philippines as well ) so they just said nothing, tongue tied they were even though inside they were hurting so much. There were still many incidents which transpired, Joseph being pinched by the same kid, being blamed for nothing and other things . Then it came to a point that his parents decided not to mingle anymore with that group. In fairness though, from that group, his parents found some true friends as well. Friends that they will keep for life.

Now, Joseph is almost turning 13 and is in year 8. This boy has been doing excellently, academically and socially. His parents always receive excellent feedback from his teachers, they always tell them that he is just such an adorable kid, who’s smart and very well-mannered. He plays the violin and is part of the school orchestra. He loves theater sports and is good in acting as well.

Today, his parents know no one can just make fun of him because of his pronunciation and accent. In fact, he’s developing himself to be a good public speaker since he wants to become a lawyer someday. This time, no one can just pinch him because he knows now how to tell them off. His parents know that he has gone a long way and they are just exceptionally proud of him because unlike most kids who were born here and who were never ridiculed, he is someone who was able to rise above all those extraordinary challenges. Definitely, his second name describes him all the more, Maynard which means strong, and yes, he is STRONG!

My first love


It’s Ash Wednesday today and so I remember my country of birth because I’m pretty sure all its Catholic churches will be full again, knowing that the Catholic faith is so strong in the Philippines.  So today, I’m thinking of my first love, the one that I was with for 35 years.  I have millions of good memories there and when I think of her, I can’t help but to think that it’s where I first met my husband, in Mactan Cebu..one of the famous and beautiful islands in the Philippines.  Here is a glimpse of Mactan, Cebu:

Hence, when we had our holidays in September 2010, we visited the place again and of course it brought to our memories how our love story began.  Here is a picture of mine taken by my hubby:

Oh, we just enjoyed ourselves in that island with lots of refreshing drinks.

For my hubby, the local beer in the Philippines is still one of the best!

We also ate to our tummy’s delight.  We made sure we’ve tasted one of the Philippine’s pride, its roasted pig called ” lechon”.

We just had the time of our lives when we were there

During that time we also went to another island by ferry, the equally popular Bohol.  We were just fascninated by the Chocolate Hills, thousand of hills which look like mole hills that are covered by grass.  During the dry season, the grass turns into chocolate brown where its name originated from.

We’ve also seen the endangered species of the petite tarsier whose large eyes are fixed to their skulls.  But do not feel sorry for them, they can rotate their head anyway 180 degrees.  Also, these small species have excellent night vision.  Well, they’re truly amazing.

We’ve also visited the Butterfly sanctuary in Bohol and to give you an idea what you would enjoy, here is a picture of my son

and a picture of my brother with the longest ( 23 feet ) and the heaviest phyton  snake in captivity.

So with all these adventures, I do not mind seeing an overloaded dam truck with people on top ( as long as they remain safe ) and an open garbage truck with heaps of garbage collectors on top ( as long as they keep healthy and sickness free ).

My point is, my first love, the Philippines has so much to offer and it will always occupy a big space in my heart where i could laugh with and hug my cousins,

and friends

and just enjoy the company of those that I love .

To my first love, part of my heart still belongs to you!