Magens Bay --San Thomas

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

My Unusual Date --Take 2!

Sitting literally 20 feet away --perhaps closer-- from Kobe Bryant and eating nachos--yes, the nachos that I have missed on my previous My Unusual Date and drinking lemonade away seemed a bit odd to me. But, hey! A date is a date, especially it comprised of food, drink and two of us. Right?! Who cares that we shared our date with others-- ten thousands warm bodies whose eyes were fixed at one place only--and perhaps on one person...

Kobe--waiting to do his free throw

"Do you want to go on a date with me?" He asked
"Sure. Where are we going?" I asked while busily typing away at my computer.
"Basketball." He said-purposely without much explanation, perhaps annoyed with my half attention.
"Oh ... Are we going to hit the court?" I said innocently.
He laughed--happy that he got my full attention now--and continued, "To see Kobe Bryant."
"Of course!" I nodded with smile.
"I got the ticket that is slightly better than last time --one row closer. And Kobe is playing."
"Seriously?! Cool!" I shouted excitingly
I have never seen Kobe in action, BTW.

We arrived about an hour earlier and found ourselves getting in line to get the nachos, hot dog and lemonade. I kept looking at the nachos and wanting to chow down right there but decided against it. We found our seats and the court looked incredibly close in proximity. And I told my husband that I wanted to catch the glimpse of Kobe in my camera before he arrived at the court. Just when I was about to walk away, he asked me, "Do you know which one is Kobe Bryant?
I paused and all of the sudden, I couldn't visualize his image in my mind. Oh gosh, do I ? I frantically searching for his image which seemed to be buried within my complex mind. And my iPhone5 came to rescue and my answered to him --Of course dear! The truth is, I barely paid attention to basketball ever since my girls have arrived--they have pretty much occupied my life --literally. Kobe Bryant? Nay!

Caught Kobe in my camera from my seat after half time

The game started out pretty slow--well, at least, for us, the Lakers' fan. Lakers' defense was not at their best aka lousy and Warriors?  They rocked! Their shooters were so accurate--each shot ended in their basket--bringing more points to the Warriors. And soon, the points difference was in two digits closer to 20 points apart. In the last half, as if, Kobe was awaken from his dream, he finally rose to action and this was when the audiences started to feel the intense of the game. Kobe with his move and each time we could hear the microphone echoing, "Two points for the Lakers!" Just when the Lakers' fans had their hopes up, Warriors' shooters brought in more balls into their basket  and the rest of Lakers' attempt to score were pretty much void. At the end, Lakers had no choice but to limp out with 109-103 loss that could have been much worse thank to the last 3.5 minutes where Warriors went without a basket giving the Lakers the chance to bring the gap closer.

That night, Lakers went home defeated, so were their fans. As for me, it was indeed another adventure in My Unusual Dates.

Until next date,
Journey of Life

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Writers' Post Thursday Blog Hop #74 --Feathers ...

I am honored to hold a blog hop #74 for The Writers' Post. The prompt for this week is a picture prompt --feathers.


There is this story about a boy who sometimes got angry and said whatever in his mind without thinking. All he wanted to do was to vent his anger. One by one people surrounding him was disappearing and by the time he realized it … He was left with no one. One day, he went to seek a wise elder in the woods for an advice. After attentively listening to his story, the wise elder decided to give him a bag full of feathers and advised him to go up in the mountains and let go of those feathers. Afterward, he was asked to pick the feathers back and repacked into the bag. If he could do it before sunset, all of his problem will be gone.

So the boy went and did what he was told. To his surprise, it was harder than he thought. He only managed to pick up 10% of the feathers that he let go. Most of the feathers flew everywhere and nowhere to be found. So, he went back to the elder and described what had happened. After being silent for a moment, the elder said, “Just like the feathers that you have let go can’t be retrieved; the words that you have said in anger can’t be retrieved back as well.”

A lot of time, we said things that we don’t mean when we are angry. Our only goal was to vent our anger and we don’t care about how others’ feel. By the time our anger is subsided, we have forgotten what we said. Sometimes we are lucky enough that our loved ones, and our friends would forgive us. But, sometimes things we said hurt others more than they could bear. Sometimes the words we say are like a sharp knife that leaves a deep wound and unfortunately even if we are forgiven, what we said are not forgotten.

Let’s take a moment in our journeys and think carefully before we say anything that could hurt others. There is this unwritten code in our household that goes like this, “When you got nothing better to say, please keep them to yourself!”

Now it is your turn to tell your 'feathers' story ...

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How He Instilled the Fear in Me ...

Playa Punta Popy –Samana, Dominique Republic is the beach that will be engraved in my heart for many years to come. Why, you ask. It is a beautiful beach which doesn’t rival Magens Bay at San Thomas, but still—is unforgettable one


“Do we really need to bring my iPhone5 with us?” I asked reluctantly as I really thought it was pointless.
“Yeah. Just in case …” My husband answered in his cheerful voice.
“But, we don’t have signal anyway.” Still being persistent—Me and persistent.
“That is okay just bring it, please.” He insisted.

The sun ray was beaming in the sky as we stood in line to board on the transfer boat. We carried some of the change clothes as well as the towels. .I stuffed in my blue wallet along with my iPhone in my beach bag. I didn’t carry much on that day, some cash, one credit card, my ID as well as cruise cards. As the security officer was done authenticating us with their systems, my husband took his card and say, “Let me carry my own card,” and I managed to slip the rest back into my wallet.

As soon as we arrived at the harbor, we were met by the people from the Minister of Tourism. “There is no public beach nearby that is decent,” said one of the guy, “but, you can grab a taxi and head to Playa Punta Popy.” He continued. As I asked my next question away, another set of family within the ear shot decided to join in the conversation. Once The head of that family finished asking his question, he turned to me and asked, “do you want to join us so we can share the cost?”
“Sure.” Without a doubt, I answered spontaneously—after all, they are from our cruise ship .

Turned out that the family is originated from Long Island and they are so amicable. Their girl and ours hit it off just like that. And us, the adults, have a lot of laugh. It took us about an hour from the harbor, Santa Bárbara de Samaná to reach Playa Punta Popy –Samana. as soon as we arrived, the girls plunged into the crystal clear water while my husband and I decided to stroll along the beach. Before I left, I wanted to bring my beach bag but then I decided against it. Instead, I was carrying my blue wallet in my hand and I stuffed in my iPhone inside the wallet.

I always enjoy time alone with my husband. And the best of all, I secretly cheered inside my heart as I would be his sole model of the day. Photos after photos and we kept on going. 

Along the road, my heart was uneasy. In fact, it was troubled for couple days and I told my husband that I was not sure why but I felt like something weird was going to happen. I worried about my mom. I wondered if she was okay. Last time, when I had this weird feeling, she was found unconscious in some foreign country.  Still, couldn’t shake the bad thought out of mind, I gestured my husband to go back, when he was wondering if we should continue walking or head back to where the girls and the family were.

As we walked back and somewhere along the path, I felt my hand was grabbed tightly. Feeling strange and thinking it was my husband, I turned around. Things happened so fast, and before I knew, my blue wallet that I had it in my right hand was snatched by this teenage boy. He ran to his accomplice, who was waiting in the motor cycle, and off they went. My husband ran after them, after I shouted, “Cruise cards!!!” Of course, it was way too late. The only regret I had was my brand new iPhone5 and my ID. There rests are merely unimportant … and more importantly we were untouched. However, down deep in my heart and little did I know that the teenage boy has left something behind... something that took me by surprise...


As Julius Caesar once said,
 “No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected.”

“Are you okay,” asked my husband.
“Yeah …”Still clasping my handbag very close to my body.
“Are you sure?” he insisted.
“Somewhat. I thought I was pretty brave, but somehow that experience, that teenage boy has instilled something in me—the fear.”
He hugged me and held my hands as we walked in to the restaurant, celebrating my birthday that was postponed from last year.

Until next time,
Journey of LIfe

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Person Behind My Success

"I don't think I can do it anymore." I said to my husband, who was walking behind me on the narrow path leading up to the top of the steep ravine on our recent hiking trip. He laughed. We both knew very well that there was nothing we could do unless we chose to camp in the wilderness. Don't get me wrong: it was a nice place--with quite stunning scenery. Many tiny waterfalls cascaded into pools of crystal-clear water, and redwood trees surrounded us on all sides. After walking for about two hours, my feet, leaden and aching, wanted to call it a day. They simply demanded a rest and perhaps needed to stretch out while in the comfort of a chair--a massage chair. Oh, how I wish, I inwardly sighed as the thought crossed my mind. All of a sudden, I felt a gentle push on my back...

That gentle push had not only sent me to the next steps of the trail but had also flung me into the tunnel of time, arriving in the year when we were traveling in China--the very year in which I had climbed the Great Wall for the first time. The Great Wall had looked so majestic and the steps extremely intimidating, especially as it had been in the middle of a freezing winter. I had been dressed in a heavy overcoat and the steps leading to the Great Wall seemed to each be towering giants--and definitely not very welcoming.

 I remembered saying, despite the fact that I had wanted to climb up it so badly deep inside my heart, this to my husband in a faint voice: "I don't think I can do it anymore". The icy wind blew across my face as if trying to synchronize with my voice. Just as I was about to give in, I felt the same gentle push on my back. The very gentle push that had gotten me going again, that had urged me to continue on. Sometimes, I had felt his cold gloved hands  reaching for mine and guiding me to the next step. And somehow, between the gentle push and his guidance, we had managed to reach the very top of that section of the Great Wall and even walked on the ruins--part of the original Great Wall that wasn't rebuilt then. 

The warm feeling trickled down into my heart, and I felt content—and even the wind seemed to be warmer. As my eyes swept across the stunning view of the Great Wall, they rested on the person standing next to me--the person who is always there for me and who is always ready with his gentle push. No matter what I do and what I want to do, he is always there for me to support me. He always makes sure that I live through my dreams.

I hope you have enjoyed this little journey of visiting the person who is behind my every success in life. And now it is your turn to tell us: Who is the person behind your success?

Dedicated to my husband on his Birthday. Happy BD my dear and many more years to come ...

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy New Year ...

Listening to my girls' laughter voices have given me the drop of happiness that I have been searching for the last couple months. As I tasted this happiness, my mind traveled back to the beginning of last year. Last year was a bit rough to begin with for some reasons and not to mention the emotion roller coaster that I had ridden for the last couple months before the year end. Perhaps it was the year of the dragon or perhaps it was just one of those years. As I toughed out through out the year, I finally saw the silver lining behind every cloud.

I am thankful for all of the misfortunes that have come knocking at my soul. Because of them, I am now a much stronger person. Only through those experiences, I have come to realize how fortunate I am. After the taste of bitterness, every bit of sweetness tastes much sweeter.

Sometimes, it is hard to look beyond when unfortunate have hit us but if we do, we can see the light that is peeking and trying to reach out to us--giving us the courage, giving us the hope.

In this new year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, my blogger friends, who have been visiting me when I was offline. I am back --as good as new :-)

May this new year bring you a healthier and happier life. And let's the writing begins!

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Social Skills …

As I was driving down the road to the familiar surrounding on nearby middle school, I was met by a police who was blocking the incoming traffic toward that road. I rolled down my window and asked, “Hi officer. Is everything okay.” And He said, “Yes.” I said thank you with my puzzling mind. Still suspecting. It was quite unusual to find a policeman at that road. And I drove further, and I saw more policemen. All of sudden, a phone interrupted my thoughts and it was from the mass phone call made by the school.  Apparently there was a police investigation on our high school. I dropped my younger daughter to her school. Like any mother would do, I said, “Please stay safe. Don’t take bathroom break during class time. Make sure to go during brunch or lunch time.” She nodded and walked away.

I went home that very day with anxious feeling. Normally I hardly ever turn on the TV and that day, I tuned in to local news and woala. Apparently a bomb threat was being investigated at our high school. Later my girl told me that it was a bomb threat addressed to a specific teacher. Interesting.  And the graffiti was found on a different high school and my younger daughter’s school indicating the name of the high school and the teacher name. Sad.

As if bad news are trying to battle in this holiday season, another thundering news had hit us from Connecticut. Leaving the rest of feeling sad and confused.

This morning I read an article in the New York Times’ health section and I found this title In Gun Debate, a Misguided Focus on Mental Illness. What drew me in was this very sentence, “Most of these killers are young men who are not floridly psychotic. They tend to be paranoid loners who hold a grudge and are full of rage.”

This led me to write this blog. Social skill is such an important skill to own. As we all know. We need to mingle and communicate. Only then we can find a medium to let out our frustrations and perhaps inside rages. As a parent, it is our jobs to guide our children on how to  find the right balance. I know it is a difficult job but I believe thru loving and unconditionally supports, we can help our children to be happy ones. Only then, the rest of us can have peace in mind. 

Until next stop,
Journey of Life 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy and My Phoenix ...

When the world is mourning over Sandy the storm that devastated many individuals. I too was hit by a storm. A storm that took over my heart and I felt like I have aged a decade older over night. The other day when I said this to a blogger friend, "Good news is, Sandy is long gone," And her answer was, "Unfortunately sandy is not gone… so many people in hard hit areas are still suffering from her wrath… it is very sad…"

My little phoenix was sick for months. It was all started with little flu that turned into a big storm. One after another and finally like the Sandy that came and gone but left so many debris around. That storm that hit us did come and go but left so much pain behind.

Not only we have to deal with the fact she was sick but all of the logistics from the school. Just like people who was hit was Sandy. NOT only they have to deal  the storm but all of the aftermath. Same here, we have to deal with aftermath of being sick.

As of the storm was NOT big enough, she was infected by yet more viral infections couple more times. Just like those victims of Sandy who have to cope with the rising cost of Gasoline and loss of electricity.

Regardless, whether Sandy or the storm that hit us hard here have long gone or not. All I know is the sun is always there and I can feel its warmth and hopefully it is strong enough to move us forward.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tidbits about Taiwan

On our last stop to Taiwan. I would like to talk more about its weather, food, people and whatever that comes to my mind.

Do you know that the Taipei airport  offers free half day tour for tourist? Here is the link:

And if you are staying over nights, I would suggest to stay at the W-Taipei hotel. Its location is next to the MTR, which is very convenient for train rides and their service is outrageous!

Welcome gift is awaiting in your room ...
Summer is always hot and humid and depending on the timing, you maybe meet by typhoons. If you are not on the center of the typhoon, consider yourself lucky but still you can't escape the rains. I heard December is the best time to travel there.

Despite the hot and humid weather, Taiwan has a lot to offer especially if you are up for an adventurous. And their foods! They have quite a number of night markets and you would find a lot of snacks. All kinds, from mushrooms, seafood, soup, mango shave iced and more.

Places that I would recommend:
- Visiting the Night Markets (
- Taroko National Park (
- Sun Moon Lake (
- Watching Sun Rise at Mount Ali (
- Ximending shopping area, clothing here are really inexpensive and you can try them on as well. Eventhough this place is not the wholesale markets but their prices are not that far off. I also went to wufenpu, garment wholesale market, which literally 1000 shops selling all kind of garments. But the problem with that place is you can't try on which I found it a bit cumbersome.
- Taipei 101, high rise luxury shopping area. We didn't get to go to the top since it was cloudy on the day when were scheduled to go. Oh ... well :-)

- If you love dumplings, you must visit this place and they are de-li-ci-ous!

Just like when I was in Italy, I found Italians are very very heart-warning, same here in Taiwan. Taiwanese would go out of their ways to help you whenever you ask for it and they are very friendly. Our experiences throughout was nothing but fun. And we can't wait to go back for more delicious delicacies.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

But ...

A: "I know how you felt about that. At the same time, you need to take some responsibilities and perhaps you can change the way you ..."
B: "Yes. But ..."
A:"Maybe you can start by admitting the mistake you made then you can see what you can ..."
B:"Well ... but ..."
and ...
B: "But ... "

Can you visualize the above conversation even without knowing the whole conversation? Person A is trying hard to give a new perspective to B. All B did was nothing but counter argued. Sometimes in life, we need to tug away the word, "but," and attempt to see what's beyond. Perhaps then we can see what lies ahead.

There are times when we need to utter the word 'but,' and then there are times when we should just sit and listen. Perhaps then, we would be inspired. Perhaps then, we would be able to see what have hindered us from moving forward.

Having said that, have you ever found yourself giving many excuses despite repeatedly making the same mistakes. After awhile, they all became old news. I have seen this many times in my life. When I see someone that I care, sometimes can't help it but trying to enlighten them. Only after so many tries, I have come to realize that when the word 'but' got in the way, and despite our efforts, we were going nowhere with the conversations.

It is tough. It is even tougher if we block our minds with excuses. Often, I have told my girls, if they hide behind excuses, it would be hard for them to excel, to walk out from the situation they are in. In fact, the problem will always be there awaiting for them--for them to come out with another excuse.

Hope you enjoy this little visit on the word But ...

Until next stop,
Journey of Life  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Filial Piety

''When I was small, you carry me; When you grow old, I carry you'' newspaper commended as saying. These words touched many hearts.

filial piety
(in Confucianism) the important virtue and primary duty of respect, obedience, and care for one's parents and elderly family members.

This man in the photo whose name is Ting Tsu-chi, retired from the Bureau of Investigation in the southern city of Tainan five years ago. His mother became depressed after her husband passed away. In order to care for his mother, he has given up his promotion and chose to retire early.

And his motto in life nowadays ...
''When I was small, you carry me; When you grow old, I carry you'' 

I hope you enjoy this little stop visiting the Filial Piety ...

Until next stop,
Journey of Life   

Reaching out ...

 The ability to reach out to seek for help is admirable, pushing aside pride for the betterment of self, and the ability to lend our hands to those in need is truly a pleasure

In our lives, we have met many people. Some that would ask for help in a split second and some that would even take advantage of us. Others would hesitate, and we need to extend our hands for those who do so to accept our support.

And then there are those who refuse to ask for help no matter what. Somehow those people manage to get themselves out of the trouble and self sufficient. Also, there are some who won't reach out their hands even if they are on the verge of collapsing. And this post is dedicated for them.

Imagine this, someone has fallen into a hole and we happened to notice that. We have tried our best to reach out to them but that person refused to extend their hand to us. We kept on trying and the more we tried, the more they refused and in the process, we have hurt them instead.

Have you ever been in that situation? If so, what would you do ... leave them alone knowing that they will perish or insisting on helping them.It is tough decision. Personally, I would never give up and I would keep on trying until I find a way ... I just can't walk away. I simply can't.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Where Do I Begin?

Where do I begin
To tell the story of ...
The sweet or bitter stories that are older than the sea
The simple truth about what is happening to me
Where do I start …

Like it? I borrowed those lines from the "Love Story" songs by Andy Williams and modified them to my need :-)

OK. Perhaps let me start by saying that I have disappeared for a while in case you haven’t noticed yet. Too many things happened at once and I have to let go of something …
Funny thing is even though I was not sitting at my desk writing away,  I’ve never stopped writing in my mind and thinking about you all. In fact, I have been writing but those words are buried deep in my mind. Can someone lend me a magic wand so I can retrieve those words out? Should I call Harry Porter?

Nevertheless, I am fine and back to blogging this week. The time when I was gone, I've acquired some new habits. I have been reading some financial news. Normally I am only interested in reading medical, psychology type of articles but now I am building a new habit in reading financial related articles as well as attending some online classes. Just don't want you to be shocked if you find some of my blogs smelling like dollar. :-)

As far as work is concerned, it has been busy and life in general have been hectic. Wish holiday is here as I am so ready for it. In fact, I am ready for next year-the brand new beginning.

That is it for now and I will resume my regular posting tomorrow.

Until next stop,
Journey of Life