Speckles n Spectrum

back to basics seemingly-banal adventures of an eclectic modern muser...

"Learning from the Past, Hopes for the Future, and a Life's Journey of making the most of what's at hand."


It's been a while I just wanted to say hi to my blog that's feeling neglected at the moment by its owner. =)

I'm quite busy lately doing some stuff and I've tons of photos already that just needed some write-ups which I'm pretty lame to do at the moment. Truly blogging needs focus which I can't afford right now because my mind is cartwheeling these days.

I finally decided that I'm done with experimenting so it's time to move on and start acting like a real grown-up. The happy-go-lucky-days should have to end soon as well as the idealism and the worst of altruism. I've to be practical and touch-base with reality. We can't have everything for free and in this lifetime we need to work our ass off since not everyone is born with silver spoon in their mouth and I'm definitely not one of those lucky few. But I'm grateful to have the things most necessary and a bit of the whims.

"Let's tell the truth to people. When people ask, 'How are you?' have the nerve sometimes to answer truthfully. You must know, however, that people will start avoiding you because, they, too, have knees that pain them and heads that hurt and they don't want to know about yours. But think of it this way: If people avoid you, you will have more time to meditate and do fine research on a cure for whatever truly afflicts you." — Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)

The way my mind runs is peculiar to most. I guess if thoughts are spinning mine goes counter-clockwise and chaotic. I actually do stupid things because I don't want to make those when I'm old. I'm still young I know I can still afford to be stupid and irresponsible and, get away with bad choices since I'm still learning and gaining insights. I don't want to reach 60 and look back full of regrets of not being able to experience life the way young people should. I don't want to retrogress at that time for the sake of fulfilling past fixations.

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes." — Mahatma Gandhi

A lot of people who's expecting more from me are already being disappointed because of my luck of ambition. Telling me if only I've stayed longer or started earlier, done this, done that I should be someone significant now, somewhere doing something socially acceptable and praise-worthy. Even new friends tell me that I can do better and I know they're right but my premise is: If everyone wanted to be on top then who would stay at the bottom to hold the ladder? Or if everyone wanted to be the President then who would sweep the floor? Hmm certainly not me but I'm pretty sure I wanted to do something else on my own. According to T. S. Eliot: "Success is relative. It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things." And I do I like to keep things simple. I simply just want a life where I can be free doing what I like with or without recognition. But I won't be coy and say that genuine compliments or even a shoulder pat won't make a difference.

I have fancied myself a rebel, but at every critical moment of my life, I have been exactly the child my parents raised.  ~Robert Brault

The truth of the matter is I've never really been stagnant for the last years and I won't even use being depressed as an excuse. Let's just say I've been into a secret mission of soul searching and real life experiments which is more like an immersion. The last one I call it The Zero Pride Management and along with that I know I've been the most irresponsible kid for wanting to experience first The Retirement Life before I actually jump into a real lifelong career.  It's a product of a twisted mind but I guess in my case: it had worked. But I am not saying that it is the right thing to do for I can never truly justify delaying to be useful and to be of help because of self-centered ideals in any court and it's one of the mistakes I am guilty of.

"Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." ---  Ernestine Ulmer 

All I can say is that now I know how it was like to be empty-handed, to lose pride, to be degraded at its worst, treated like an imbecile and, sitting at the lowest of either the caste system or the totem pole or whatever hierarchy this discriminating society has. (I guess I'm being emotional that I'm kinda exaggerating this. Please pardon me, it's touching a sensitive side too personal to express.)

But then I know now too how peaceful life can be without obsessing into earthly things like material wealth or titles. Suddenly, you become more humble, fulfillment comes easy while your expectations become manageable, you appreciate every little acts of kindness, you value more relationships and people who still treat you nicely despite your shortcomings, you're grateful for even the littlest things and, you start to realize that you've been blessed a lot every time you wake up into a bright new day.

Now I am ready to get back on track with the hard-earned lessons:

  • No one has the right to treat anyone worst just because they thought they're far better because if they were actually they should know that, Better people don't treat anyone less than they expect to be treated themselves.  

You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.  
~James D. Miles

  • Money isn't everything but I have to tell my dumb brain to stop being exaggeratedly altruistic because I need some to put food on the table. 
  • Problems are blessings. They are meant to exercise all facets of being.
"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much." 
— Mother Teresa

  • It is really possible to have more when you have nothing.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.
— Charles R. Swindoll 

  • Not everyone is alike. People have different reasons and motivations for doing things so we must always give the benefit of a doubt. Be open-minded, you may be hurt but it's not right to hate the world for few bad apples you met along the journey.
"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." — Mahatma Gandhi

I know I still have a lot more things to learn I'm not even halfway there and time will never stop and wait for me while am getting ready; it was my choice then to run on my own pace that's why I know I am never left behind. (While some people are busy meddling with someone else's business and trying to race with one another; playing survivor: outwit, outplay, outlast everyone in the game I was busy competing with myself.) That's why I know I'm just right on time the way it was meant to be for everything happens for a reason according to will and for that I can never complain. All I can do is to stand up as fast as I can every time I stumble.

Everyday is a battle and the world is an arena it's just a matter of choice how you're going to fight. Will it be fair and kind, cruel as devil-may-care, or even survival of the fittest? Some play tricks, some get dirty, some act, some think, some just shrug it off, some treat it as a comedy and some a tragedy. I choose to look at things in an optimistic bird's eye-view which brings me to a conclusion that life is good in general and I can't wait to enjoy my retirement days and give back what is due to many an individual who cared for me during the toughest times and no matter what I know I will forever be grateful and in debt for the love and generosity...

Now, it's still a long way down the road so let's just get ready to rumble!

"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin." — Mother Teresa

Orchidaceae, usually referred to as the Orchid family, is a morphologically diverse and widespread family of monocots in the order Asparagales. It is currently believed to be the largest family of flowering plants with between 21,950 and 26,049 currently accepted species, found in 880 genera.

The name comes from the Greek órkhis, literally means "testicle," because of the shape of the root.The term was introduced in 1845 by John Lindley in School Botany. (orchid wiki)

These are my mother's beautiful orchids that bloom all-year round. 

August yey. It's 30 minutes past 1 in the morning, it's Monday here. I know I'm supposed to have this posted by Sunday but it's Sunday in some parts of the world so it doesn't matter right? Haha

I've been sick for almost 3 days now, colds, runny nose and high fever. I'm feeling awful and I'm glad my mother brought me some seafood to cook because I'm also getting sick eating broccoli and lettuce almost everyday for about 4 months now since she went back from NZ. Didn't I tell you she enjoyed her travel there very much that she wanted to at least do some of the stuff especially the food she ate even back here. Thank goodness because she suddenly appreciates fresh milk, cheeses, pasta and a lot more that I was trying to convinced her to like way back. But broccoli and lettuce everyday is just too much especially it's cook the same way everyday only some other days she had meat, then for some days she uses tofu. It's delicious but because of excessive repetition it's getting bland and tasteless for my taste-buds. I actually have a choice to cook my own food and I do that once in a while.

This shellfish is called Punaw in our language and known as cockles. It's very cheap 1 pack is only 10 pesos, I got 2 packs for this recipe. This is my own rendition of a  family recipe I've learnt to cook when I was a kid so this is really very easy to do and very healthy too.

Speckled Cockles

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
red onion
Cockles (Punaw)
black pepper
ginger diced
1 ½ cup of water
3 pcs calamansi

How to mess it up:

1. Make sure to wash and clean the cockles with water then drain afterwards.

2. Pour just a little amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a heated pan. 

3. Saute garlic until golden brown before adding onions and ginger.

4. Add the cockles and toss it along with the first ingredients while adding just a tiny slice of butter for more flavor. 

5. After a while of tossing pour in the water. In low-medium heat let it simmer and wait until all shells had opened.
Opening of shells means it's cook.

6. Add the extracted calamansi juice. Make sure to mix it well.

7. Season with salt, pepper and herbs. For this recipe I used thyme, basil and oregano to kick-up its taste. 

Enjoy best while hot. 

* We usually cook this with green papaya but we don't have it available the day I cooked this but still it's pretty delicious and comforting on its own.
* Ginger is essential for it helps eliminate the fishy smell and taste of seafood (according to my mum.)

This is actually the same with my mum's favorite Geewan's Sinigang na Punaw (I've mentioned in Just Another Day) which cost way a lot cheaper when you cook it at home though mine was pretty plain so you can toss some more veggies you'd like to add with this recipe too.

Oh if you're wondering why the cockles were too cheap it's because my mum got it from Tinambac, our old town which is 45-minutes by car and almost an hour by commute from Naga City, seafood is really very inexpensive there and fresh too. I might as well right something about that place one of these days.

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