Welcome to Nature's Cottage!

Thank you for dropping by. I'm not quite sure what exactly this blog will be yet. Join me in our journey of evolving!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some things just take time...

One of the kids I've been teaching just turned three a couple weeks ago. She is a little ball of energy- running to and fro, yelling, and smiling at everyone. Two weeks ago it was almost impossible to understand what she was saying. She "talked" almost non-stop, but 95% of what she said was just babble. But now she's able to repeat words much better, and you can actually have conversations with her. Don't expect deep, philosophical conversations, but easy ones are fine. Some things just take time, and it's important never to lose patience, and to hold your tongue. Shh, and believe.

Yesterday, my patience was tested. And as hour after hour rolled past and the dreary afternoon turned into the darkness of the night, my patience was practically gone- transformed into an angry cobra ready to spit and bite. I gave up. I swore at myself. I wanted to swear at him too, and tell him it was exactly why I doubt he'll come back sometimes. I tried to busy myself with other things and pretend my bitterness was not there. I didn't pick up the phone, I didn't dial. Of course not. And I swore I wouldn't for a whole week. Lets see what happens, lets see how far it will go. And then my phone rang. So he didn't forget. He had a good excuse why he didn't come on to talk after nearly two weeks of not talking. I was challenged again. Accept and get rid of the anger? Accept and get rid of the bitterness? But wasn't it so sweet to be angry?

I was tired. I was defeated. I didn't want to be angry anymore. After all, where is the joy in anger that we like to kid ourselves about? I cried a few and let it go. Some things just take time, like trust, like relationships, like seeds waiting to sprout from the earth, like life. And so we go, on and on...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Day

I've been traveling and doing a lot of work in the past two days. Most of the time, weekends are busier than weekdays. I wouldn't have it any other way though.

I spent some quality time with my dad this weekend. I helped him working on our bees this weekend, as I usually do. Our time together working makes up a lot of the best times I've had with my dad. He's awesome in so many ways. One of the hardest things I've had with my relationship with the WBH is just thinking of how far away I'm going to be from my Dad (Of course, I will miss my mom, my sisters and brothers and all my friends too!).

WBH is from a completely different culture and how we grew up couldn't be more different. (I know that can potentially create big problems for us) So sometimes, he just doesn't get it, just like I don't get some things about him. How painful it's been for me to even just think about leaving everyone behind is definitely something he can't seem to even start to get his head around. I know I can make friends. I know I'll have my own family. But there I'll be all alone. It's completely his territory. When we have fights or when he doesn't want to see my face I'll have no one else to run to- whereas he'll have everyone he's always had. I love being around my friends and family, and I've grown up in a society where friends are all treated as family. We're like one big family here- whereas there, when he's not around it'll just be me.

I don't want to paint WBH to be a heartless individual- he's not. But nor is he everyone I've known and loved either. I guess- just like in everything else- sometimes, we take risks- and even big ones. WBH may and will probably never love me half as much as my dad, the rest of my family, and friends do... and if or when a day comes where he gives up on me- I know my family and friends will welcome me with wide open hearts and arms. And so with a little ray of hope and lots of prayers that things will work out well between WBH and I, here we are, almost three years into our engagement, and nearly 2 whole years since we've seen each other.

A little hope and prayers are all I can hold onto most of the time. And when the hope has blown away, at least prayers stand firm and unmoving. Years and years from now, whatever will have happened after the fleeting lights of hope have blown away with the winds of time, I know what will keep me standing is prayer- and nothing else. In this truth I rest my heart. In this truth I live every day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Of Hostage Taking and Pain

The stupidity of how the hostage situation in Manila is astounding. I am very much a news-hound and I have a habit of checking and reading three or four different news websites everyday. I am sad, embarrassed, enraged, and disgusted with the way the whole situation was handled. Of course our new president is not wholly to blame. After all, the cops etcetera - who had been under our previous president for well over 9 years - only got so corrupt and twisted because of the equally (if not more) corrupt leader.

Anyhow, it's painful to think of how those people who lost their loved ones are coping. It was a situation that could have been avoided so easily. It pains me and frustrates me to think of how it turned out. But then of course- sometimes there are just things that we can't seem to control. I suppose this is a good wake up call for the state of our country. It has given us a very clear picture of just how much work and effort needs to be put in to clean the whole act up. It's ironic that the very people who are meant to be the protectors of society end up taking lives, leaving so many people in pain, and huge problems for their country and fellow country men and women.

It's just too bad that real life- more often than not, is more painful than what authors and movie film makers can think of. More often than not life - for many- is an unending nightmare that you never wake up from. Of course- there is light, peace, and shelter to be found away from all the pain of this world too. But most people shun that light like it's some sort of evil force that is out to destroy what they believe is "freedom".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


As a teacher, I encounter all kinds of people and kids. I don't speak here on terms of judging and feeling superior to any of the people I have met- I'm just going to share observations.

Every year- whenever there are typhoons or during times of need, my co-teachers and I put together some sort of a relief effort for the people in our community. We also request different groups of people from this province or the neighboring province to hold seminars and medical missions here. Through the years I've found that humble, and truly sincere people who have lots of money are generally hard to find. Most of them have problems with their children, and in times of need, it'll be hard to get any help from them. On the other hand, in times of need- it's usually the people who are either just making it financially or who are poor- who will be willing to give something to help another person. Why it is that things go that way I'm not sure of. It's just... the way things are most of the time.

One other thing I've noticed is (probably quite obvious) that even the most intelligent child can encounter problems speaking or catching up with their peers if they do not have ample mental, physical, and emotional stimulation. In the very same way, a problematic child and/or a child who has difficulties learning or is a bit slow- can grow and develop very quickly in the right environment. The role of parents and teachers - identical in many ways- is truly a serious matter.

And for an ending note, there are times also when I look forward to meet the children who will be born to me and WBH- if any. There are some children who make me almost hope that I don't have children in case they turn out that way. But of course, there are also children who make me really look forward to when we'll have kids. I guess what happens is in the hands of the Supreme. We'll just wait and see and hope and pray for the best.

Ps. It was a beautiful day here today. Busy as it was, and rather heart breaking, frustrating, and dismaying on the national level- the beauty of nature took away some of the frustration and pain of this sad day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Furry friends

Here's Drone, 2 weeks old. Couldn't open his eyes yet, already wanting to chew on everything that smelled like food.
Here's his sister, Gita, a few days later. It was the first day her eyes opened. They were like tiny bears.
It's ridiculous to see how fast these guys have turned from those little wriggly  things into these crazy puppies running around like crazy.  I have to dig up their new-born photos and take some updated ones.  They're about thrice the size now. 

I've got 4 German Shepherds now - the parents of these two crazy puppies. Dogs have been a big part of my life since I was 5 or so.  The first dog I ever had was from my uncle. He sent my siblings and I a bunch of puppies. Mine was the scrawniest. Being the youngest and last to get up from bed (in those days!) I had the last choice. His name was Dunlop.  I remember looking out the window of our room and watching him leave a diareah on the lawn. Talk about first impression!  Needless to say, I had him for less than a week because he died from some disease I don't recall the name of.

I've also had a dalmatian who could literally climb chain link fences, a crazy but much loved labrador, a very tall un-German like German shepherd (he was a total wuss and loved eating mangoes), a boxer, and some mutts in-between. 

Soon I probably won't have any more dogs-my will-be-husband/WBH hates dogs.  At least I'll still be able to keep my hamsters. 

I've grown up having all kinds of pets. Ducks, rabbits, geese, fish, turtles, lizards, birds of all sorts.  What I've been wanting to have is a little pot-belied Vietnamese pig.  My mom put her foot down with that one tho. I'll have to see if my WBH will allow me to have one.  Just think, no more sweeping.  No more left overs. I'll have a perpetually clean fridge.  No more bio-degradable garbage, and a very smart little companion to run around with.  If I can't have a dog, I should be able to have a pig right?  It's only just fair! 

I can already see my WBH rolling his eyes and asking himself what he saw in me.  Hopefully it won't be another reason to make him think twice about coming back.  The problem with long distance relationships sometimes is it's so much easier to just pretend skype got cut or your computer overheated- at the most convenient times when you just don't want to talk about something.  Not that WBH does that... or at least, not that I know of. I know I've done it once or twice. My WBH won't see this blog for a while so I'm safe for now. :P

Anyway here's a quick introduction to two of 5 dogs in my life now. I have many other furry friends. I'll introduce them all by and by.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Every parent and teacher has to inspire their own kids or someone else's kids. Oftentimes- as teachers, we become "parents" before we are actual parents.  At times, it is a very heart warming experience, and at other times, it is heart breaking. 

One of my mentors has been a teacher for over twenty years now.  He's one of the nicest people I know.  He loves his job- stressful and nerve wracking as it is a lot of the time, he sticks around.  Recently he's been brought to court by angry parents whose children died in school or near the school.  Why? Because they were drunk and drove their motorcycles.  Or because some of the older students took advantage of the innocent younger students and molested them or abused them in one way or another.  In a school with well over 6,000 students, it's hard to control what goes on.  I'm not blaming anyone in particular- but I think that parents should also look at themselves and see what they can do to help their kids get through school safely.  (Of course the authorities have been notified and the students involved are getting the treatment they deserve now) But it is heart breaking to see how some kids come in already so hard- and their parents totally blind to the imperfections of their children.  Sometimes it's necessary to keep our eyes wide open and see the problems our children have so we can actually help them.  Facing a blind eye to their problems doesn't help at all.

We all have a lot to learn, no matter what part or status we are in, in life.  The important thing is to never stop learning.

Two note so random notes: I just got back from a swim in the ocean.  It's already 7 pm- my friends called me out for a quick swim. It was beautiful under the moon tonight!  The lightning was just starting to come in close so we called it a night and ran in.
A note on the ill-fated bus I wrote about the other day- a couple people I know personally died in it.  Condolences to their families. We remember you in our prayers and give our thanks to you.  Wishing you well always, your friend.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Danger at Every Step

My dad always used to tell me, "There's danger in every step of life.  Don't be afraid, but tread carefully."  While he was driving down today (it's a two hour drive from the mountains) he drove past the bus accident that happened this morning. So far 40 of 47 people on it died.  My prayers out for all those who died and who lost a loved one.  Apparently one of them was an overseas worker who was on her way down with a child she had just adopted- and they both died.

I just rode a bus down on the same road yesterday.  I usually ride that bus line on my way up to Baguio.  Might have even been the usual bus I ride on the way up.  Whenever I travel I am vainly aware of the fact that well hey, this might be it. Whenever I go and do certain things- whether it's swimming or driving, I tend to go, "Hey this might be it.  Death comes when you least expect it.  How will I fair?"

There's danger in every step of life.  None of us know when our time will be. And that's one reason why it's always good to be ready.  There's a saying that goes something to the effect of: "Death never finds a wise man by surprise." It's so true.  It's important to not only be aware of the temporariness of life, but also that we can still truly live without fear of death or what is to come after. 

Once again, I offer my prayers and condolences to those who lost their lives and to those who lost loved ones today.  May you find peace, and may those people responsible be held accountable for what happened.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Lift

I just came from one of the schools we teach yoga asanas at.  Originally I was meant to teach two classes this morning, but I was waiting and waiting and no one came.  I ended up just turning up the music and practicing some of my wushu and did a good hour of asanas.  I just love the lift that I get from doing yoga asanas. 

The funny thing is that in the past years that I'd been practicing yoga asanas, I would grudgingly do it just because well- I had to, if I wanted to teach.  Early this year I enrolled in a Yoga teacher training course (I'm still doing the theory part) and after our intensive with our teachers, I just look forward to practicing yoga asanas.  I actually truly do look forward to my daily session.  I think it was because I realized that - although I may never be as strong and flexible as the person next to me, yoga exercise really is easy and anyone can do it.  Having said that, it really is simply silliness that people compete and force themselves into positions which are actually detrimental for their own health. 

So here I am, two hours after my yoga session- saying I feel great is an understatement.  All the aches, pains, and stiffness has been squeezed or stretched out.  I'm alert but relaxed.  My mind's all calm from the meditation, and I'm all set and ready to deal with all the problems and stresses that inevitably come with life.  Knowing I am helping people feel and have the same thing is one of the wonderful things about teaching yoga as well.  It's fulfilling to know I'm able to help others feel better- physically, mentally, and deep within.  Furthermore, unlike with teaching academic subjects or other types of sports/martial arts, etcetera, teaching yoga asanas isn't all that tiring (of course there are exceptions!).

I love teaching, and I love yoga.

Note: I don't only just teach yoga exercise- I teach academic subjects, martial arts, language, cooking, and the list goes on...

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I live in a little compound right by the beach.  Ever since I was a child- I looked forward to the summers when we'd come down to this area and spend a week or more at our family's beach house.  It was always so refreshing to just run on the beach and play in the water.  Almost endless space as far as the eye can see- everything windy, bright, and beautiful.  And so there I was. During summers my black hair would turn light brown, bleached by the sun, and my skin would practically turn black, burnt by long hours playing in the water.

Now of course I'm older and while I love the water just as much as I used to- maybe even more, I don't have enough time to swim all day, everyday.  I live in a little duplex beside our family house.  I can slide open all the big windows and I'm practically outside.  40 feet away is the ocean, in its ever changing ways.

We used to rent out the other little duplex in our property here and just the other day, the people who'd rented it for over three years moved out.  I've been working on fixing up the rented house and the garden, and things are starting to look a lot better again.

It's such a beautiful day here now, and the rains have turned our garden into a mini-jungle.  I'm not complaining.  A little trimming here and there and a little organizing and it's just about as perfect as I can ask for. 

Life's so full of changes.  Good or bad changes, they pass- just as everyone and everything (including myself) will.

In the meantime, it's a beautiful day here.  The winds are high and the waves are good.  The Lillies have gotten the trim they've badly been needing, and the umbrella trees are greener and taller than ever.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I'm back on the blogging world.  I've been reading and just lingering around blogs for a long time now, and like I said, I'm not quite sure what this blog will turn out to be.  I just want to write again.

My last blog was one for my fiancee and I to share our cross-cultural and long-distance relationship. But back then we both became somewhat lazy or just weren't ready to share everything about our relationship online.
Well, two years down the road, we're still together and yet apart.  In September it'll have been two whole years since we saw each other last, and we have about eight months to go before we get married.  Come to think of it, we don't even have a set date yet.  So what's the worry?  Skype has been a life-saver for our relationship, that's for sure. We've fought, laughed and cried (just me with the last one) on Skype.  Here's to hoping that it'll be easier when we're actually together and not only just a few thousand miles apart.

About me
Nuts? I don't know how many times I've been called "weird" and told, "Take it as a complement".  I've got my quirks, but who doesn't?  I'm 24 years old, active with community service, I love sports (used to compete), and am a teacher of all sorts.  I have a long list of hobbies- which include anything from gardening to cooking and baking to reading weather maps, cleaning cars and sewing.  I've got 4 other siblings.  I grew up in and still live in the tropics.  I also love to read and eat.

This blog is an outlet for me (and probably my fiancee, later on) to just share our daily lives.