One Day. Two Stories. ‘Bernie’

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The weather may be muggy today but it's tempting not to stay indoors. So I decided to drive around and take photos of the town where I've lived for the last 13 years. Then I met Bernie. This is his story.

My stop over was in a park with a large pond near my home. It must have been my lucky day! I just spotted a pair of swans frolicking in the water. What a good photo that would make!

Then I noticed that it was also someone else's lucky day. He was not only clicking away with a camera slung around his neck but seemed to be chatting with the swans, too. Hmmm. Interesting.

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As I approached nearer, I found the man feeding the swans and their cygnets  with grass. Sensing my curiousity he explained, "They do eat grass but not any kind. They must be hand-cut and I've just given them dandelions. Try feeding them with that (pointing to the grass on the ground) and they will only spit it out."

Here's more: he must have read my mind. "The colour of the beak of the male is dark orange. The female beak is also orange but lighter.

They  used to have nine cygnets. One of them died and the other got injured so it  was taken away."

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Suddenly, the female swan (now I know) came closer to him. "Okay you're still hungry. Here's some bread."

I thought, "Oh wow, carbs and veg, good for you swan."

"I come here everyday", he continued. I guess my face looks familiar to them. But I would not mess with them during the mating season. The male, especially, can become aggressive. He hit my hand with his wings once and it put me out of action for four days!"

He then pointed to a heron perched on the concrete in the middle of the pond.

He got amused with the coots trying to grab their share of the bread. He threw in some more.

sharing the bread with the cootsFinally, I found the chance to ask him his name. 'Bernie'.

Bernie is an amiable old man. (Even the wild swans took to him, right?) The lines on his face reflect a happy human being.

Not only did he impart valuable 'swan wisdom' but also taught me how to identify the variety of birds residing in the pond. More importantly, Bernie gave my photos more meaning.

I have been to this pond several times but today was a chance encounter with a man who has a genuinely good heart. Indeed this was a lucky day!  I know I will see Bernie again one of these days. I drove away with a smile.

Here is The second story in one day.

Slow But Sure

Catapult

Isn’t it somewhat scary being catapulted to the top or to sudden success?  in our careers,  in our wealth or in any situation?
The unexpected jolt can cause us to lose our grip. Consequently, a faster and  uncontrollable downfall!
Wouldn’t you rather work and learn your way slowly but surely towards your goals? I believe that doing so will give one the ample time to hone the skills needed to reach them. We ought to take the steps and avoid being catapulted to the top by taking the lift. No shortcuts.

Catapulted into marriage? Nah. Don’t rush. Get to know that someone you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Regrets come last.

Catapulted to an idea or a belief? Think! Breathe! Keep calm. Your opinion matters. Make a choice. You don’t need to conform.

In My Arms (A daughter’s wish)

Holding my mother’s hand

In my arms
I wish she'd be
But I reach out,
Only a shadow I see

I am not void of rue
I am aching to hold you
Steady and safe
Never out of sight

Time must turn back!
That I may cease to pine
For one which was mine
Her love eternal and pure

As night faded away
So did she
In her frailty
She let go

In her arms,
I breathed my first
In my arms
She breathed her last.

In Her Arms (A mother’s love)

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In her arms
I lay
For the very first time
that day

Safely entwined
Lovingly cradled
To her bosom
My life and my home
In her steadfast arms
A constant haven of warmth
Ever the sturdy pillars
Which held me to endure

I yearn and I plea
Where else would I be?
In her arms, now a dream
Gone forever now for real.

			

My Family Reunion

Where? Pls follow the sign

It’s the dry season in this tropical part of the world. At this time, monsoon rains are raging somewhere. Schools (except some universities) are on holiday, too. What could be a more ideal time to hold a family reunion but now.  Therefore, you’ll find that in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines, a lot of Igorot clans organise such an important event during the months of April and May.

there is more to this than meets the eye

 

It should be a massive gathering for this Kankanaey clan that I proudly belong to. I am grateful to those who have painstakingly put this family tree together, which I’m sure took some years of research. I am now aware of my definite place within six sub-clans.
The sixth family reunion was held just a few days ago where it all started: Balakbak, Kapangan, Benguet in the Philippines. I am emotional as I write this because I wasn’t there. The one and only clan reunion I have ever been to was the fifth. It was a year ago when I flew halfway ’round the globe and took a gruelling 10-hour road trip just to be there. I may have been half-asleep but immensely glad and proud that I made it.

Hometown Fortress, Dakiwagan mountain


Surrounded by the Hometown Fortress, my family danced, ate, chatted and took photos together. Just like last year but with more memories to look back to.

2017

I  have no excuses for not being a regular attendee to my family reunions. But like  many other traditions, it should not be allowed to die out. The sad fact though is that a lot of us either live far away or lead busy working lives in the city. So a big kudos to those who make it and  try to keep the tradition afloat.

2016

My family is important to me. Blood is the tie that that binds us. Reunions make the tie unbreakable.