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Still in Manila - Do you take things for granted?

A view from the plane...

As the plane descends...

Being with the clouds...

Just makes you feel peaceful...

Yet a feeling of gratitude, excitement, apprehension and sadness come over me.

Seeing South Korea International airport makes me wonder why Philippines never embraced progress like the other Third World countries in this continent.
It's a sad feeling seeing how there's so many people in poverty.

When I left the country 25 years ago, it wasn't this bad...

The squatters are so prevalent in every inch of this country.

I'm blessed that my brothers were with my Dad to take him right away to the hospital
and the doctors saved him from a mild heart attack and kidney problems.
St. Luke's Medical Center is where Dad is.

Located in the city,

Where billboards dominate...

And traffic congestion is a way of life.

A place where the poor is side by side

with the not so poor.

And yet little things we take for granted

like that water heater in the shower - is a luxury that is surely missed!

The place may look depressing, but the people are talented and are always kind...

Do you take things for granted?
Do you see far more than what’s just in front of you?
Do you see things as half-empty?
Do you feel like stuff just piles up?

Do you ask –
Am I “standard” or am I “poor” ?
Will the market ever get back up?
Am I seeing what I’m supposed to see?
Will my children have the best education?

Do you wake up afraid that the worst is yet to come?
Do you have to force a smile to hide the anxiety deep within?
Do you feel like your tinker toys need to get some oil in them?
Do you hear the whispers of concerns and sleep-not of worries?

Tough times, yes we are in!
Getting old aches and pains creeping in.
Investment portfolios shrinking every minute,
Teens confused, crumbcatchers spinning.

Cry not, whine or complain,
Although venting is good for you;
But once you’ve vented, cried or screamed;
There’s only one thing to do once you’ve fallen.

The worst is not the end-game,
The sun sets tonight and rises the next day;
There are opportunities still waiting to be had,
Nature, beauty, family and friends to share with.

Take not the little things for granted,
There’s always a blessing you probably overlooked,

A financial analyst commented,
In the waiting room I cried watching him say,
Although the market seemed totally falling apart,
Now is the time to get-up and get set-up.

Doctors give us some hope,
Setbacks seemed to have turned,
Hospital bills skyrocket
With Love and God’s Grace through prayers
This too shall pass.

Don’t lose hope, I know it’s tough and scary,
When things go the other way you dreamed it to be;
It’s not that people can not be trusted,
It’s just that people were not knowledgeable.

Tragedies we have seen,
People coming together in time of need;
When darkness covers the spectrum,
Sun stretches its rays bright and intense.

And as Og Mandini, appropriately wrote:

“ If I feel depressed I will sing.
If I feel sad I will laugh.
If I feel ill I will double my labor.
If I feel fear I will plunge ahead.
If I feel inferior I will wear new garments.
If I feel uncertain I will raise my voice.
If I feel poverty I will think of wealth to come.
If I feel incompetent I will think of past success.
If I feel insignificant I will remember my goals.
Today I will be the master of my emotions. “

What little luxuries do you take for granted?
Thank you for keeping me company ... Can never take that for granted!


  1. It does get a bit depressing seeing the state of the country the way it is now. It had certainly seen better days and you kinda wonder when the "better days" will come back. It really saddens me, because there is so much potential... the people are one of the warmest and friendliest, rich in natural resources, etc. Ahh, don't get me started.

    Enjoy your stay as best you can. I hope your dad and grandma get much better soon.

  2. JenJen I am thinking of you and your family. What a wonderful post. It is so hard to be positive in difficult times, but yet so important. I completely agree, we need to vent, but once done we need to try to move forward, make a plan, see the good.

    On a positive note, you won a month of free advertising in the giveaway contest on toddler craft!! Let me know your email so I can get you in touch with Dominique.

  3. Awww JenJen,
    Your post is so beautiful and sad at the same time.
    I'm praying for you and your family.
    I miss you and pray all goes well.

  4. The Philippines used to be ahead among ASEAN nations. Unfortunately, the government has a lot of corrupt people ruling. It is hard to see the poor conditions of many.
    Seeing your pics how heavenly it must feel when you were on top of the clouds and then, comparing it to what you see down below, our God must feel the same way you did! Sad for the condition of His people. God bless. Praying for you still.

  5. @Buckeroomama - thank you for the prayers and yes! I would love to see the Philippines prosper.

    @Onna - never won anything! Thank you!

    @Tami - I miss everyone, too! Thank you for the prayers!

    @Rcubes - I still dream of the day when Philippines will be one of the top nations in Asia - free of corruption!

    Keep the faith!

  6. As always, your post is beautiful and thought provoking. I've been wondering about your dad. I'm glad you're having a chance to visit him.

    We went through a horrible hurricane five years ago and I learned to appreciate clean, running water, a roof over our heads and electricity in a whole new way. But it's easy to fall back into "entitlement" once things stabilize. You're post is a good reminder to savor our blessings. ;0)

  7. You and your dad are in my thoughts. And your pictures are beautiful. All of them.

  8. I am glad you were able to take the time to write. We miss you honey and hope that today is a great day. Let me know how dad is today.
    Love you, Mom

  9. Hope your dad is okay - having lost mine earlier this year, I know the worry.

    I love flying too - although I fly with my hubby in our small 2 seater aeroplane and those clouds are so HUGE in comparison - they can be quite overwhelming.

  10. Jen2,

    I love your poem, beautiful. I pray for you and your dad. Be safe. Beautiful photos, I do not like to I am thankful not to be on a plane right now.
    Love ya, Hugs to you and your family.


  11. Thank you for sharing your've been an inspiration.
    We take so many things for granted...typing on a computer with electricity...water anytime I want anytime I want anytime I want many things...
    Praise the Lord.
    prayers are lifted for your family.


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