Celebrating Our 7th Wedding Anniversary in NZ

It was not really planned. And yet my husband and I ended up celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary in the land where they say there are more sheep than people: New Zealand 🙂

We checked out the following places and more during that one fine day in November (our 7th wedding anniversary also falls on the 7th day of November).

Pegasus Town. Together with my cousin Jaireh, his wife and kid, the hubby and I went to Pegasus Town in North Canterbury (we were coming from Christchurch). We had our lunch at the Pegasus Golf and Sports Club and took time to stroll around the area.

Hanmer Springs. Next stop after Pegasus was Hanmer Springs. With the temperature at 5 degrees (Centigrade), one doesn’t really think of swimming. But as we were in a new place, Jaireh managed to convince us that we should go for a dip at Hanmer Springs, specifically into its thermal pools. Hanmer is also located in the Canterbury region. Yes, it was really cold as we put on our swimwear and walked to one of its pools (the pools have different temperatures, think hot to hottest) but as soon as we got into it, it was really relaxing 🙂 Below is one of the pools we chose to swim in:

Experiencing Nature. New Zealand is such a scenic country and it is easy to find so many postcard-perfect spots or should I say, instagram-worthy ones. And so before we headed back to Christchurch, we stopped several times to take photos 🙂 And I was so thankful that I finally got to see cherry blossoms 🙂  We also had to take photos with the sheep and deer which you could see just dotting the green landscape as we drove by.

Kiwi and Chinese food. Of course, the day won’t be complete without food 🙂  As mentioned, we ate lunch at Pegasus Town. We also had a light snack at Hanmer Springs. We capped the day with a dinner at a Chinese eating place: Dragon Restaurant. (You can also check out some of the Kiwi/New Zealand food we enjoyed in NZ here.) 

What a beautiful day we had! We are truly thankful to God, to Jaireh and to his “fam bam” and to our friends and family who have helped make the trip to NZ a beautiful reality 🙂  Thank God from whom all blessings flow 🙂

Note: Daryl and I were a part of a group of pastors and leaders from our church who were invited for a leaders’ training in Hamilton, New Zealand. We stayed on for a few more days after the training to see friends and family in NZ.

Tips on Facing the Challenge of DIY Projects

There are some amazing DIY projects that you can find uploaded on YouTube and even posted on Facebook. My personal thought is that it looks so simple but when I try them they seem sooo hard 🙂

Eyeglasses Beside Pink Yarn on Pink Bed Blanket

Anyways, I have had my own share of DIY projects at home and would be posting them soon. My husband is good with this and some of his projects have included making cabinets and shelves at home 🙂

Are you always thinking of doing a project yourself and yet have not even started it? Or perhaps, you’ve already began but you have no energy now to finish it. Well, here are three simple tips that might help you move forward with your project.

  1. Enlist your family or friends in the project. Nothing beats the fun of doing a project together. It helps you get motivated to do it and to actually finish it. And it can be a lot of fun, too. You will get tired and even dirty as you do the project but you can factor in the fun and bonding moment that you get to share with them.
  2. Start with simple projects first. Choose the basic and simple ones first. This means less work for you and finishing it soon will bolster your confidence to go for a more complicated or difficult project next time. Make it easy on yourself first especially if you haven’t done projects like this for some time or if it is your first time.
  3. Make sure you have all the materials you need. Make sure that you have all the materials you need before you begin. You see, if a material or tool is missing, you will end up looking for it or going to the store for it and it might cut the momentum you’re already enjoying as you work on the project. So gather them all — whether it be a needle, hammer, cloth or even cables and kits check it out at GuitarCenter.

Finishing a project can bring a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for you and for your “workmates” once it is done. Work on that project now, keeping these tips in mind.

When Music Binds a Family Together

Back when I was growing up in Bohol, there was a family of musicians and performers who would visit our house during the Christmas season. As a family, they would play musical instruments and sing Christmas carols. The younger ones would dance to the song being performed. I think there were about 7 members in the family including the parents.

The world music scene has had its share of families of singers and musicians performing together. Here are just three of them:

  1. The Osmonds. The Osmond brothers played musical instruments and sang together. They were quite famous in the 70s. One of their hit songs Love Me for a Reason (a cover of a Johnny Bristol song) was also covered by the Irish boy band, Boyzone. This Boyzone cover is the one my generation would be more familiar with 🙂
  2. The Jacksons. Of course, our memory of families or family members singing or performing together will not be complete without mentioning The Jacksons or The Jackson 5. One of their most memorable songs is I’ll Be There which was also famously covered by Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz.
  3. Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. Our experience of reggae will never be complete without hearing Bob Marley songs. The legendary Bob Marley passed on his musical abilities to his children who begun performing together in 1979. They released over 10 albums together.

There are many others in the music scene today who share the same family names and yes, musical DNA.

I believe that singing and playing music together can help families bond together as well. And there are several musical instruments they can try and explore playing together. It can be as basic as a guitar or a piano or a set of drums and even timpani (try to check it out!).

Now of course, if the family is not musically inclined, there are also other activities that can be done together to help create lasting bonds and build beautiful memories.

Summer and Poetry

Summer is here in this part of the world 🙂  And to celebrate the season, I would like to share here a poem from Louise Gluck about summer. Here it is:


Remember the days of our first happiness,
how strong we were, how dazed by passion,
lying all day, then all night in the narrow bed,
sleeping there, eating there too: it was summer,
it seemed everything had ripened
at once. And so hot we lay completely uncovered.
Sometimes the wind rose; a willow brushed the window.

But we were lost in a way, didn’t you feel that?
The bed was like a raft; I felt us drifting
far from our natures, toward a place where we’d discover nothing.
First the sun, then the moon, in fragments,
stone through the willow.
Things anyone could see.

Then the circles closed. Slowly the nights grew cool;
the pendant leaves of the willow
yellowed and fell. And in each of us began
a deep isolation, though we never spoke of this,
of the absence of regret.
We were artists again, my husband.
We could resume the journey.

Couple Standing in the Seashore Hugging Each Other during Sunset

As for me, I have decided to “resume” my journey of writing poetry again. Although I have never really stopped, I have never seriously considered publishing my own poetry collection. Well, some of them have come out on magazines and anthologies but not in a book as my own collection. So that’s a project I hope to pursue this year and hopefully, God willing, have the collection ready for publishing by next year. May it be that we will not indeed forget the artists and writers in us 🙂