Sunday, August 28, 2016

Beautiful Sunday # 228 - Last for August

Hello long weekend! Been looking forward to this since last week. I had plans. A lot! Unfortunately, looks like only half of it will proceed. Took home some freelance works and some examination papers to check. I promised to start working on Friday night. Spend a couple of hours and continue everything on the next days. Problem is, I obviously ruined everything. Haha  

My plan was to get home early on Friday. It was raining so hard and as expected, traffic will be at its worst. Me and M decided to walk to the train station, only to later end up having dinner. Haha I arrived home a little late and wasn't in the mood to work. I spent the remaining hours starting another K. drama. I got carried away and realised it was already 3 am. I finally slept and as you can expect it, woke up late with swollen eyes. I didn't cry with the heartbreaking story. I was fuming mad with the lead female character. Hahaha  It didn't help that my monthly red alert came when I woke up. For my female friends who can relate, there is dysmenorrhea to ruin the day. I attended to some errands and the real work started only on Saturday night. Early Sunday morning came and I can't remember how I wasted it. Haha So there, I'm typing this at 9:57 pm, still feeling hopeful but at the same time, procrastinating again. I am so great! Hahaha I wanted to go out either today or tomorrow, after all the take home work is done. With swollen eyes, unruliest hair that badly needs a trim, unexplained wounds and scars on my legs, I don't think going out is a good idea. I smell another food delivery or online shopping coming instead. Yes, story of my life.

Setting aside all my shallow issues in life, here are the few beautiful things that made the past week

Freelance works - And yet again! Haha Even though this makes me anti-social and contributes to my bad eating and sleeping habits, this has been my refuge. I get to feel that I will have an opportunity to do something good whenever I scored a freelance work. I rarely experience one from my day job. I can't remember when was the last time I was appreciated or at the very least, got some pat on the back. And I don't talk about some sugar coated appreciation here like you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Thank you freelance works for reminding me that I'm not in any way useless and worthless.

Postcards from Batanes - Scored this postcards from Hub Make Lab in Escolta Manila. While the trip to Batanes remains as a wish, I'll enjoy these postcards and share them to a few friends.

Peter Rabbit is love - Thanks Mother E for the referral. I got these second hand books from an IG reseller. My dream is to complete Beatrix Potter's book series and to be like her. Haha How great it is to pursue your dreams, earn money and do something for a good cause. 

Good old Japanese restaurant - I've been seeing this Japanese restaurant in my hometown for years already. Unfortunately my parents and family members are not inclined to Japanese cuisine. After taking some errands yesterday, I decided to finally check it out. Treated myself to some spicy ramen and California maki. I'm feeling hungry while typing this. Problem is, they don't deliver. So I have to drag my lazy self if I want to enjoy some good food. Define overweight, ugly and diminishing self -esteem problems. Haha On a different note, I'm loving my Samsung A8's camera. I love that it was able to capture sharp images. 

I still want to write more but the thoughts in my head are the most disorganized. Meanwhile, I have to return to my freelance work. Hopefully, my swollen eyes will be fine tomorrow and the nasty wounds and scars will just go away.

Wishing everyone a great week and a better month. Hello BER months!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Beautiful Sunday # 227 - Forces

I'm excited for the upcoming week because of the long holiday. Haha But before the holiday break, I hope to accomplish all pending tasks at work. I'm also hoping to drop by my favorite antique shops and acquire another set of interesting postcards. On the last day of work, I would love to have a great dinner with my few friends. I'm alright with a cheap food trip from Binondo. It's surely the best way to welcome a rare long weekend. 

The past week has been quite a whirlwind. It started when our dearest pet dog, Doglas went ahead to doggie heaven. My only consolation, I fed him with the best food before he finally closed his eyes. Not everyone will have the privilege of having a pet dog for more than a decade. Today, the house has been quiet and organized. Gone are the days when the straps of our slippers are filled with bite marks. I miss the sight of Doglas in our kitchen. 

A night after Doglas' death I was alarmed with the news about a former student. I arrived home seeing unusual volume of messages in my Facebook account. I was shocked to hear a former student facing criminal charges. I extended some help to this student a few months ago. Knowing the real story behind, I felt sad and disappointed. I'm also bothered with the possibility that the little assistance I gave become contributory to the crime he committed. Everything is on the hands of the justice system now. I just hope that this will the last and only time when I will encounter another bright future wasted. 

Speaking of Facebook, my newsfeed and timeline have been very active this week. It started with the popular video of this Syrian boy. Reports said that the kid is already on his way to recovery.  I can only wish for a better life and new home for his entire family. Hopefully, it will be away from Syria. It made me remember another Syrian kid who died from drowning. I have no words. A request for all those with power and authority, do something to spare all the children. 

While I don't allow myself to be "polluted" with all political related events, I sometimes can't help but encounter some issues, controversies, accusations and different personalities trying to make a good image of themselves. I will not mention them here. But really, the last thing I expect from elected government leaders are wasting time to taint each other's reputation. I'm fed up with interviews and speeches. 

On the lighter side, I found some interesting links from Facebook. This feel good animated short film is too cute and I guess, relays some hidden messages. For my Filipino friends, check out this compiled status messages of the most LOL anecdotes. 

Before I forget, here are the few beautiful things summarized through photos

Postcards all the way from the Netherlands - Thank you Marieken! It's my first time to receive a postcard bearing the same design with that of the stamp. I also love the vintage car featured in the card. 

Another happy mail from Terra - Love all the way from the USA. Thank you Terra for the most beautiful, refreshing and heart warming messages inside each card and postcards.

Current read - For those who love Lang Leav's works, you might become interested with Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey. It's a compilation of stories related in poetry form. A little precaution to conservative souls, :) the book possesses a level of brutality and violence. 

Lupe Saenz is love - This is my second pair from shoe brand, Lupe Saenz. What I love about this brand, they create real leather shoes. Each pair is stylish, sturdy and a little expensive but but but reasonable enough for a customized leather pair. Yes, I chose the style and color swatches. I designed my own pair! I will make a separate post about this.

Taco weekend again - I can live with tacos and nachos forever. Haha 

I'm typing this post at 1:27 am. I feel quite relieved because I was able to check my pending examination papers before blogging. But I have a blessing of a pending freelance work tomorrow. Haha This means additional money, but not enough to purchase another camera. Unfortunately, the error messages in my Sony camera remains unresolved. I have other plans for this year and as I have said, acquiring a new camera is  not in the list. But if I will receive a better camera as a gift, who am I to complain and refuse? Haha 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

F. E. Malohn of Oakland California

The used postcard series is back :)

For those who landed here for the first time, here's a brief explanation of my used postcard series. 

I started this fascination of buying "used postcards" last year. Used postcards are literally postcards that were sent and delivered to their owners. Over time however, these postcards were thrown away or probably sold and landed on the racks of vintage and antique shops. 

I used to be interested in buying vintage postcards for my friends abroad. But when I discovered that shops also sell "used postcards," the old soul in me was mesmerised. Even though I'm buying something useless, I felt interesting stories behind each postcard. I started acquiring pieces every time I encounter one. My innate researcher or should I say, stalker hormones was activated. Hahaha In my mind, I formed stories behind the messages, senders and recipients. The idea of searching the people involved in every postcard dawned on me. Having a blog, I thought this can serve as my initial attempt. While I have leads for all the used postcards in my colleciton, I'm still left unaccomplished. I haven't received any related email or inquiry. My wish is that at least one of my published posts will reach either the sender or recipient.

A few weeks ago. I chanced upon this used envelope from my favourite shop in Sta. Cruz, Manila. It showcased a First Day Cover (FDC). For those who are not familiar with the world of philately (stamp collection), FDC is an envelope bearing postmarked stamps on their first day of issue. The Central Post Office of a particular country is the lone body that issues and distributes FDC. Although with the advent of technology, we all know that anything can be resold by anybody. FDCs usually showcase a historic event or issued to commemorate a significant person. Sometimes, FDCs are declared as collector's item. It can't be used for mailing purposes.

I was able to acquire an FDC intended to commemorate the 200th birth anniversary of Marquis de Lafayette. (Please don't ask me to pronounce his name. Hahaha) He was known as the hero of two worlds, attributed to his significant contributions in restoring peace and order for USA and France. He served as a military officer during the time of American Revolution, French Revolution and the July Revolution.

I'm not much interested with the key person featured in this FDC. I'm more concerned with the owner or recipient. Given that not all FDCs are meant for mailing, I have to consider the probability that the typewritten information may not be valid. I'm not sure but the name can probably be typewritten to signify ownership. The only thing I can hold on for now, I have a document that is 59 years old.

How I wish the envelope comes with a letter inside. :) It would make as a nice story. 

Like my usual "stalking" process, I checked the validity of the address. Using Instant Streetview, I was directed to this place. True enough, the address is existing!

The address brought me to a typical residential site. The house in the middle was pointed as the exact location. The house looks modern for me. I can't assure that it was the same structure in 1957. Setting aside the house, my attention was caught by the shadow behind the car. It looked like a lady holding a leashed dog. :) Cute!

After the address, I searched information about Mrs. F.E. Malohn. Given that the name existed since 1957, the probability that she still resides in the house is almost impossible. I assume. There are endless possible stories about the real owners of the address. The property can be passed on to the children or sold to another owner.

As for Mrs. F.E. Malohn, I was unsuccessful finding decent leads about here. The nearest I had was a telephone directory, which contained a few entries with Malohn as a family name. But most of them are not in any way situated in Oakland.

For some unexplained reasons, Google is giving me "Melohn" as an alternative for "Malohn." I don't consider the possibility that US government allows respelling of family names. At this point, I don't have sufficient data to give me leads for Mrs. F. E. Malohn. I'm thinking of printing this blog post and sending it over to the address. But then, to whom shall I address the envelope? I'm not even sure if a certain F. E. Malohn still resides in the address.

I'll leave the little information I have as it is. I'm just hoping that one of these days, a family or relative with the same family name uses Google and be directed to this post. 

See my other used postcards here

Dr. Cesar Viana and Dr. Erlinda Roldan of Brooklyn in 1982

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Beautiful Sunday # 226 - Rain

Hello there week long rainy weather! After months of complaining about the "always summer" weather in Manila, the rainy season has finally arrived. While I appreciate the rare cold temperature, the hassles it bring is "thanks, but no thanks." Traffic worsens. For some reason, even the train's operations get affected. And for those who are also working in Manila, one can surely relate about the struggle of walking along the flooded streets. Good thing though, a benefit arising from working in an academic institution is the suspension of work along with the classes.

The non-stop rain fall on Saturday morning has been very conducive for sleeping, movie marathon, and all those lazy activities at home. But for someone who lives in Marikina, the enjoyment is replaced by worries. Typhoon Ondoy in 2009 traumatized families here whenever excessive rain fall is experienced. We felt a little better when the rains ceased in the afternoon. 

Before Friday, I engaged in some panic buying. Yes, another trauma brought by the unfortunate event in 2009. I bought a lot of toiletries and food. I craved for tacos so I took home some ingredients as well. Happy Tummy! Everybody happy at home! I also realized that DIY tacos are way cheaper than the usual indulgences, particularly food deliveries, during weekends. For a budget of Php 150, we have enough tacos for the weekend.

Other than my satisfied taco craving, here are the other beautiful things that made the past week.

Gifts from Leah - Thank you for the wooden coasters Leah! It will surely be useful for my future projects. 

Charlie Brown and Snoopy - Found this on sale from a nearby McDonald's store. I had no plans of buying but Charlie Brown reminded me of my pet dog, Doglas. Unfortunately, our dear Doglas is not in a good state now. Some inconsiderate neighbor with a nice car played hit and run to our poor Doglas. 

Trip to Magnolia Ice Cream House - I appreciate Robinsons Mall Magnolia because of the lesser crowd and space. But I have to admit, I hated its construction because it meant destroying the old Magnolia Ice Cream House, one of my favorite childhood memories. For me, the old Magnolia Ice Cream House in Quezon City is heritage. But then again, who am I to judge? I don't have knowledge in urban planning. My only consolation is that Robinsons Corporation decided to recreate the ice cream house. I've been to the mall a few times and this was the first time I got to try the recreated Magnolia Flavor House. I love that it's located in the middle of a garden, the full glass structure and the swirl chairs inside. We ordered ice cream in the middle of a cold and rainy afternoon. Hahaha I enjoyed my ube ice cream and catching up stories with my friends.

Few scenes from the Metropolitan Theater - I have been wanting to take photos of the beautiful but decaying Metropolitan Theater. Problem is, it is not the safest place for using mobile phones or cameras. But last Friday, I had the chance to take photos because my friend A is playing competitive with Pokemon Go. Hahahaha My photos are still limited. But here's the catch, my friends have been very superstitious about the abandoned theater. They have their own ghost and unusual stories. I didn't believe any of them not until.... I discovered that my camera started to show some deterioration after taking photos of the theater. Noooooooo! 

My Sony camera is starting to show error messages. In particular, it shows E:62:10 error whenever I use it. Also, it takes some time before the display screen shows up. I tried searching for solutions. A lot suggested a very risky move. Slapping the sides of the camera seem to resolve the problem for some Sony users. But no, I will never do that. I have plans on the last quarter of the year and buying another camera is not one of them. Having another unexpected expense is not an option. While I have a decent camera from my Samsung A8, I'm still comfortable with the shots from my Sony camera. For some reason, I can't get my preferred filters and appearance with shots taken from my mobile phone. Anyone who has encountered same problems with a Sony camera? Please, I beg. Share me your solutions. 

Here are other beautiful things I encountered last week

Selfie of North and South Korean Gymnasts is love - Although, I'm part of the crowd who began to worry about the fate of the North Korean girl. 

Dreams do come true for Joseph Schooling - I love the story of Singaporean kid who defeated the person he looks up to, Michael Phelps. But Phelps does not have to be ashamed of anything. I'm speechless with his performance. 

Define a happy and supportive workplace - I love what DHL did for their employees, especially for those addicted with Pokemon Go hahaha

Smart Retention Program - And no,this is not a sponsored mention. Haha I had my Smart postpaid line renewed before weekend. I was surprised with the Rebate program they gave me. Yaaay! Thanks Smart! 

The Parisian Macao Hotel - When I visited Macao last year, this hotel was still under construction. I thought it was just an extension from one of the existing hotels. Turns out, it was another magnificent structure in Macao. While my Europe Trip is still impossible hahaha I can settle for this for the mean time. 

I'm typing this post while listening to Jon Secada's playlist. I didn't realize that I will love his songs. Like I often mention here, I'm an old soul. I have enjoyed the music genre way older than me. :)

Wishing everyone a beautiful Sunday and a great week ahead. Stay safe and dry :) 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Erlinda Roldan M.D. and Cesar Viana M.D. : From Puerto Rico to Brooklyn USA in 1982

And my weird hobby continues..... Hahaha

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit my favourite shop in Sta. Cruz, Manila. I was able to score some vintage postcards for my friends. My friends who have been reading my blog are not new to my weird hobby of collecting used postcards. I rummaged the dusty pile of postcards of the store, in the hope to find another used postcard. I sought the assistance of the store owner, only to discover that even the owner is not aware of the used postcards. While I appreciate the usual discount they give, I sometimes thought of leaving my number and requesting them to keep all used postcards. But I guess they will not manage do it because I'm not someone who spends a lot during my visit. Nevertheless, I'm already happy and contented on the times whenever I'm able to score used postcards. 

Unlike the previous postcard, this one is older but appears to be "younger" or I should say, well preserved. Except for some minor stain and discolouration, the quality of the card is still good. 

The sender and the recipient are obviously both from the field of medicine and health sciences. As it appears, Erlinda Roldan, M.D. is a senior colleague. Both are stationed in the American continent and based from their names, I would assume that they are Filipinos. I hope they are not Mexicans because as most of us know, they have been a colony of Spain as well. Like Filipinos, most Mexican names still bear that Spanish lineage. I will hold on to my belief that the two medical practitioners are Filipinos because the postcard would not have landed in Manila if they were Mexicans. 

The message in the postcard was written in January 1982. I wasn't alive yet during this year. (Just to emphasise that I'm not that old. Hahahahaha) The sender, Cesar Viana M.D., is on a holiday in Puerto Rico. If he is really stationed in US, I believe he took advantage of the tropical weather in Puerto Rico to escape the probably winter season in US. But this is just a story I made up in my mind. Hahahaha 

I tried to search details about Cesar Viana, M.D. I even had a hard time reading his signature. I can't figure out whether his last name is Viana or Viara. But with the aid of Google, I found more leads about Cesar Viana, M.D.  In effect, I assumed that sender's name was Viana.

If the information I gathered was accurate, Cesar Viana, M.D. practices Pediatrics in Puerto Rico. I got these information from this link. Upon checking his educational background, I learned that his education were from a school in Puerto Rico and took residency from two hospitals in USA, particularly in New York. This gave me a layer of mystery. Given this educational background, I have to raise the probability that he is not a Filipino. The chance that he studied in Manila and pursued medicine abroad diminished with the information I gathered. From this link, I learned that he acquired his PR Medical license in 1983. If he was 30 years old when he got his license (the usual for doctors, I guess), he is on his mid 60s already. Almost of the same age as my parents.

I tried my best to find his email address. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find any lead. All I was able to secure were office addresses and phone numbers. Phone number is definitely not an option. As for the office address, I'm quite reluctant to send a letter. I would really appreciate if anyone can help me find his email address. This goes with the assumption that he still uses email. I hope so.

By accident, I also found another Cesar Viana, who happens to be a Filipino. Unfortunately, details about this Cesar Viana is not something to like. He was identified as a class "bully" who left a traumatic childhood for author, Allen Kurzweil. When I tracked their ages, discovered a significant discrepancy. I think one can't be a doctor at the age of 21 to 25 in 1982.

Focusing on the recipient, I was so happy to find a compete address. Added to this, I love that most US addresses remain the same over time. Unlike in the Philippines when numbers of home addresses and streets easily change over time. Hahaha With the help of Instant Street View, the recipient's address showed this

As expected, the address pointed to a hospital. In particular, The Brooklyn Hospital Center. I tried searching information about Erlinda Roldan, M.D. Unfortunately, the leads were too limited.

One information from this site, confirmed that she was in the field of Pediatric Endocrinology. This makes sense because the sender appears to be in the field of Pediatrics as well. Another information was from this published research in 1962. The journal that published the research was in the field of Pediatrics. Along the way, I almost missed this co-authored publication in 1958. My information are becoming consistent and valid to each other. But given that the journal was published in 1962, this establishes that the recipient is probably in her late 80s to 90s already.  True enough, I was able to land on these census details. She was born in 1927 and passed away in 2009, according to death figuresThis source also provides another validation.  If the information I secured were true and accurate, my blog post came too late. Sad.

The lone option is to find the sender of the card. Unfortunately, I can't find any leads about his email address and current status. My wish is that one of these days, someone close to Cesar Viana, M.D. can help me inform him about this postcard. Although of course, I'm not sure he would like the idea of seeing the postcard he sent 34 years ago.

Check out my other used postcards and envelopes here

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Beautiful Sunday # 225 - I have to

I have a lot of pending posts. Mostly are from the new loot of used postcards I got two weeks ago. Promise, the next batch is so interesting! Problem is, I got occupied with work the entire week. I attended a week long conference. I felt unusually exhausted and drained after each day. I didn't anymore have the energy to compose another post. Friday felt the most exhausting. I experienced unexplained leg pains. I decided to go home a little late because I had a nice dinner and discussion with my friend M. I thought going home would be easier but much to my surprise, finding a UV express felt like forever. I took a different and longer route. The ending, I arrived home the next day. Hahaha I reached home at 12:30 am.

Last week, I dealt with one of my most hated weaknesses. Arguing and winning a real life debate. I thought I would be given a break from my stupidity episodes. Attending a conference unfortunately serves as another great avenue to engage in a debate. Whether I like it or not, I have to speak out and explain. The process of explaining myself and proving my point was f.... never mind. Hahaha 

Before the disastrous trip home last Friday, I had a nice discussion with my friend M. It started when I expressed my disappointment on how some unfortunate events redefine the meaning of friendship. I have witnessed downfall in different forms. I knew someone who lost all material wealth because of some unscrupulous criminals or a contradicting, legal liability. Someone was so wealthy but because of Cancer and those money wrecking diseases, had lost everything. The closest I can observe are colleagues dethroned from their positions. When they were still in the "pedestal,"  I was amazed by the number of people around them. Their working tables are overflowing with gifts during birthdays and Christmas. They have the happiest Facebook feed. Mostly are showcasing trips abroad, awards, luncheons and dinner with friends? Friends? Friends? When the position was taken away, I noticed that their composition of friends diminished and totally changed. As much as I feel a degree of pity to people who lost friends, my heart is leaning to develop hatred for the antagonists. Yes, I'm that intense. Hahaha I get affected with people who seem to perfectly model the meaning of deceiving friendship ... the kind friendship anchored from benefits. Sad. Frustrating. But the thing is, I live with this kind of people. I deal with them everyday. There's no way for me to avoid them. I have to follow their orders. I have to treat them with my utmost respect. 

Before this turns to a bitter post hahaha let me share the few beautiful things that made my week

Happy Mail - Thank you Marieken for all the postcards! 

I love to sleep.... period. But yes, sleeping serves like a time machine for breakfast. Unknown to most people, I actually love breakfast food. There were times when I'm inspired to report for work early because I wanted to catch Mc Donald's breakfast value meals. Hahahaha 

I love Beauty MNL! - I love the packaging even though there's really nothing extraordinary about it. But the real reason why I love Beauty MNL is because they delivered hours after I placed my order. Talk about an efficient online shopping site, I made my order around 1 am. I received an SMS around 8 am that my order is being delivered. True enough, everything arrived before lunch time. I don't mind paying their Php 50 shipping fee. It was all worth it!

Meanwhile in Manila - I discovered this nice view of Intramuros and Manila's skyline last week. I'm interested how the view looks like in the evening.

Natural Sepia - I was surprised with the natural sepia scene in Manila. Promise, I didn't use filters in the last photo. I just added a little brightness. I love how Manila looked like after a long afternoon rain and sunset. 

And some other things that captured my interest,

Salted Egg Potato Chips - I live far away from Salcedo Market and Rockwell. When I say far, I'm counting the effect of traffic. Hahaha I'm curious about this raved potato chips. Anyone who lives near Salcedo or regularly visits this weekend market? Can you please buy me a bottle? 

Annelies van Overbeek's Instagram account - This girl is superb! I love that she looks like Anne Frank too. 

Ever wondered how some people can maintain an Instagram feed with the same color scheme? Check out Nicole's instragram account here. I love the enchanting and dreamy feel of her feed. 

Speaking of Instagram, I was surprised with the updates made. How come snapchat landed on instagram? Hahaha 

How can I forget Pokemon Go?! It finally landed on the Philippines. 

It's 12:35 am as I'm typing this post. My legs are still aching. The rain suddenly poured again. Everything is becoming so inviting and conducive for sleeping. 

Wishing everyone a great weekend!