If Your Life is in a Rut, Do Something before You Rot


Are you in this rut?

Two weeks ago, I passed by a pick-up truck with this sticker on the back. I did not mind it until I was a few steps away.

So I hurried back and took this picture.

The message, at face value, is satirically funny. Yet it is laden with a deeper meaning for a lot of seniors like you and me.

It made me wonder, “Is my life like this? What a rut that would be.”

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Elder Abuse: Another Menace to Seniors

elder abuse

Never do it again, you hear?

The life of a senior is often like playing with a loaded dice – they lose each toss.

Not only do we face a myriad of problems, i.e., physical, mental, social, money, loneliness and many others, we are also easy preys to elder abuse.

For example, the U.S. Justice Department estimates that 1 in 10 seniors are abused each year. The figures could be higher if all cases are reported.

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How to Ease Your Loneliness



Loneliness – silent but deadly!

I am a live-alone senior but I am never lonely.

Why? Because my mind is always exploring ideas, wandering to distant places and new technologies, and how to get people read my articles. LOL!

I never allow my mind to dwell on self-pity, disappointments over past failures and unmet expectations. Yes, I grieved deeply when my wife died but I got out of it soon before it can ruin me.

In fact, I relish my lonesome moments because by being alone, I can have clarity of mind and the motivation to achieve my purpose as a writer.

But I cannot speak for other seniors.

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Why Gays Are to be Treated like Any Other


Gay couple – they are people, too!

I am not gay, but there is always one in every generation of my family.

When I was young, I was effeminate that my Mom wanted me to be a priest. LOL!

Maybe my consciousness revolted against the idea that I shed off that trait as I grew up. But my younger brother got that familial aberrant gene. And my nephew and uncles and cousins on both sides of the family.

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The Filipino Houses of Acuzar – a “Must See!”

Maranaw Houses – simple, elegant and extinct.

Nothing is over until it’s over- no matter how old you can be.

I found this out over the weekend in a place I thought I may never have the chance to see, feel and experience in my lifetime – the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar (The Filipino Houses of Acuzar), a heritage resort in Bagac, Bataan, Philippines,  150 kms west of Metro Manila.

Through Google, I had a fairly good idea what to expect. But it was too far below from what I saw when we got there.

The Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is not just like any resort. It is a resort with a difference – it takes you back to between mid-Spanish colonial times and early American occupation.

In a touch of insanely creative genius (and lots of cash), the owner, Mr. José “Gerry” Acuzar, an architect, built replicas or bought Filipinos houses of the era, dismantled them “in situ,”  and rebuilt them, piece by piece, into his 40-ha lot in the province.

The result is like a storybook that is seen and felt, not read.

Mr. Acuzar’s eye for perfection left nothing to chance – from the cobbled paths along each house, to the stone bridges that span the resort’s waterways, and the attire the staff wears – all are reminiscent of that important period of the country’s history.

And it has paid off. The Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar is now one of the Philippines’ most visited travel destinations and a favorite wedding venue.


Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar:

The food is great, but the interior is astounding (this is where we had lunch).


A tiny glimpse of the past (taken along the beach front) – how it must have looked in the mid 1800s, sans the passenger jeep.


Fantastic view from elegantly made stone bridges – taken from the back entrance of our hotel


Old but stately – El 82 – the hotel we stayed in. It belonged to the famous Ongpins of Manila.


Lola Basyang and children eager to hear her stories:

“Lola Basyang” is the pen name of Severino Reyes (February 11, 1861 – September 15, 1942), a Filipino writer and playwright and famous for his anthology of short stories that regaled children at the time.


Bridge of monsters:

Lola Basyang’s favorite evil characters, beautifully sculpted, attached beneath a breath-taking stone bridge (l to rkapre (ogre), mananggal (vampire), and the tikbalang (centaur)).


Hotel del Oriente – regal and colorful, then and now

Hotel del Oriente was a first class hotel in Manila and the entire archipelago built by Don Manuel Perez Marqueti in 1889.

If you missed it then, don’t miss it now.


The one and only – its plate states that it was the only red brick house during the period.

Then and now, it is still a sight to behold.


Want a ride?

Tourists having a field day in a horse-drawn colorful carriage. At the back is Casa Hagonoy.


The other face of Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar:

As unique as this resort is, it is also unique in its facility to provide beach-lovers an unparalleled space to romp, play games, or simply bond – barefoot – on the sand.

Its beachfront is as broad and deep and clean (probably cleaner) than that of Atlantic City’s.


The beach – as long and wide as your legs can take.


Or bond with friends in the midst of sea, sky sand – the elements of a happy and contented life,


Or enjoy the spectacle of carabao racing.


And when the sun starts it journey to the far side and make today a yesterday, it is the best place for contemplation and gratitude for having lived a day that will soon become a memory.

As a writer, I pride myself with having a deep vocabulary. Yet, Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, left me speechless. I can use all the superlatives in the English language, but deep in my gut is the nagging feeling that I have not described it well enough.

Note: All photos were taken from my new Huawei Nova 2i – courtesy of my daughter. LOL!




















Warning: Are You Unknowingly Making Yourself Blind

vision loss

Don’t live in total darkness!

That got your attention, didn’t it? It made you think of how well are you taking care of your eyes.

We fuss too mush over the wrinkles on our face, hands, and tummy. We spend too much on health foods and supplements, and be concerned when we start forgetting things.

Yet, we hardly do anything about our eyes. For example, can you remember the last time you had your eyes checked? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Warning: Diarrhea can Cause Serious Medical Problems



Oh no, not again!

Have you had days when your stomach rebels against you? It keeps on rumbling and makes you rush to the toilet more times than you want to?

Well, you are not alone. We all experience it once in while and the feeling is horrible. It puts you on the edge the entire day.

Part of aging, they say. Or is it?

Science says that people age, their stomach linings’ capacity to resist damage and elasticity decrease making it susceptible to gastrointestinal disorders like diarrhea.


What is Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is an abnormal watery bowel movement that comes frequently – more than three times a day


Among seniors, it is commonly caused by gastrointestinal disease, certain medications, food contamination, intolerance to lactose and gluten, artificial sweeteners and immune deficiencies.

If diarrhea comes with nausea, fever, and vomiting, it may be due to an infection which could last a few days. And it should not be taken lightly as it can be dangerous, even life-threatening, if not attended to.

Diarrhea, if untreated, can result to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and, in worst cases, weakness and death, says Anil Minocha, M.D., gastroenterologist and author of the book, “The Encyclopedia of the Digestive System and Digestive Disorders.”


How to ride out diarrhea:

Occasional diarrhea is no cause for worry, unless it becomes chronic (lasting more than a week). It creates inconvenience and can sap your strength. But by doing these simple “home” things you will, again, be fit as a fiddle after a day or two.


1.  Stay home:
Nothing is more horrifying than to feel the need for a toilet and the nearest one is a block away.

So stay home and rest. Diarrhea can sap your energy to the bone.


2.  Keep hydrated:
Dehydration is a dangerous dehydration risk among seniors. It can cause confusion, dizziness, low blood pressure and rapid heart rate.

Drink lots of liquids, particularly electrolytes (minerals that affect body functions like amount of water, and pH value of the blood) like Gatorade.


3.   Go on a diet:
Go on a diet when you have diarrhea.

Don’t eat fatty foods, milk, butter, ice cream, cheese, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, artificial sweeteners, and foods that produce excess stomach gas like cabbage, beans broccoli and cauliflower.

Eat lots of bananas. Its high potassium content will minimize loss of energy. For meals, stick to white rice congee or white bread with hard boiled eggs.

It’s tough. So is rushing to the toilet every hour.


4.  Take anti-diarrhea medications:
Most doctors would recommend bananas and electrolytic drinks to ride out a bout of diarrhea.

This approach is agonizingly slow. So if you want a fast relief, take some medications. Diatabs (Loperamide) and Lomotil (Diphenoxylate hydrochloride) are both effective. When we were kids, my Grandma’s favorite was Kaopectate (Bismuth subsalicylate).

Do not take more than necessary. They all result to constipation.


5.  Rest:
Diarrhea can be emotionally and physically draining. So don’t aggravate the situation by keeping to your daily routine. Give yourself a break. It might just be what you need to give you a better perspective in life; give you some lessons in self-care and food preferences.

About a hear ago, I had a serious bout of diarrhea. For almost twelve hours, I had to go to the toilet every hour on the hour. Though I was not dehydrated but I was beginning to tire.

In desperation, I had to call my daughter (who is a doctor). She promptly administered IV fluids to compensate for my fluid and nutritional loss. That did the trick.

Please share with other seniors so they can avoid the serious implications of diarrhea.

Image: www.livestrong.com





5 Cool Ideas to Keep You Busy and Happy

DIY things

I can do this!

Have you ever mowed your lawn using not a mechanized or motorized mower, but the old mechanical, push and pull type?

A week ago, I did. It is one of those “do-it-yourself” things I love to do. This time, however, there was nothing lovable about it  It was pure hard labor I almost quit several times during the two-hour ordeal.

The problem was not in the mowing but of the thick grass cover of my lawn. Each push and pull of the darn, old clickity-clank of the mower was pure agony.

My stubbornness paid off. Not only was I able to make my lawn look fresh – again – I also kept myself busy with what could have been another lazy Sunday.

It saved me a few bucks and kept boredom away. Though dead-tired afterward, my self-esteem was given a big boost.

Of course, you don’t have to mow your lawn to accomplish what I did. There are several ways of keeping yourself busy and your self-esteem happy. Here are five super cool ideas to choose from:


1.  Wooden toolbox:
You can make a simple, yet elegant, wooden toolbox from bits of wood, a few nails, and a small tube of wood glue.Then you must have a hammer, jigsaw and a planer.

Of course, you can buy one from Costco or any other hardware store, but making it yourself is more fun and satisfying.


2.  Bacon candles:
A bacon candle is a candle made from leftover fat after cooking bacon. It makes your home smell like sizzling bacon long after you have washed down your bacon-and-egg breakfasts with brewed coffee.

You can learn how to do this from a short video tutorial at diyjoy.com.


3.  Knife from used saw blades:
I am a recycle and reuse guy but I have not tried this one yet. It is difficult to lay my hands on discarded saw blades. If you can, recycling them into kitchen or utility knives.

Small knives like this will be good for cutting or dicing vegetables of pruning small branches from your garden plants.

Detailed instruction on how to make this is shown at artofmaniliness.com.


4.  Paracord recliner:
If you want a comfortable recliner in your garden or porch, don’t buy. Make one.

All you need are a few pieces of wood, carpentry tools, and a parachute cord. It’s lightweight, elegant and you can move it anywhere you want to.

You can refer to Instructables.com to help you build one.


5.  Signature camera strap:
No, I don’t mean a camera strap from Salvatore, but something more personal, something that shows your personality – your signature camera strap.

It is really quite easy and cheap. All you need are an old polo shirt, a frayed belt, belt and an old leather boot.

Detailed instructions are found at modcloth.com.

DIY things may require some effort, probably a stiff learning curve. But that’s the challenge – to flex your mental muscles a bit, test your resourcefulness and ingenuity.

But the feeling of having done something is very exhilarating; it makes you feel superb, gives you purpose.

I take pride in what I do. It is evident in my writing. Yes, writing keeps me busy. In fact, I wish I can stretch the hours a little more so I can do more learning and writing.

Try it. You will never regret it.

Please share to encourage other seniors the beauty of self-satisfaction one gets from DIY things.

Image: https://www.istockphoto.com/photos/senior-men-hobbies-carpenter-carpentry


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