Category: GLOBAL LIBRARY

Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

Nymph Thetis holding Achilles by the heel , Walker Art Gallery – Liverpool, photo by JMorton

 

Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

I love the look of the statue.  It was one of many beautiful statues on display at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

The statue gives credence to the legend why the Greek hero, Achilles, has a vulnerability, although becoming the greatest warrior of Homer’s Illiad.

Achilles was the son of an immortal nymph, Thetis and a mortal (person) Peleus, the King of Myrmidons.

Apparently it was foretold by the oracle that their son will die very young.

Thetis and Peleus went to great lengths to protect Achilles.

Thetis took the baby Achilles and completely submerged him to the river Styx  except for his heel, which he was being held.  Apparently this ritual would make him invulnerable.

Achilles was valiant as a warrior until he was shot on his heel by Paris during the bloody Trojan War.

Achilles heel had come to mean ‘Point of vulnerability“.

 

 

 

Tawas by Candle (Supernatural Healing)

Tawas by Candle, photo by JMorton

Tawas by Candle (Supernatural Healing)

This time round, our visit to the Philippines is more tumultuous than past vacations, for obvious reason that we came home because our mother had passed away.

All of us have suffered from some form of ailments, mostly stomach ache, diarrhoea, stomach bug related.

It became ridiculous the amount of time we spent in the toilet and despite medication like imodium, diatabs and the likes, we continue to suffer.

There is only one thing left, consult the great lady of Necodemus in Tondo.  Apparently she has a very long experience of curing people without the expense of money and time consulting medical doctors and hospitals.

This lady of Necodemus can diagnose using candles and a bowl of water.

Sometimes, she does not even have to see the patient or know the full name.

Anyway the first one to consult the Lady of Necodemus, was Marilou.  She had not been sleeping because of acute stomach ache and the constant need to go to toilet.

The Lady of Nicodemus, did her supernatural bit by letting the tears from a lit candle fall into a bowl of water.  The tears from the candle then started to form a shape.  Marilou’s one has so much indentations and protuberance that it could only be a man.  🙂 🙂  The Lady of Necodemus said that a man (living) had hexed (usog) Marilou.  The lady prescribed Marilou a drink of a pancit pancit tea.  It seemed to have worked as Marilou finally had her good night sleep denied to her during the last few days.

When I heard about this shenanigans, I was so intrigued that I sent Dayday to the Lady of Necodemus to diagnose Peter.  Dayday said that she would go after 6pm, to ensure the power of the Lady of Necodemus was more potent.  Who am I to argue?!!! 🙂

At exactly 6pm, Dayday went and spoke to the Lady.  After the candle ritual, it was found out that Peter had not been hexed by anyone because the candles formed a very smooth shape, pretty normal.  His stomach upset was due to dinuguan, eating lots of bloodied pork!  How did the lady know about this.  Again Peter was prescribed the pancit pancit tea and to eat grilled pork and tofu.  He has not followed the advice, ergo still he still suffers from mild to acute stomach ache!

Just then my brother, who said he does not believe in supernatural hokus pokus, said that his left eye had turned red.  He said it just happened and the only strange thing that happened to him that day was meeting a cat at a hotel room that is largely not reached or occupied by paying guest.  My brother was there to fix the air-conditioning system.

Anyway Alma went to the Lady of Necodemus, who by now was absolutely perplexed by the goings on in our house in Fullon. 🙂 🙂 🙂

The lady said that we or my family in Fullon is living with a dwende (supernatural little person) in the house and that it is better to keep him undisturbed as he is harmless. Woah!!!

Also my brother seemed to have offended the spirit in the hotel and therefore he had to make amends by offering a sacrifice of 3 cigarettes, a glass of beer, a plate of food place in the darkest corner of the house.  My brother also has to say heartfelt apology.

Believe it or not!

Filipino Idioms (Tagalog Idyoma)

Sunset At Manila Bay, Photo by PH Morton

Filipino Idioms (Tagalog Idyoma)

Idioms are group of words, which have established meaning attached to them.

Hearing or reading them when not familiar with their intended definition can be mind boggling for their rather bizarre picture they perpetuate.  As an example is a British idiom “raining cats and dogs’. This means it is raining heavily, not of cats and dogs, but of the water variety.

There are plenty of Filipino idioms used  in everyday life:-

  • Balat sibuyas (onion skin), a person called balat sibuyas, means he/she is overly sensitive; someone who takes things too personally all the time.
  • Bukas ang palad (open palm) someone who is supposed to have bukas ang palad tends to be very helpful and generous, willing to lend money, anytime without asking for interest or sometimes return of the money.
  • Kaututang dila (farting tongue) Kaututang dila is someone you gossip with, someone you share your news all the time, your confidant.
  • Halang ang bituka (intestines are horizontal), a person describe as halang ang bituka is supposed to be of bad character, deplorable, untrust-worthy, and would kill for what he wants without feeling any guilt.
  • Hindi makabasag ng pingan (can’t break a plate), this idiom usually applies to girls and womem who are especially very modest and really demure.  They move so daintily and nimbly that it would be impossible for them to break anything.
  • Makati ang paa, (this translate to itchy feet ) it means a person who likes to travel or go places.
  • May gatas pa sa labi (There is still milk on their lips), meaning someone still very young, innocent and pure.  Someone who is definitely not nearing adulthood yet.
  • Matigas ang buto (strong bones), a person with matigas ang buto means he is very strong and possessing lots of stamina.
  • Matamis ang dila (sweet tongue), is someone who has the gift of the gab, he can speak with eloquence and fluency and therefore can influence people.
  • Malikot ang kamay (rowdy hands) a person with malikot ang kamay is someone who is a bit of a thief.  He/she takes things without permission.
  • Tulak ng bibig, kabig ng didib, (this is really hard to translate)  Anyway roughly it means what is coming from your lips is negated by how you really feel.  I do this all the time, which drives my husband crazy.  LOL. It is like when he takes me shopping, he will buy me a handbag, which I may not really like. I would just say nice lukewarmly because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. 🙂
  • Maitim ang dugo, (in English it translate to dark (black) blood.)  When a person is described as being maitim ang dugo, it means that person is evil or of no good character.
  • Magdilang Anghel (have an angel tongue), If someone who just said something really good and positive is then wished to magdilang angel so that what she just said would come true.

Funeral Rites a la Filipino

My beautiful, feisty mommy

Funeral Rites a la Filipino

We had to come earlier than planned and also unexpectedly to the Philippines.  This was because our beloved mother had suddenly passed away on 19 June 2017 at the age of 82.

Even now her passing is still rather surreal.  Our mother was so strong, feisty and had a very larger than life personality.  She always came out strong.

She was the type that spoke her mind no matter what consequence it would left behind.  She did not have a self-edit button in her brain.  She said things the way she perceived it and usually in a very tactless way, which sometimes did not earn her any good points.

However, despite her quirks, she did have a very good way of looking at things, her psychology of people worked very well.  She can see through anyone.

My mother did not suffer fools gladly, however when you had gained her trust, she became a firm friend and a very trustworthy one at that.  She will do anything for you.

Her children are her life and the love of money 🙂 was what made her ticked.  She always complained of being lacking in money, this may be true as she can be generous, and rather too generous as we found out while we were sorting out her paperworks and documents.  We found that she had been regularly ‘donating’ to the Benny Hinn ministry.

Well, I hope it made her happy, that is all we can say, as her children.  We do not really need any inheritance from her.  Thank God, she had brought us up to be independent and resourceful.

Anyway during her funeral there were so many things that we had to observe.  Some are mind boggling but we did try to adhere to them as we do not want our dearest mother to be burdened or troubled in the afterlife.

Here are some of the weird and wonderful superstitions:

  • Apparently if the wake is held at the house, the family members are not allowed to bathe in the house. (They can take a bath somewhere else!)  My mother’s wake was held at St Peter’s Chapel in Mayon corner A Bonifacio.  I would personally advise to get a funeral plan set up. It will help in the long run and one less thing to worry about during a sad and trying time.
  • Avoid sweeping the floor during a wake and this apply most specially to the bereaved.  Sweeping means trying to get rid of the spirit of the dead.
  • After leaving the wake, do not go straight home as the spirit will follow you.  My sister who came home from the states, stayed at our old family home.  She made sure that she would go elsewhere first before going back home each time she came back from the wake.  She said it was not the spirit of our mom that she was concerned about but the spirits of the others in the funeral home.
  • Do not bring home the food served at the funeral wake.  Why would you?!!!
  • If the dead person is an elderly, ensure to partake of the food served during the wake.  Apparently the long life of the deceased will rub on you.
  • Avoid tears falling on the casket because the tears will prevent the dead from going through easy transition into the afterlife.
  • if the dead person’s fists are cleansed, this would mean money trouble for the family left behind; if the hands are opened there won’t be financial difficulties (hope this is true, I noticed that my mom’s hands were opened and that she had big hands.)
  • The dead should not be wearing shoes to prevent hearing them walking the floorboards.
  • Change your clothes worn from the funeral immediately after coming home.
  • During the wake, someone should be awake.
  • Apparently you shouldn’t say thank you to those offering condolences.
  • All the flowers during the funerals must be buried with the dead but all the names of the family members written on the casket  must be removed but not by a family member.
  • After the 9th day of my mom’s death, we had to give sopas (macaroni soup) noodles, biko, puto and cakes to neighbours and those who attended the wake and funeral.
  • The same food giving will occur again on the 40th day of her death.
  • Discarding her belongings will commence on the 40th day of her death.  Her clothes will be given to charity.  Actually it is preferable that her clothes are given away a year after her death.

Mommy, REST IN PEACE!

Noodles for Longevity

Spaghetti Bolegnase, Photo by PH Morton

Noodles for Longevity

I was watching an episode of Father is Strange last weekend when there was a scene where the family insisted Joon-Young, who finally passed his civil service exam after many tries, to slurp the whole of the noodle strands rather than biting into it.

I was intrigued enough that I googled what it meant.  🙂

Apparently it is a Chinese tradition (or superstition), which seems to have a widespread effect that neighbouring countries had adapted it.  I know in the Philippines, eating noodles is a must during birthdays.  The long strand means longevity of life.  I was not aware though that you had to slurp the whole thing into your mouth and then chew, rather than biting a bit of it as you chew.

Anyway, it is encouraged to slurp the strand in all its length so that one does not cut off one’s span of life.

Thank goodness, this superstition is applied only on birthdays and other milestone celebrations.

I couldn’t be going to restaurants, especially posh ones, and slurping my pasta down my throat. It would be unethical and extremely embarrassing.  LOL

 

Marriage & Friendship

Marrying your best friend eliminates the risk of divorce by over 70%, and this marriage is more likely to last a lifetime.

Marriage & Friendship

The above statistic/psychobabble was from Facebook. 🙂

Apparently if you are too scared to get married because you are too afraid to end up in a divorce, messy or otherwise, marrying a best-friend or friend has a guaranteed probability of successful marriage by 70 per cent.

I supposed a friend, is someone who understands and accepts you for who and what you are.  He/she knew your quirks and idiosyncrasies from way back as friends.  Shared secrets, shared hopes and dreams are pretty powerful force that binds you together.  Someone, who would cover your back no matter what is something that you would yearn in times of great need.  Being married to one is being so lucky!

In an interview of Blake Lively, this is what she had to say about her husband, Ryan Reynolds:

He is my friend first.  I think that’s the secret to happiness.

The Life That I Have

Despair, photo by JMorton

The Life That I Have

The Life That I Have (sometimes referred to as Yours) is a short poem written by Leo Marks and used as a poem code in the Second World War.
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours.
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause.
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Peter told me to add this poem into the blog.  He said I would like it.  He is partly right because I more than like it, I love it.

The poem is about Love Eternal.  It is beyond love every waking moments, its goes on until and after death.  Isn’t that just the most romantic thing ever 🙂 !!!

But romance aside, the poem apparently was used to send code during WWII.  A message is encrypted within the poetry itself.  This short poem was sent by Leo Marks to a French agent, Violette Szabo, who was ultimately captured, tortured and murdered by the Nazi (not because of the poem!).  A film was made about Violette Szabo called Carve Her Name With Pride, where the poem was included but undergone an artistic licence, as Hollywood would often do.  In the film the poem was supposed to have been written for her by her husband, Etienne.

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Wood shack at Hampstead Heath, photo by PH Morton

Hampstead Heath, photo by JMorton

I love this Manet-like impressionism photo at Hampstead Heath by PH Morton

Forest Bathing @ Hampstead Heath

Forest bathing has become an accepted form of relaxation and stress management in Japan.  It was started in the mid-80s.

But what is forest bathing?

It involves going into a woody land or forest, a green space, and hike leisurely; relax and breathe in all the freshness and negative ions, the so-called air-borned vitamins’, given off by the surrounding trees and plants.

Let all the stress of the day melt in the comparative embraces of the forest.

In London, there is a woodland called Hampstead Heath, a 320 hectares of open, green space perfect for forest bathing, among other things.  It is a place for a great family bonding.  There are numbers of ponds, there is even a ‘secret garden’ which is architecturally excellent.  It also covers a natural swimming pool for ladies and also for men, there are the Parliament Hill, the Kenwood House, Highgate pond, etc.

Be astounded at how great Hampstead Heath is, when it is just 6 kilometres away from the very busy bustling city centre of London, the Trafalgar Square.

It is a place for biodiversity: human meets natures and wildlife in a capsule of forested heath.

So Londoners, now the weather outside is no longer frightful, put on your walking shoes and have a forest bath!

 

Increase Brain Power

It seems brushing one’s teeth is not only for health and hygiene reasons, it is so much more.

Brain Power

Increase Brain Power

There are also some research about the effect of chocolates to brain power.  Apparently the flavanols in cocoa can increase cognitive abilities, allowing for multitasking, i.e. ability to perform two or more tasks at a time.

 

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