Happy Easter

I kept it super low key with my son today and took him to Easter Mass at our local church. The building was filled with people with some left standing the whole time.

During the homily, a short Filipino woman in her 70s, walked towards our bench and sat next to me. She was a cute little old lady. Her energy was so strong, I couldn’t help but turn to look at her from time to time just to smile at her. She would smile at me back then we’d return our focus on the Priest. As we read the scriptures out loud from the big projector screen, her voice lit up the room. She prayed loud and she sang her heart out. She had the lyrics memorized while I was over in my holy space mumbling the verse Lol. Playing it off by tapping my son on the head and pulling on his arm just to get his attention. Attendees even turned around to look at her as if they were bothered. I personally had no issue with it. Her voice was beautiful. Then suddenly the vibe changed.

In the Catholic Church, some of us receive Communion. In 2007, I attended RCIA classes at Christ the King church on Thursday nights. Then in 2008, I completed the III and IV Sacrament. I received the Eucharist for the first time, which is a thin, round, tasteless wafer given by the Priest (Body of Christ)

It was time to receive the Eucharist during Mass. We stood up and waited in line. I normally tell my son to walk in front of me since he hasn’t been through Communion yet. But I tell him to walk up to the Priest with his arms crossed against his chest so he can be blessed by him. Then I follow behind and receive the bread. After receiving the bread we both walked back to the bench and got on our knees and prayed. While I was praying on my knees, I looked to my right at the lady and she was in tears. I was in shock. I couldn’t understand why this happy little old lady was singing joyously one moment and then crying the next. I overheard her praying hard and fast in Tagalog and she was in tears! And that’s when I realized that she was really hurting inside. I slowly understood why she prayed and sang so loudly – she wanted God to hear her.

A huge part of me wanted to stop praying and give a hug but instead, I shifted my focus and prayed for her healing. She was obviously hurting inside and all I wanted to do is pray to God that she will be okay. I’m not a super religious woman, but I believe in the power of prayer and I continue to pray for those who yearn to be healed – I am one of those people.

Temporarily Deactivated.

I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram recently and I must say, it felt like a ton of weight off my shoulders. No more reading negative news on my feed, no more foodie pics, and I no longer have the satisfaction off laughing my ass off over hilarious memes.

I do however, miss posting the images from my Canon on Instagram displaying my trips to New York and showing off pictures of my kids. But from what my best friend tells me, I’m not really missing out on anything. Good.

The only access to social media I allowed myself to be on was Snapchat – with my 20 friends. Lol. I do continue to post on there because I feel it’s safer – with my 20 friends. There were way too many creepers on my Facebook list and I lost count on the amount of followers on Instagram. I received threats on Facebook through a new game Profoundly. This is a game where FB’ers can send you messages anonymously. I admit that I was terrified so I decided to take a break and deactivated my FB and IG.

I needed a serious break.

Trolls, I call them internet gangsters, get a kick out of pissing random people off. Maybe it’s out of boredom, maybe they have self esteem issues, or maybe they’re just plain psycho. Whatever it is, I don’t want to get caught up in it. I’ll probably never find out who sent me those threatening messages on Profoundly, but whoever it is, must have developed some deep hate towards me. And what scares me the most is that it could be someone I know or someone in my “circle”.

Anyway, I’m on Day 2 and have not been tempted to log back on. I deleted the apps on my iPhone and downloaded books to read on Kindle instead. This is totally out of my comfort zone since I’ve grown addicted to those sites. But I need to start reading more and be more productive outside of social media.

I do promise to get back to posting more of my travels. But I’ll save that for a later time. It’s time to focus on myself and tune out the world – temporarily.

Today, I made myself a refreshing drink for once. So here is an image of that. I’m just glad Mother Nature decided to bring out the sun today. Tired of the rain.

Clarion Alley – Mission District, SF

Amongst all the places I love to visit in San Francisco, it’s Clarion Alley. This alley lies between 17th and 18th Street in San Francisco’s Mission District and is known for its murals by the Clarion Alley Mural Project. I try to come here every few months because the artwork changes every so often. But I noticed that some murals have remained on some buildings for more than a year.

I stopped by the alley yesterday since I had some time to kill. After my short walk on Valencia Street, I decided to grab a prawn burrito and my favorite, horchata, at Pancho Villa Taqueria on 16th St.

Here are some photos that I captured during my walk. Some were taken from my Canon and the couple were taken with my iPhone.

The mural above happens to be one of my favorites! 😍

Hella Hella. ✊🏽

I have more photos but these are currently on my Top list of murals on Clarion Alley. Except for the exquisite painting of the woman below. I captured this while I was walking on Valencia Street. How beautiful is this? 😍

Untitled.

Music was her therapy, the lyrics were her recipe

as the disease took over her body and her family

she sang her heart out until she could beat the enemy

Who took her mobility and her ability to shoot a three

Her chances to go to a University and become a chef like she wanted to be

All disappeared after Oncology revealed the answer

“Your babygirl has cancer and we don’t know how long you’re going to have her”

Three cycles of chemo plus 9 more days of toxic drugs

A bone marrow transplant then remain in isolation for a few more months.

Separated by a glass window from her little brother

Holding back my tears, trying to be strong cause I’m her mother

Her baby sister having to step up and play the big sister role

While I remind myself every minute of the day, that God is in control.

She’s going to beat this, if I say it out loud, I will speak it into existence

Even when I can’t be at the hospital, I will speak on it from a distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Artist Forest Beach “Albany Bulb”

As I prepare for my trip to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for other places to check out locally. After doing some research, I found a park not too far from me called, “Albany Bulb” which is located in the Albany Waterfront next to the Golden Gate Fields race track. The Bulb was known to be a landfill for construction materials until 1987, when it went through a series of legal issues. The park later became a homeless encampment, a place for teenagers to wild out, and a perfect place for dog owners to let their pets run about. So I bet you’re wondering why a woman like me with no dogs would be interested in seeing this piece of land, let alone an old construction dump! 

Even though I consider myself a newbie when it comes to travel and photography, I always tend to find beauty in almost everything, including landfills. 😂 Albany Bulb just isn’t a place for hikers and dog walkers, this oasis is surrounded by sculptures and graffiti art painted on concrete slabs. It’s an art lovers haven. The further you hike, the more you see. 

I took my son with me to check this out. I made a huge mistake by pulling up directions from my Yelp App (travelers beware! Do not use Yelp to navigate. It gave me the wrong directions.) I ended up parking my car at Point Isabel, which is a huge dog park next to the water. There were dogs everywhere! 

TIP: Point Isabel is a Dog Park. 🐶 And parking is very limited, especially on a weekend. On a happier note, they have restrooms 😂

Anyway, my son and I took the San Francisco Bay Trail from Point Isabel which is a mile away from Albany Bulb. The trail’s path ran parallel between Interstate 80 and the water. The walk wasn’t pleasant since the freeway is literally next to the trail. We arrived about 45 minutes later. And yes, it took us 45 minutes to walk a mile and a half. Mind you, my son is 6 and gets easily distracted.

Another TIP: If you’re with little ones, unless you own a bicycle with multiple seats, do NOT park at Point Isabel if you don’t want to walk a mile and a half!

We walked towards the sandy area where we came across more dogs running about. From that area, you can either hang out on the beach (watch out for poop) or catch a distant glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. There wasn’t much to see. After that, we took another trail towards the south end of the Bulb where we came across a castle made out of scavenged rebar, plaster, and concrete. 

“Mad Mark’s Castle” was completed in 2000 however, it deteriorated through the years. This is a before and after pic of the castle.

The before pic was taken by a photographer named Peter Merts. The second photo was captured from my camera. 

My son and I hung out at the castle for the most part. The castle offers a panoramic view of the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. We didn’t get to explore the rest of the Bulb since we had a long walk back to Point Isabel, however, I do plan on returning so I can check out the sculptures and the rest of the art work. 

Here is a video from our short visit to the Bulb. 
Discover the Bay | Albany Bulb