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My brother recently texted me (July 26) regarding the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal finally won after a 97 year drought of no-wins since joining the Olympics.

It happened in Tokyo this year labelled as Tokyo 2020 Olympics because of the COVID-19 delay.

It was won by 30 year old Zamboanga City native Hidilyn Diaz in the weightlifting division. She won it in the 55 kg division in weightlifting specifically in the clean and jerk. She also achieved an Olympic record lift of 127 kg at that moment.

She now has the status now equal to that of a Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquaio.

She plans to continue her weightlifting career and to be an inspiration to all Filipinos —that nothing is impossible in this life.

.I was born and raised in the Philippines so I am fully aware that the Philippine sports programs there need more improvement and funding so as to be able to support its athletes. With such support comes great chances of achieving excellence in any sports competition –local or worldwide. Hopefully, this Olympic gold medal win will serve as a catalyst for sports program reform there in the very near future.

Even though I now live in Canada, I still have a soft spot for that country in Southeast Asia.

I also heard that Hidilyn is also a member of the military and because of her win, has just been promoted to Sergeant.

MABUHAY, SERGEANT HIDILYN—-our new Golden Girl!

Your initials are HD—for me, it will mean High Definition win!

Josie

Yesterday was June 24,2021Quebec Day in the Canadian province of Quebec. It was also the Feast Day of ST. John the Baptist.

As Quebecers were celebrating their provincial holiday, it became a double celebration when their beloved hockey team–the Montreal Canadiens won the semifinal playoffs in the National Hockey League(NHL) to become a contender for the biggest hockey prize- Lord Stanley’s Cup.

It cannot get any better than this—considering that hockey is a revered sport in Canadian sport culture. Anywhere in the world, anybody knows that hockey is king here in Canada.

The Montreal Canadiens from the get-go in this series had gone through a lot of setbacks on their Stanley Cup journey but was able to survive it and even became much stronger in the process. Add to this the reality of adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic as well. They are practically the underdogs. Most of the sports analysts and critics have not even given them a rat’s chance of pulling through this entire series.

I guess the team’s never-say-die attitude cannot be discounted nor underrated.

Suddenly, they are back in the NHL finals since their last win in 1993. They become the only Canadian professional hockey team to compete against an American team for this series. They will be representing Canada in this exciting series.

Good luck to them. Irregardless of the outcome in the finals, they did themselves and the rest of Canada very proud.

As one twitter handle named Lord Stanley says: Bonjour , Montreal Canadiens!

I am very sure,Lord Stanley, that the Montreal Canadiens are now ready for their closeup.

Bring the game on! Let the puck drop! I will be waving the Maple Leaf flag as well as bringing the popcorn ,of course ! Others especially in Quebec will wave the fleur de lis flag.

Your fellow Canuck,

Josie

As the world is now slowly starting to go through the routine of everyday living in this COVID-19 era, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 vaccine implementation as well as gradual easing of the restrictions and maneuvers against COVID-19 , I personally could not help but reflect on the importance of the 4F’s which were needed in this COVID-19 era.

The 4F’s consists of the following– Faith, Family, Friends and Food. The last one is a no-brainer–we all still need to eat and seriously, it gives us joy , sustenance and good health to combat COVID-19.

Just my two cents’ worth on the matter.

Continue to stay safe, folks!

Josie

Growing up in a Catholic household, the letters B. C. means Before Christ and A.C. means After Christ. This is manifested in the Bible with 2 parts: The Old and the New Testament.

However in 2021 with reference to 2020 as well, the letters B.C. & A.C. mean to me now as B.C.(Before Covid-19) and A.C.(After Covid-19).

With disease incidence rates still going up and down in many parts of the world as well as an ongoing worldwide recruitment and implementation of vaccinations, we are now seeing many countries already starting some degree of normalcy in everyday living in a graduated fashion. Plans for a regular post-pandemic life has targeted starting dates ranging from this coming summer season to the end of this year.

The light at the end of the tunnel is there. Until we do reach the finish line, only time can tell. Be patient. We have already come this far already. What a difference a year makes. Who knew?

In the meantime, please keep the faith, continue to mask up, keep the social distance, sanitize your hands, self-isolate if need be and stay safe!

We are all in this together!

Josie

It is amazing how a year passes by so quickly yet so painfully memorable for everybody on planet Earth.

2020 is definitely a pandemic year with COVID-19 finally recognized as it is and its presence since exactly a year ago today (March 11,2020).

Hopefully, it will not live long enough to go into a 2nd anniversary a year from now today.

We have had enough grief , destruction , prolonged suffering and defensive lifestyle coping just to survive its deadly potency.

To contribute to its eventual demise, the onslaught of COVID-19 vaccine shipments and innocculations have been going on now for about a month worldwide.

I was able to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine today. 2nd dose to follow in a few weeks time.

I see freedom on the horizon!

Spring season is coming—a season of hope, renewal and new beginnings.

Hopefully, COVID-19 is already gone by then. I wish!

My thoughts and prayers to all those who died from COVID-19 and my salute to all frontline workers in fighting this deadly virus!

Josie

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After going over the news yesterday of golf legend Tiger Woods’ miraculous survival of that horrendous vehicular accident in California, I felt that Tiger once again was resurrected from almost imminent death.

I wrote a blog on April 15,2019–The Return of Tiger Woods–after he won the Masters Golf Tournament in that year.

Once again, folks are wondering and talking whether Tiger can ever make a comeback to golf.

In my opinion, considering the extent of his physical injuries which has yet to be determined as the days go by as well as his subsequent rehabilitation and recovery, the golf comeback will be answered eventually.

One should also observe how Tiger ‘s mindset would be by that time . Based on all the previous reports that I have read about his tenacity and resilience, frankly, I would not count him out yet.

One thing’s for sure. He already made a comeback right now—from the jaws of apparent death. It is a sign that his work here in life is still not done yet. Whether it is golf-related or not, I feel that he has nothing else to prove. His golf legacy is already secure.

Perhaps, it is a sign that after this accident, he has to work on another legacy for everybody—golf -related or not–but definitely to show everyone that life goes on, as long as there is life ,there is hope.

I am cheering Tiger on! Resurrection 2.0 has just been turbocharged. YAY!!!

Josie

Christopher Plummer, the Canadian-born actor both in movies(Hollywood) and in theatre(Broadway) has died today at age 91.

His talent was immense, versatile and diversified. He was very adaptable in getting into roles ,taking each character as his own and becoming each character as well.

He holds the record of being the oldest actor to ever win an Oscar(Academy Award).

He exudes an aura of being debonair, dapper,elegant and handsome on and off the screen, even as he gets older through the years. He is like wine which gets better with age.

I will always remember him as Captain Georg Von Trapp, the stiff, temperamental widower of a brood of 7 offsprings in the movie—The Sound of Music –-wherein he finally met his match with the novice turned governess/nanny named Maria(played by Julie Andrews ,another entertainment icon) to whom he finally opened and gave his heart to.

Adieu, Sir as you travel on to the great beyond. I will always remember you as I hear the song lyrics to Edelweiss.

So long, farewell!

Captain Von Trapp has left the building!

From a fellow Canuck,

Josie

American TV and radio host Larry King died yesterday at age 87. He had been a fixture particularly on TV for at least half a century.

He’s well-known for his laid back demeanor in interviewing guests with simple yet open-ended questions as well as making the guests feel comfortable to the point of revealing themselves easily.

He always believed that the guests are the focus and not him.

He had survived many personal as well as medical setbacks which made me think at times that he is either invincible or immortal.

I will always remember him with his wide forehead, pipe ,eyeglasses and suspenders.

I can see his suspenders hung up now in his memory.

Thank you ,Mr. King for enlightening as well as entertaining us through the years.

Josie

Country music icon Dolly Parton’s song Hard Candy Christmas evokes a message of dealing with hardships during a Christmas season. This song resonates for us in this Christmas of 2020 (a pandemic year) because of COVID–19.

It also sends a message of hope that we all will get through this–as the lyrics say–I’ll be fine and dandy.

I first heard this song when it was played in that movie she had with the late Burt Reynolds—The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

As 2020 will finally end soon for us, as long as there is hope in this life, it is worth fighting for.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL AND HELLO 2021!

Josie

Dear COVID-19,

Ever since you had made your presence known worldwide as early as the beginning of this year 2020 until now with 2020 coming to a close by the end of this month, we have continuously strived to know more about you and how to handle whatever you had given us which unfortunately led to a loss of several lives as well as several lifestyle changes and a constant realignment of one’s life priorities.

Whatever messages you had been giving us as to how to deal with life overall, we do get it though we still could not figure out why you came into existence for us all. Was it an unfortunate fate or a by-product of our handling all of life’s resources which led to the consequence of your emerging existence?

Nevertheless, you must be aware by now that some potential opponents will be coming after you in the form of COVID-19 vaccines to help us fight against your never-ending punches. It may not kill nor eradicate you but hopefully, will weaken you. But this is not why I am writing to you today.

I am asking you now to please let us all observe the spirit of the incoming Christmas season by not making your presence to us so obvious unlike the rest of this past year.

I know that it is a fool’s errand to ask you of such a grand request. It is more like a David and Goliath scenario.

But please know that I have this steadfast belief that anything is possible during Christmas. As long as there is life, there is hope.

If you want to join the ranks of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch, be my guest. Do not say that I did not warn you. If you think that your ongoing presence here is appreciated, please look into the mirror.

It is not too late to make a graceful exit.

Just me,

Josie