An Idyllic Afternoon in Bulacan with my Carewell Friends

InspirationPhilippinesSocial Gatherings
April 21, 2010

Life doesn’t get much better than spending an afternoon in the country with my new-found Carewell friends.  And although the gathering was set up “just because,” there ended up being much to celebrate that day, including a cancer-free scan that had come back for one attendee!

Isn’t their place adorable?  I should start by saying that this is not at all what typical houses in the Philippines look like.  It reminds me more of a MN cabin than anything I’ve seen here… maybe that’s why I took an instant liking to it.  My absolute favorite part of the house was the SECRET BATHROOM, which was hidden behind the closet.  Ingenious space saver for the main floor!

And allow me to begin by introducing you to our gracious hosts, Remy and Danny (pictured above).  Remy truly was the “hostess with the most-est,” serving us a table full of Filipino delights.

And yes, that’s Kuya Rudy (our driver) partaking in the delicious fare.  On a side note, Rudy recently told me (with pride, mind you) that he is the second oldest expat driver (the 64 year old driver beat him out).  We couldn’t be more proud Rudy!  Enough of that… back to the party!

Filipinos love their food and they are MAJOR food-pushers.  Just as you’re about to puke, they’re kindly offering you another plate that they made up “just for you”.  I’m starting to set down some serious rules because a girl only needs so many calories a day… good thing I had a chance to work it off as I rocked the karoake mic for a solid hour!

I tell you, these women (and Danny) are pure joy to hang out with each week.  They have taught me so many lessons about gratitude, spirituality and living life to the fullest.  I mean, look at these pictures – would you guess that they all have cancer (with some even in stage 4)?  I think not!?!  They are vibrant and alive, eeking out every last moment until their final breath (whenever that may be).  Suffice to say, it’s intoxicating to be around them.

What I now understand is that you may not be able to control your circumstances, but you can ALWAYS control how you’re going to BE WITH your circumstances.  They may not have the full range of options on the table (no chance of getting that breast back), but they live each day as empowered individuals committed to living.  It is amazing to see how much power resides in letting go of the outcome and just focusing on being in the here and now.  Powerful lessons for this 29 year old…

To see the rest of this BEA-U-TIFUL gallery of pictures, head on over to SMUGMUG!

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  1. Chris Coleman says:

    Your angel wings are growing more and more feathers each day.

  2. Jill says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. These photos are powerful demonstrates of the joy these women are finding in life. It certainly makes my daily challenges minuscule in comparison! Cheers to quick smiles and contagious laughter.

  3. minnesotagal says:

    Awww, shucks. Thanks Chris! :)

  4. minnesotagal says:

    Yes, it’s so true. Looking through others’ eyes has an amazing way of changing our perspective! I have definitely seen dramatic shifts in myself as a result… can’t wait to see where I end up after another year of it!

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