Spare Change Keeps Me Sane

What act drives me nuts making me go wild with my emotions? One thing stands out. It’s when cashiers don’t give me exact change for my purchases. It’s when they round off to the nearest centavo the change they’re supposed to give me. Yeah, I’m OC that way. I don’t know how I became like that. Maybe I’m just an exact person. A thorough individual expecting thoroughness from people as well.

coins 2So what do I do to prevent this from happening? I vowed to always bring my coin purse filled with 25 centavos, 10 centavos down to 5 centavos. Spare change keeps me sane. I try to actually pay my items as exact as I could so I would avoid feeling irritated with those type of cashiers. (No offense, if there are cashiers out there reading this blog. 🙂  )

It helped too that my husband taught me to be more patient with people and their idiosyncracies. He told me not to be too finicky with the little details that stress me out. After I embraced this lesson, my interactions with cashiers have been more friendly now. I no longer get irritated because I found a solution to my problem – spare change! I love those centavos. So if you don’t like your centavos anymore, give them to me. They’re important to my sanity. 🙂


Post in response to Daily Prompt: She Drives Me Crazy


And That is Why You are my Friend

friends2She’s in Ireland now with her whole family. But when we were yet highschoolers, she became one of my best friends ever. I wrote this especially for her a long, long time ago. I hope she remembers it. I miss you, friend! Drop me a line or two when you read this post, will you? 🙂

And That is Why You are my Friend

By Leah Lyn E. Albano

Shadows of my past are no secrets from you.

I’ve said them all and you saw me through.

Barriers in my heart, you were able to bend,

And that is why you are my friend.


Joyous times in my present are shared with you.

Through laughter and tears, you remained true.

Even my broken self, you were able to mend,

And that is why you are my friend.


Dreams of my future, fulfillment is your hope.

You wish that I may surpass life’s tangled ropes.

To reach for the star, you lend me your hand,

And that is why you are my friend.


Life eternal, we will still be together.

You carried me to our Friend and secured me forever.

Full of love, full of life were everything you sent.

And that is why your are my friend.


For Laurice Chua





I Survived Epilepsy


epilepsy 2


There are just issues closest to my heart because I’ve gone through them myself. One of them is the issue on how to react around a person having an epileptic attack or seizure, as some may call it.

I remember when I had my very first attack when I was around 4 years old. I was just playing with my geometric shapes, when suddenly I had a very bad convulsion. Our labandera back then saw me and instinctively brought me to the hospital in tricycle. My mom would later tell me she had no footwear when she brought me there. I would forever be grateful to her. I was then hospitalized, but not yet diagnosed to have an epilepsy. The diagnosis came much later when I was around 10 years old.  This happened after a series of medical tests and after a lot of experiences of seizure attacks in school and in church. I was then given medication to manage my condition.

My kind of epilepsy is the one that they call petit mal seizures. I have an aura too. It’s that feeling you have that you know you would have a seizure. I remember an experience wherein I alerted my classmate that I will pass out, but because she was also a young gradeschooler back then, she didn’t know how to respond to me having a seizure. Eventually, I was then brought to the school clinic. But horror of horrors, when I later recovered and had my consciousness back again, our school nurse allowed me to go back to  my class again without her accompanying me. She didn’t even wait for my mom to get me and let her decide if I am to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. I’m sure that nurse haven’t had the slightest idea of what persons with epilepsy and their family go through every single waking moment of their lives.

That’s why it’s important for people to be educated on epilepsy – what it is and what it is not and how best we can help during and after a seizure attack.

epilepsy 3

March 26 is Global Epilepsy Awareness Day that’s why I am making a blog post about it. I hope that people will also take time to understand this condition. Those with epilepsy have special needs too. But as I’ve always said, with proper care from family and friends, plus a competent doctor who will prescribe good medication that will manage the condition, epilepsy can be overcome. I know this to be true because after years of battling with it, I finally survived epilepsy! By God’s healing grace, my last attack was when I was in college and till this day forward, I haven’t had a seizure again.


I would like to thank my friend Tin Fajardo for sharing the photos here with me. 🙂




Best Things in Life are Free

sis and iMy sister is truly a blessing from God. She is my first best friend ever. Till this day, she is my best companion in doing the simplest things in life.

Just like today. She accompanied me to my grocery errand for the family. She knew about my extra challenge of fitting my grocery list to the budget we have. I, on the other hand, joined her in search of something she needs for her room. We scouted for the item in the different stores to get the best deal. Yes, we are mindful of our expenses because money is earned the hard way. We prioritize on where money should go. But we are not like Scrooges who do not want to part ways with money. We also know how to enjoy the blessings that God has in store for us.

Just like today. We enjoyed and shared a banoffee pie which was almost free, because we had a gift certificate (GC)  in that particular store. Because we are not really advocates of drinking coffee in that high-end coffee shop, we headed to Mc Donalds to get our coffee fix. The banoffee pie was smothered with cream, that it got too sweet for our taste. Good thing, we bought a local chili cheese flavored chicacorn as ‘pangontra’ to the ‘tamis’. Surprisingly, the coffee, the pie and the chichacorn  were a good mix for our merienda. 

Ah! Simple joys. The best things in life are free. Free GC. Free unhurried conversation with sister. Free laughter shared. Free sorrow divided. (Oh, did I tell you? We just lost a pet cat and we talked about her over coffee.) Freedom to just feel alive for a day!

Here’s looking forward to more happy days! 😀




1, 7, 13, 25, 40, 60, 90

No ,they’re not numbers in a mathematical progression series. These are the ages I deemed to be critical in one’s human development. These are the ages I’ve also seen right before my very eyes.

Age 1 and 7 are childhood milestones. Age 13 is indoctrination to puberty stage. Age 25 is when you relatively start a family and career. Age 40 is when you’re supposed to become more stable in life. Age 60 is the waning of your life and work capabilities. Age 90 is when you become dependent on the adult people in your life. (If you are fortunate enough to reach that ripe old age.)

agingThe aging process stared right me in the face when I, together with my husband, lived away from my parents. I only see them once a week when we visit them. And was I surprised at how quick they’ve aged physically. They had more white hair. More wrinkles were showing. Their faculties of seeing and hearing were dwindling. Right then and there, I realized, my parents are aging.

I, too, would go through that same stage, if God wills it to be so. But how do I stay young at heart, despite me getting old? Perhaps, the best thing I’d do is for me to still engage in the things I love doing. Walk in the park with my husband. Savoring the simple joys in life. Mingling with younger friends. Reading a good, stimulating book. Having a regular haircut and manicure / pedicure / foot spa date with my salon friends who would still keep me looking pretty and awesome. 🙂  Eating healthy and having a good night’s sleep. Praying to the Lord Almighty to keep me in the pink of health.

Growing old need not be a dread. Gracefully, I can face aging as long as I know I have aged with wisdom. Not worldly wisdom, but the wisdom that only God can give.

Post in response to Daily Prompt: Young at Heart



Lately, I’ve been finding myself staring so long at my phone’s calendar every night before I fall asleep. It’s becoming a habit, I know. I’m waiting for the months to unfold. And I want it to unfold quickly.

As I’ve mentioned in my past post, July is a red-marked month for me because my husband is finally coming home after two years. Our Skype conversations now revolve on what our day-to-day life would be if we were together again.

Who would cook breakfast? What dinner do we prepare? When do we go to the grocery? What time would he come home from work? And the list goes on, however, boring the task may be. But boring is fine with me as long as I’m with my husband. We can make it special just by being with one another.

I know this feeling of anticipation wouldn’t go away until he’s finally with me. 🙂




What’s In A Name?

leahWhat’s in a name? I realized that my name is one thing that I have not chosen in my life. It’s my parents’ prerogative and I couldn’t do anything about it anymore. (Except of course, if I’d go through the legal means of changing my name, which is most unlikely to happen.)

My name is a derivative of my dad’s and mom’s name combined, hence, Leah Lyn. 

There has been an evolution of how people call my name. I would know the time period when they have known me by how they pronounce my name.

If you are in my circle of friends when I was but a child, you’d probably have called me as ‘Li-yah’. If you are my older cousins from my mother’s side, you’d have called me ‘Li-yah girl’. Which by the way stuck with me till I was a grown adolescent. If you’ve been a friend from elementary and high school, you have called me ‘Leah’, pronounced as ‘Le-ya’.  

I stopped correcting people how my name should be pronounced, because they were just too many not getting it correctly, so I let them be. But when I entered college, I thought this is the perfect time to rectify the pronunciation of my name. So I introduced myself as ‘Li-yah’ again. Some got it. Some didn’t. So I finally gave up. I allowed them to call me how they like to call me. Simple. 

Then my closest friends from college gave me a nickname I’ve grown fond of too. They called me ‘Lei’. My churchmates picked up that name too. But it is only my sister who calls me the shortest name of all, ‘Le’. 

Whatever my name is and however it is pronounced, I still like my names. All of them! Don’t just call me by my full name – Leah Lyn – because that’s the name I am called when my mom’s angry with me. Lol!  🙂

Post in response to Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names 

Photo credit:

Wrong Choices

brokenWrong choices in relationships are a bitter pill to swallow in one’s young life. I’ve been there and done that. I’m not proud of it but I’ve been in wrong relationships in the past. The lessons I’ve learned after my fall and failure are a but a  glimmer of hope in that painful situation.

Here’s a poem I’ve written after my fall 12 years ago:


By Leah Lyn E. Albano

Indeed, You are a God

Whose ways and thoughts

Are higher than mine.

I wanted so much to be ‘in love’

That I fell in love with ‘love’.

And forgot my devotion to You.

I walked into a path

That I knew all along was not right.

Yet I ignored all Your Word.

You let me explore life and ‘love’

Yet You knew it was not

The Life and Love You intended for me.

I soon saw myself

Messed up with the mire,

Struggling to get out and be delivered.

All over again,

You led me into a journey

That is confusing and painful.

I questioned Your ways,

But I found myself unworthy

To even continue doing that.

For I began to realize

You have a higher and eternal purpose

For all these things.

I might have been wounded.

But I know now

That pain causes growth.

You called me back to You.

You set my eyes back to You.

You got my heart back to You.

November 27, 2002


I had to go through all the wrong choices for me to finally get into the right direction. And that direction is ultimately finding the right man God chose for me. 🙂




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Growing in Love with my Best Friend

4Not all are given the one chance to have a best friend and a lover at the same time. It has always been my heart’s desire – to be best friends first before becoming lovers. I’ve always believed that the strongest foundation of marriage is the solid friendship built by the man and woman in the relationship. I’m fortunate enough to have experienced all these and more with my best friend and my lover – my husband, no less!

It all started when I attended worship service in our satellite church. I’ve just come out from a broken relationship and was not ready to enter into another commitment. I decided it was just my time to serve the Lord. Little did I know, that someone out there was already observing me from a distance. Until one time, I began seeking assistance from this Logistics guy who would always help me put up the mats in the Sunday School room. I was a Sunday School teacher back then. And so this Logistics guy would always be around during Sundays. I began seeing him moving about the church, fixing the place, ensuring that everything’s in order in the sanctuary. Turns out, this Logistics guy will be my husband around 7 years later.

Our first, real encounter when we had our real, unhurried conversations was when we went to a church retreat. Everyone else knew each other. However, we did not have any groups to go to, that’s why we were left with each other to hang out.  He asked for my number during that retreat. And that’s how it all began. And the rest, they say, is history.

Best friends are there for each other, through thick and thin. They share laughter and sorrows. They know the inside out of each other’s heart and soul. They share deepest secrets without fear of being judged. They enjoy life’s simple pleasures together. They encourage each other to be the best person one can be. They love and accept each other no matter what. And that’s the way we were.

It wasn’t love at first sight. It was friendship first. And I’d always like the phrase, “I grew in love with him.” The friendship was nurtured until it blossomed into love.

I’m glad I grew in love with my best friend.


Photo credit: Kimberly Chan Hung and Gary Albano