It’s funny how some people perceive sadness as depression. We see it on social media: people ranting about how depressed they are when in truth, they are merely sad. Depressed people usually don’t go around telling everybody they are depressed. Most of the time, these people are so good at hiding it that no one will ever suspect that they are suffering.

I view depression as a very serious matter.

It is when you see everything as gloomy and bleak. It’s like watching a black and white movie of yourself because you can’t seem to see the world for how it is supposed to be: colorful.

It is crying over small things and bawling over not-so-big ones. Or simply crying for no reason at all.

It is being so happy one moment and very lonely the next. Depression is very unpredictable that when it comes, you will always be caught barefooted.

It’s when you feel down all the time. Not the sad kind of down feeling. It’s the feeling of being useless, unimportant and insignificant.

It’s when you feel that you don’t want to do anything anymore. Being productive is next to impossible.

It’s when there seems to be no way out and the pain is just so unbearable. You feel hopeless, so the thought of just ending your life seems like a sweet escape.

It’s when emotional pain seems to be a part of your everyday life already to the point that physical pain no longer exist. Or if it still does, you inflict this physical pain upon yourself. It has become something that brings comfort because it calms the monster that’s inside of you.

It is when you know you need help but can’t find the words to tell people what kind of help you need for fear of being labelled insane.

It’s when you know you are dying inside and there seems to be nothing you can do about it.

If you experience any of these, know that there are people out there who are willing to help. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! This may sound cliche but hey, it’s the truth.

There is always someone who is willing to be there for you…a friend, a family member, a relative, a loved one, or even a help line that you can call. Do always remember: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

As for those lucky ones who don’t experience being depressed, be a kind human being and help out. Sometimes, depressed people just need someone to listen. Be that friend. Be that life-saver.

Writer’s Block

I usually do my writing every Sunday evening. Usually, my mind is brimming with thoughts during this time. But the previous Sundays of the previous months were different.

On the first Sunday that it happened…yes, my mind was still brimming with thoughts… and yes, I already had an idea on what to write on my blog. But, something was off.

So, I opened my computer, went to my blog site and…

I couldn’t write anything!

I knew what to write but I couldn’t put my words into sentences, and my sentences into paragraphs. So for a long time, I was just looking at my laptop screen.

Blank…blank…blank…just staring at the screen for a long time. Until finally, I just gave up and I ended up just closing my laptop.

Today isn’t like any other day. The moment I went to my blog site, I knew what to write and I had the words to put them in writing so…I just started typing away.

Way back university days when I was still writing for our school newspaper and for some community newspapers in our city, it was easy for me to compose my thoughts. I could write about my whole day in just one sitting. I could write a poem in less than an hour. I could write a news story for a very short time as long as I had all the facts at hand. But after my graduation, and as I faced the “real world”, writing had become a tedious task. Most probably, it was because the work I ventured into didn’t involve any writing at all. Then life had become very busy that finding the time to write had become difficult as well. So gradually, I lost interest.

But, when life became harder, or when I needed to let go of whatever pent up emotions I had during those harrowing days, I wrote down all the feelings that I was feeling at those moments. Sometimes, there were poems that I had to write just because I felt that long sentences were way too much to express how I felt.

Writing had become my outlet. The sad part was, during those “dark” times in my life, after writing everything down and after reading what I had written, I would throw the paper away. Why? It’s because during those times, I wasn’t honest with myself. It was the time when I was trying so hard to be a good person by trying to please the wrong people not knowing that I lost myself in the process. So when I wrote my feelings down and after reading what I had written, I felt bad that it was what I felt. It was wrong! It was very wrong that I had to feel the need to change the real me just so I would fit in. I hated the fact that I had to feel the need to belong.

Now, I am different. I learned that I don’t need to please anybody just to show that I am a good person, and so I had become more honest with myself. In turn, I have become more honest with how I feel. So when I write something about my feelings, my emotions, or my sentiments, I like what I am reading.

Presently, my flair for writing is slowly coming back as shown in this blog. I am happy that I now have this blog — and it makes me happier that through my blog, I can share a part of my life with you.

Buttered Steam Cake (Puto) Recipe with Cheese

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Sorry for the long hiatus. There’s just too much that is going on in my life right now and so my brain does not want to function normally lately. Stress can do that to the brain, you know. I have a lot of information that I want to share but the moment I’m in front of the laptop, the words won’t just come out. This isn’t the usual writer’s block that they always talk about. When a person is too stressed out and too anxious, the brain focuses more on the stressor or the source of anxiety that other things which used to be enjoyable becomes a task that needs to be accomplished — like, writing in a blog. And that’s what I don’t want to happen: I don’t want my writing or my blogging becomes a mere task. So as long as I can help it, I will make this as something that I enjoy doing.

Anyway, Halloween is over which means that Christmas is just around the corner. The church that we always go to held its annual Christmas Boutique and Bake Sale recently. Every year for three years now, I volunteer to bake cookies for the Bake Sale. But this year, aside from cookies, I also made some steam cakes which are very famous in Pampanga, my hometown in the Philippines. By the way, these steam cakes are commonly known as puto in the Philippines.

So for today, I will share the recipe that I use to make puto. I already forgot where I got this recipe from but I have been using it for so many years now.

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Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients starting from the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Mix well.

2. Add the butter, evaporated milk, egg, and water. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

3. Pour the mixture in individual puto molds.

4. Pour the water in the steamer.

5. Arrange the molds in the steamer then steam for about 20 minutes.

6. After 20 minutes, remove the cover of the steamer and top each puto with cheddar cheese then continue steaming (with the cover on) for 2 minutes.

7. Remove the puto from the mold and arrange in a serving plate.

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See you on my next blog…enjoy cooking!

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