Easter Joys in Melbourne

For me, as a single person, Sundays and Holidays are the hardest. On these days, people are often with their families. And if you live abroad, these days can feel especially lonely and isolating. I prayed for a happy easter this year. The past month has been particularly challenging with a break-up. And then God delivered. First, I was given the sweetest little dog to dog sit. After several failed matches, Coco came into my life. She’s a three year old Pomeranian Mix. She gets terribly excited to walk that she pees. She looks like a miniature Lassie. She spends most of her day sleeping. She doesn’t get anxious if she is left alone when I need to run errands. And she loves cuddles. We are together for fourteen days while her mom is in Sydney. Dog sitting gives me my much-needed dog fix while I wait for my dog Spark to get to Melbourne from Manila. I also earn extra money, which comes in handy.

My little Easter companion, Coco

Second, I was blessed with 27C degree autumn day on Easter Sunday. It was unseasonably warm for Melbourne this time of the year. For me, it was the perfect temperature. I couldn’t believe I could wear a sundress in April. Warm sunny days make me instantly happy. I blame my tropical roots in the Philippines for that.

Third, my friend Mia suggested we have brunch in Garam Merica,a hole-in-wall Indonesian restaurant next to her house. It was frequented by Indonesians. And as early as 11am, there was a long queue to place our orders. If you’ve known me for years, you would know how much I love hole-in-the-wall restaurants. I love featuring places like this. The ordering system takes long as everything is written down by hand. Nothing is automated here. But the food is good, think authentic home cooked dishes. We both had the Grilled Beef Ribs or Iga Sapi Bakar and steamed white rice. It is chargrilled with a sweet and slightly spicy marinade, served with cucumbers and a chili sauce. Mia indulged in Krupuk, Indonesian prawn crackers while waiting for our mains. We laughed and ate. Around us, almost everyone else was Indonesian. It is located next to the Indonesian Embassy and it is only open for lunch Thursdays to Sundays from 11 am until sold-out. For dessert, I had Cendol. Cendol is an iced sweet dessert that contains droplets of green rice flour, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup. Think of a rich, sweet, and decadent tropical dessert drink.

Authentic Indonesian food at Garam America
Iga Sapi Bakar (grilled beef ribs)
All seats taken by 11:15am
Sweet creamy Cendol

Stuffed after lunch, we waddle our way across the street to Albert Park. It was peaceful and empty but still has remnants of the F1 Australian Grand Prix signs up. It is hard to believe just a week ago, this place attracted over 419,114 fans, more fans than any Grand Prix race in 2021. Mia and I giggled high on carbs and sugar as we walked around Albert Park. And even at noon on Easter, there were Australians going for a run and doing their exercises. We made our way to South Melbourne Market to grab a few flower bargains. I call myself a rescuer of flowers because I buy flowers on sale at the end of Sunday market days for $5 a bunch. Today, a pink and orange bouquet of ten Gerberas caught my eyes. I love pink and orange, especially when they are together. Yes, Dunkin’ Donut colors. They are my favorite colors and make me happy. Seeing the gerberas, I quickly grabbed it and paid for it. Mia was delighted with the floral bargains. She grabbed four bunches of flowers and greenery to make a massive stunning peach pastel colored bouquet of roses and pompom chrysanthemum. Mia looked like Ms Universe with a massive bouquet and I had my little third prize winner bouquet.

An empty Albert Park one week after The Australian Grand Prix
I rescued these pink and orange Gerberas for $5

We parted, I spent the rest of the holiday with Coco and called my mom on Facetime.

I marvel at how tailor fit the day was for me. From the weather to the food to the company and even the flowers, it was perfect. It was so me. If there’s anything life has taught me, God lovingly provides tailor-fit to my needs and desires. My friend Nilda, always jokes, “Maida, it’s like your God’s youngest child.” My comeback is “Nilda, not just the youngest, but I’m treated like his only child.” I know I’m not there are billions of us. But with all the meticulous details He gets right, it feels like I’m the only child. The past few weeks, I’ve been learning to surrender to God. I’ve been learning much about manifesting. I learned manifesting isn’t repeatedly asking over and over again to get what you want. It is about feeling it, and trusting you will receive it. It is not passively waiting for blessings to come. For me, it is not anxiously clinging to the gifts, but knowing with quiet confidence that the right blessings will come to your life.

And yesterday, without trying so hard, or making a career out of it, I had a simple Easter celebration. It was filled with laughter and blessings, tailor fit for me. Surrendering means knowing deep down that I will be lovingly provided for. There’s no need to take control over everything. It means loosening my grip in making plans and allowing God to surprise me. Just like he did with the gerbera in the two very colors I loved. I had always been well provided for by God. I know I always will be. Let’s bask in the joys of easter, after all, we are an easter people. We live in hope.

Happy Easter, everyone!


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