Monday, December 19, 2011

Nowhere Near Santa

I’ll cut to the chase: Not all will have a happy Christmas. Typhoon Sendong hit the country (Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, Northern Mindanao) Saturday afternoon, seven days before Christmas, leaving 600 people dead and 440 still missing, mostly children.

If only, they can have them back.

The photo shows a father holding his son, dead and covered in mud. Aren’t you glad he is not you, even more grateful the child is not yours?

Warning: too graphic. Funeral parlors have started turning away families with their dead. They just don’t have enough facilities to keep them.

They just have to wrap him in newspaper.

And you thought you don’t have new clothes this year?

I feel for all the victims. While praying in the comfort of our own homes, let us take a break from all the Christmas festivities and HELP the victims. They need our prayers but they also need the money and material things from us so they can build their lives again after this.

Here’s a list where you can send help.

Red Cross
To help, send RED to 4143 (Smart) and RED to 2899 (Globe). * Smart subscribers may send financial help to the Philippine Red Cross through text. To donate, cellphone users should send RED to 4143. Valid donation amounts are 10, 25, 50 and 100 and will be charged to the subscriber’s prepaid load or postpaid bill. * Globe subscribers may send help to Red Cross. Just text RED and send to 2899. Valid donation amounts are 10, 25, 50, 100 (For ex, RED 10).

Smart subscribers all over the country may send help to those affected by typhoon Sendong. Smart Money users can instantly transfer funds through their mobile phones to the official Baha Fund account number 5577 5130 6822 1104. Donors may also deposit cash to the same Smart Money account number in any Banco De Oro branch nationwide or through Hapinoy and Cebuana Lhuillier outlets. * SMARTCares: Subscribers may donate to #Sendong victims via text. Just send RED to 4143. Valid donation amounts 10, 25, 50, 100.”

Globe Subscribers Through GCASH, text DONATE and send to 2882.

One for Iligan
Iligan Bloggers Society through One For Iligan allows you to donate $1 for the Iligan flood victims of typhoon Sendong. * One for Iligan is a Google doc that tells you how you can donate at least US$1 via PayPal * Contact points SITE: http//:iliganbloggers.comEMAIL: iliganbloggers@gmail.comFB Fanpage: * How to else to help?The group Iligan Bloggers Society says that aside from paypal donations, they are also asking for canned goods, noodles, bath and laundry soaps, toothpaste, rice, used clothings and slippers.

FB Fanpage:

Xavier University, Tabang
Any help -- food, clothes, books, bottled water, others -- can be sent to Fr. Eric Garcia Velandria SJ, coordinator of Sendong Operation, KKP Office, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, 9000, Corrales Ave. Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. According to XU-CSG President, GemGem Tero, food and clothes donations are more needed. Account Name: Xavier University Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands, CDO Divisoria Branch Account Number: 9331-0133-63

Armed Forces of the Philippines
The Civil Relations Service AFP at Camp Aguinaldo is accepting donations. It will fly donations/relief goods via C130. Contact details: Situation Awareness Center (SAC), CRS AFP, Camp Aguinaldo, QC Landline: 912-6615 CP Nr. (0917)2471252 Focal Person: Lt. Col. Rolando Rodil, Operations Officer

Department of Social Welfare and Development Volunteers are needed at DSWD Cagayan de Oro (Masterson Road, Upper Carmen) to repack and deliver relief goods. Call 09066150095 @DSWDserve

The Oblate Missionary Foundation
(OMF) accepts donation for the victims of Sendong. Email us: Call or text us 0644212652/09177204604/09228366422 You can send food items, drinking water, used clothing, blankets, medicines, cash and what you have to the following dropping centers.

Panday Bulig Relief and Rehabilitation Center
Located in: Tabang Mindanao Center 12th-22nd streets, Nazareth 9000 Cagayan de Oro CityT/F: +63 (88) 856 6413E: for Ms. Beryl Tranco)

Rural Missionaries of the Philippines
Northern Mindanao Sub-Region Room 01, Kalinaw Lanao Center0016 Bougainvilla Puti, Villaverde9200 Iligan CityT/F: +63 223 5179E: rmpnmr@gmail.comW: for Ms. Ida Melody Bucog)

StartArt Project
Drop Center in Metro Manila c/o StartArt Project 10A Alabama st New Manila Quezon CityMobile:+63926 7112450 For cash donations, please send to this account: Bank Name and Address:Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)Quezon Avenue branch, 9200 Iligan City, Philippines Account number: 009359-1348-08 Swift Code: BOPIPHMM Account Name and Address: RMP-NMR Inc.

Cash donations may be sent through the following accounts: TV5 Kapatid Foundation Inc. BDO Savings Account No. 005310-410164 and Bank of the Philippine Islands Savings Account No. 1443-05333-2 | Donations in kind like food, clothing, utensils, blankets, mats, water containers, and medicines may be sent to News5 Aksyon Center, TV5 office in San Bartlolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. For inquiries, please call News5 Aksyon Center hotline - 938-6393.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beautiful As Ever

Christmas is here and each day is a count down. It was right around this time that everyone seems eaten up by what called holiday rush. You know, shopping, spending, indulging. It’s weird, but all the stresses and pressures of keeping up with the holiday spirit, and as difficult as it is financially burdensome from this time until it’s over, it is still is the merriest time of the whole year. As a child, I don't think I'll ever be able to forget how it all left me feeling: Thrilled, eager, happily expecting.

However, the feelings toned down a bit now that I am older. Although I still get this “mystical” holiday experience occasionally, heightened by all of light decorations, Christmas songs, Christmas parties, family reunions, it still dawned on me that this isn’t only the merriest, but also the most emotional, most sentimental of all months in the year. In fact, so many emotions were flying around at this time. On quiet nights, like last night, for example, when it was so quiet in my house that I could hear the sound of a pin drop, things creep into my mind and send me to some realizations. What did I achieve now that 2011 is almost over? And what is ahead of me this coming year? That’s why I sometimes think, adulthood spoils the spirit. You became overly realistic and practical, you just can’t afford to stay mesmerized and enthralled with delightful events like Christmas.

Heck, but the kid in me refused to grow.

I still want to get lost in the moment, be inspired with all the joy and bliss I see in my children’s eyes, and the love and loyalty of my husband. Enjoy the company of my mother, sister, brother, nieces and nephews. And though some friends went away, I’d love to have them in my life once again, keep them, connect with them, and love them. And to my present friends, I hope to have you for all what’s left of my life. Yes, I still get thrilled with wrapped gifts. But the gifts of time, love and devotion from family and friends are more valuable than any human will ever have.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

Dear Santa,

I may have annoyed few people, and told few white lies, but I have also had really good moments this year, haven’t I? So if you feel like rewarding me, here’s what I want. And please, don’t get through the chimney. We don’t have one. Don’t sneak at the window either; my violent reflex could really hurt you.

Anyway, here is my Christmas list, in no particular order. I want it all. Thank you.

What could be a more perfect stocking stuffer than the latest iPhone 4S. It is full of amazing new features that make it even easier to stay not only on top of your business,but it will also make you the great envy of your techy friends. Meet Siri, the built-in intelligent assistant, to schedule your meetings, set reminders, find a great lunch spot, fix your car, or send message to wife. Can you beat that?

You know how much I love singing. Well, this Extreme Magic Sing is for me. And I’ve been dreaming for it for years. IT’S TIME, SANTA, IT’S TIME. And it's only P 10K at Abenson or ShoeMart...I should know since I caress it every time I'm in there.

And what’s best for killing time, this pink Nano Ipod is just the thing. With 2,000 songs and 5 hours of video, I can’t wait to have one of these.

Sure, I thought at first that this Hawaii Chair was another exercise gimmick. It's a chair with a motor strapped beneath it. The base of the chair gyrates your bottom and thaws your stubborn fats. Since I hate going to the gym and diet isn’t in my daily vocabulary, so this one might work for me. Who knows I might end up looking as hot as a Playboy centerfold one day?

And finally, a cd of one of my favorite local singers, Regine Velasquez. Unfortunately, I still don't have a copy of her “Low Key” album. I just love her until today. I’ve always had an attraction to her kind of songs. This is actually affordable at P 400.00 at Astrovision.

So, let's try to forget all of the times I may have thrown temper tantrums, or how I was to blame for frequent headaches and pains of people around me. Just concentrate on the good know, the ones that involved me being unconscious.


Monday, December 5, 2011

What Saved Me From Grinch-ing

No matter how I adore Christmas, I also detest the tension that comes with it. It’s not because of the familial trauma that they entail- though that would certainly be reason enough- but just because it is sometimes too demanding. It required to be celebrated regardless of how you are feeling at the time.

For example, you need to put up Christmas tree and cram the house with greens, and reds and anything gold right now. Or don’t put them at all and miss out on seeing them for an entire year, which I don’t think my kids would agree. But I'm slowly, but surely, getting there. I have already hanged our wreath and added Christmas lights to it this weekend. But more to it, I still haven’t made any plans yet where to take the children. For this year, Christmas will just be me and the kids since husband has work on Christmas day (grrr!). I seriously believed that Puregold Price Club has bosses that if not separated, are annulled and divorced.

At the risk of sounding sappy and Grinch-ly, I have to admit that, as emotional and ephemeral as my other posts are, I am actually just as anyone this time of the year. Who isn’t completely terrified at the realization that the holidays and the forced interaction with family members and the gifts that they need to get are all but upon us?

In other news though, my son is going to get his dream laptop this year. How’s that?

I can just hear him.

Me: “Aunt is going to give you a laptop”
Son: “Really!?
Me:”But that’s pretty early for you”
Son:”But everyone has laptop already.
Me:”you’re just going to spew peas to hordes of walking zombies all day”.
Son:”Uh okay, I can switch to angry birds if you like.”

Since this will be more likely the case, my only saving grace is that I can now blog during weekends. I just hope the kid will share it with me.

So? it’s Christmas after all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eight Years Later

You, who have laughed with me (and sometimes at me; no hard feelings, really) with all my silliness and absurdity. You, who have allowed me to be what I am without any pretense and deception, Happy Anniversary!

And I imagine you saying something along the lines of “So, would you like to go out somewhere tonight?” And in my PG-rated dream, we were hugging, embracing, cuddling and snuggling.

Lest you notice, I’m becoming emotional these days and crave all that sort of human connection that only a hug can satisfy. I don’t exactly think of tearing up the dance floor or have a candlelit dinner, or go to a movie theater to celebrate our years together. In case you are not aware, I seemed to have lost for anything outdoor. May be we can just cook our favorite pasta dish and party with the kids at home.

And you will bring out your gift, a tiffany ring inside a tiny, red velvet box. And from somewhere came the sound of Jose Mari Chan’s I Have Fallen in Love With The Same Woman Three Times.

You know what? I am a wee bit jealous of your job right now. You are becoming too absorbed with it. I do apologize in advance if it came right over my head. But I can’t help thinking that there will always be younger, slimmer, sexier, prettier girls that will go around you. Those girls who can oh-so-casually walk up to any guy, look him straight in the eye, and ask him out. I hope you will not fall in to the trap. That though I cherish and adore you, I don’t think I can share you with any body to make the relationship thrive; and I’m not about to settle for anything less than a thriving relationship. No one should ever settle for anything less than that.

Your phone rings but you seemed not mindful of it. You look very happy, and proud with what become now of our married life together.

You have let me share a piece of myself with you, both as a woman and a friend, and for that, I am eternally grateful. This marriage has truly become a labor of love (translation: two cesarean cuts, one vertical, one horizontal. Just enough to remind of babies, and other hazards of sex).

I look forward to what the next eight years will bring. After all, this journey wouldn't be the same without you.


My husband, a self-confessed computer nerd, will read this probably after so many years, so long a year I already forgot about the tiffany ring.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's Your Story?

We all have a story, don't we, friends? This was one of the reasons why we turn to things where we get them: books, movies, comics, TV series, news reports and blogs. From the seemingly mundane activities of our neighbors to high-profiled personalities, it is our stories that make us who we are. It's our joys, our struggles, our laughter and our tears that bring those stories colorful and alive. It does not take rocket scientist to explain why we get so addicted to watching reality TV shows. We love seeing life stories as they happen.

Perhaps you know when your life will end, would you ask for a second one? And re-live everything like exactly how it was?

Or re-write the plot, get new group of actors and take a fresh start? Remove all sicknesses, failures, heart aches and losses and be a total success.

Looking back on your life, what are you proud of? What are you ashamed of? How does your own life square when it comes to materials blessings? relationship? career? I got a good news. God has given each one of us unique talents and abilities, so unique nothing can duplicate these. And he also gave us dreams He himself will fulfill. We don’t need to twist God’s arms to better our lives. If will you only see a little farther; you will know how great a story God written for you.

Pretty cool, right?

You see, you don't have to be afraid; this isn't a test you pass or fail. There's no right or wrong answer. There's no pressure to be better or smarter or prettier than anyone else.

So? what’s your story? I’d love to hear.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Merry November

Oh I love this time of the year. As usual, October just flew by and I am quite excited that Christmas is just around the corner. I think it’s the best time of the whole year. Suddenly the air gets colder and chillier, but just enough to leave you feeling fresh and clean in the first hours of the morning. This is what November should be: cold crisp mornings and clear, calm starlit night. And who wouldn’t get lost in sweet thought when you start to hear Christmas songs? Aren’t they reminiscent of your past Christmases?

By this time, people begin to plan for Christmas gifts. And shopping now was made easy by these ever growing shopping websites.

For bags, dresses, accessories and what ever you need, shop on line at ChuchayOnline and relieve yourself from the hustle and bustle of going to the malls.

For other assortment of things you like, visit Cucumber. Great finds await you with just one click.

And what is sweeter than having your gifts personalized? Go on line to ThingsRemembered and check their ribbons, calendars, note pads made customized for you.

So, tell me, friends, what are your give-aways this year? Here's wishing (as I metaphorically raise a tall glass of wine in the air) everyone an advanced Merry Christmas full of love, laughter, and of course, shopping!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why I (Sometimes) Hate Facebook

Well, this one is about my current gripes about Facebook. Don’t you notice that it has now become a little bit annoying that some people use it as it is some form of therapy or something? Like they will die if they can’t update their statuses every five minutes. You see, not all people are interested with where have you been and what have you been doing. Not all the time, but I got pissed when someone post how stressed they are, how tired they are and how much work they need to get done. The fact that they found time to open their FB, plus play Farmville or whatever games is the new obsession on Facebook, plus post song after song from Youtube leads me to believe that 1. They are not really busy, and 2. They need professional help. Obviously, they only need attention. Lots of it.

I also can’t stand those who put pictures after pictures every single day. Let’s call them photo-addict. Seriously? does the world have to know that you like the interior of the bus so much you can’t resist taking your photos there? And more importantly, do all people care? As for myself, no. No I most certainly do not. These photo addicts eat much space of our wall, and therefore should not be tolerated. In a way, FB gets the best and worst of us. I have a friend who I know as one gentle speaking, squashy and conservative . But for the love of me, I saw him one time half-clothed on FB. Talking about suppression. Obviously, what they can’t do in the real world, they do it in the cyber world.

The next thing that annoys me is when people post something about their suicidal tendencies. But I thought, well, he was giggly and funny the last Sunday. But yes, he is still alive as of this writing. Say, if you are really feeling the way that you project yourself to be on Facebook, you really need to seek professional help. Facebook is not your therapist, ok? Seriously. And please getting your first tattoo is not everyone’s business.

And to go along with that, can you be more realistic and personal? I mean if it is your love ones’ birthday, wedding, anniversary, etc, Do yourself and your love ones a favor: get off of Facebook, go to him, write him a check or buy him a gift, and tell him how you love him that way, instead of sending all of your love via the Internet. Common, there’s a little chance that your 70-year old parent will read your greetings. By this time, he’ll probably just want to rock chair instead of commenting on your post.

But again, I understand when Zuckerberg tells that FB helps you connect and share with the people in your life. Yes it really is one good channel to link up with everyone in the world. Just hope that people will be sagacious with just about what they do, or say, on this popular social website.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

What Was Your Favorite Scary Movie as a Kid?

I have this love-hate relationship when it comes to scary movies. Not a big fan, I don’t want to subject myself to trauma of shocking myself to death with those spooky films. Yet, I can’t resist watching Halloween movies once in awhile. And when I finished one, it had this cathartic effect on me that I had actually gone beyond my natural fear of ghosts, spirits and death. But you see, not all scary movies are the same. There are slasher ones (Saw, Final Destination, etc.) suspenseful ones (I know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, etc.) and comedy ones. I recall watching..

Bettlejuice (1988)

A horror-commedy film starring Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin. It is a story of a dead couple who get the services of a "bio-exorcist" in order to remove the new living owners of their house. Watching it, you’ll have more laughs than screams.

For local horror films, I like those that have ghosts, exorcism, and “aswang” or a ghoul in them. Not necessarily the kind that send blood and other bodily organs spewing across the screen, but the suspenseful, nail-biting, sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, holding-your-breath, tingles-running-up-and-down-your-spine kind. For the plots and actors that played in them, I like..

Sa Init ng Apoy (1980)

Starring Lorna Tolentino and the late Rudy Fernandez. Newly-weds, they went to Baguio to escape Manila's summer heat. But before they reach the city proper, their jeep breaks down. Fortunately, they found a transient house with a room to spare. The housekeeper (George Estregan) is a mysterious fellow, warm but dreadfully awkward. The couple doesn't mind him though and they even make it an adventure to find out more about their host by asking locals what they know about the house and its keeper. Apparently, he turned into a ghoul during the night.

Lovingly Yours Helen (1984)

It’s a trilogy but the most remarkable is where Julie Vega played a young lady being exorcised. Other stars include Connie Reyes and Anita Linda. I can remember how scared I was the first time I saw this movie. Until now, I won’t forget the scene when Julie Vega was suspended on the ceiling. It’s also the last movie for her. Rumors had it that this movie caused her death. It is said that spirits got angry with her because of the use of Latin prayers on the scene.

Shake, Rattle and Roll Part 1 (1984)

Again, it’s a trilogy but the best is where Herbert Bautista played young Douglas. A manananggal is said to live within the vicinity and is out to eat people. He is given the task by his grandmother to kill this creature. Having to found a way to prevent it from rejoining the other half of its body, he must now survive the night to protect his family from the creature's ferocious attacks. This story is one of the most popular and suspenseful episodes of the entire series. Herbert Bautista's role won him the Best Actor award at the 1984 Metro Manila FilmFest.

So, friends, do you have a favorite scary movie? Why do you like it? Do you prefer slasher, suspense or comedy-horror movies? Are there any horror flicks that you just can't watch until now?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Behind the Blog

I picked up the idea of writing blogs from the newspaper, and I thought maybe it's a good way to get even with your enemies, catch attention, earn extra money express yourself. Imagine you could actually talk about any of your issues? So you can go from your most serious story to your almost rubbish blog entry. Who cares anyway?.

So that's how I began- being a horrible blogger. I wasn't prepared to do everything to be successful. When I started, I thought it would be easy, but when I realized how big of a job it was, I sometimes feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Didn't I tell you I got lots of unfinished stories? Yeah, that's right. Two things I learned: it's time consuming, and mentally-exhausting. You can't afford to post trash stories all the time, right?

Since blogging is hard, I won't say it's not because that would not be true, ready to spend eternity developing it. With blogging comes a lot of time and good writing- and sadly writing is the the worst part. Promotion and web design aren't on my top list since I'm not really savy with computer programs so there isn't much animation, video's you can see in my blog site. So, half the words you write must be rethought, rearranged, replaced, or when worse comes to worst, removed. Words are present in blog posts, comments, tweets, and newsletters, and somehow, you have to generate those words, because your readers will be upset if you don't, your reputation will be ruined, your traffic will plummet, and everything good will turn bad.

Then again, in blogging one must remember: you write not to take over the world, to create a masterpiece or make life harder. Rather, one should strive to write well and most of all, to have fun. Although sometimes you feel like you're the only one reading it, poor traffic for your blog isn't the end of everything. It takes awhile before you can be the diva of the blogosphere. So when you feel like quitting? remember that blogging is for braniac but possibly melancholic individuals who talk to themselves those who believes that words can change, and therefore, should be shared, expressed and understood.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

(Not) Boracay

You see this picture and you thought I was off to some island like the dreamy Boracay. No. I was at Wawa, Pulanglupa in Las Pinas City. It’s a place smelled like rotten fish. Really.

Wawa actually means “unfortunate”. I first saw it when our Pastor displayed few photos at the church wall. Seeing them, I think they are one of the poor people living in the city. They are separated by a floodway on one side and a dike on the other. And they need to pay one peso to cross the blackish water to go to other side. They said that dike dries up when the tide is low and becomes full again when it’s high. As a result, the soil is always wet and stench with sea water. You thought you live in a fish port. People- and dried fish- live together in this area. They have no running water and not all houses have comfort room. I couldn’t stand the smell, but they lived in it.

So, what can I—a single person—do in the face of such detestable condition? That was when our Pastor announced that we will have a feeding program there- and asked if we wanted to help. Yes, I said.

My paralysis was gone. Finally, I could do something. We went there, together with others friends. Since we cannot put kids and adults in one place, we divided them. I busied myself with 10- year olds. Hah. You thought that was easy? They are one rowdy, disruptive but happy and high-spirited kids. They are either breaking other’s ribs, pulling one’s hair, or poking another kid’s eyes. I guess our “The Boat is Sinking” game helped a lot in distracting them from killing each other.

Atty. Yu, a missionary, shared the God’s words. One can sense their need for hope and chance to live better lives. This is not the first time that such an activity was held there, and their unfailing humor and cheeriness suggest they were happy to see us.

So what have I really done? Nothing much. Except perhaps be happy that I can actually contribute, no matter how little, to a cause that that can actually change one person’s life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Raising Yana

Did I ever mention how much I love you? How your simple smile and pouty lips held me wondering do you really came from me? That’s because you’re so beautiful. Sometimes, time stops just watching you play. You always caught me with your candidness. How did you get so damn smart? How did you learn your ABC? your Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, even when I was not with you most times? You see, you look more like your father, but your stubbornness and quiet confidence tell that you belong to me. On days that you were terribly difficult; I wanted to cry. If its anything to you, do you know that it almost cost the hell life of me when you arrived? You came a day ahead because Mama was having Pre-Eclampsia(Pregnancy induced hypertension). And now that you're 2-year wiser, you don’t listen anymore.
my bundle of joy

Some days I feel I am not raising you well. You don’t eat your rice and you thought fried chicken as one complete meal. You like Jollibee even if we are already inside KFC. You keep the toy in the value meal and hate it if your brother gets one for himself. You don’t like riding jeep and so you demand a tricycle ride when you and Yaya pick up Kuya from school, or else it’s pandemonium. But you see, there is nothing that you can do that will change my devotion- not my fondness, not my affection, not my loyalty. In other words, my love for you runs on autopilot without my control.

my very own Tinkerbell

So take your time little Yana. Don’t grow old yet.

When you grow up, I wish you life better than mine. I hope you won’t feel less than any one. I want you to never stumble or fall for a lure. There will always be people who’ll break your heart. But while you’re still young and innocent, let me create a world devoid of pain, lack and sorrow. But don’t worry, I will not make life for you. I’ll let you figure things out when you get bigger. For now, I will cherish you and rest in God’s care knowing that he cares for you million times more than I do.
my mini-Me

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Take Me Away

Confession: I’ve never been anywhere.

I was never outside the country. Up to now, I am still jealous of people who have already gone to different fantastic, dreamy places like Paris, London , New York, and yes even Asian neighbors like Hongkong and Singapore. In silence, I would ask myself why I didn’t push my luck to visit these wonderful cities before? For others, that sounds so mundane, I know. But the truth is, I sometimes felt too awkward, too out-of-place to never really cross the Philippine borders.

I am now past the stage admiring these scenic places in pictures, on TV screen or inside my dreams. I am now hoping to see them come alive in front of me. That one day, Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower or Santorini island will become real and solid. To have actually see, feel, and smell them. Sometimes, it felt like it was destined for others and not for me.

And so I ask, can I choose blessings for my life?

Why is it that we sometimes have trouble getting what we really want? Why do we opt to lower our standard so as not to be really disappointed over things that we find difficult, if not impossible to achieve? Is it that we're scared? Feeling too vulnerable? Or just chicken?

But in my heart, I know I have been blessed in so many ways, with more important things in life. Surely, Eiffel tower can be enchanting. And so are my children’s laughter. Oh, they are so unpredictable. One moment they’re sight to behold, and the next time, they’d start kicking and bashing one another to death. And there I imagined I was at the Eiffel Tower. Alone.

But really, we just have to be good in picking up our blessings. I think I am just as blessed as I will be anywhere else.

For anywhere is a paradise. Its only up to you.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quo Vadis?

Sometimes it is so much better to see thoughts on paper - or computer screen, isn't it? Suddenly it becomes clearer. You are able to see all angles, all arguments.

This week was a bit burdensome for me. Mentally. The church I am attending go from mainstream preaching to grace preaching. For old-schooled person like me, it is not something that's easy to take, much more believe. I may not be able to fully describe the differences for I may leave you more confused than enlightened.

You can say that it's not really a problem. You know, shrug it off and just go with the flow like every one else. In fact, they'll be happy to see you oh so easily "converted". Please don't take it like it is something evil or a cult thing. In reality, Grace Preaching is more God-centered. The focus is more on the Creator than creation, and that I have no problem with. However, it also affirms certain radical teachings like effortless success and salvation without repentance.

Joseph Prince, a pastor from Singapore, authored a book called Destined to Reign. If you read it, it sums up all what grace preaching is all about. While it is supposed to be all positive, it's approach is kind of too unnatural for me.

But I know that I'm still a work in progress. I still have a lot to learn. I can only keep an open mind- and open heart to wherever God will lead me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What To Wear To A Wedding?

I love weddings. You see those cute flower girls and you wish you can grow your own little wings too. However, the worst thing about it is going there. Like what to wear. If you own dresses, gowns, attires for all occasions then that would be no problem. But if you are like me who buy things like blouses and shoes that you can use at the church, office, and shopping mall; then for formal events such as wedding, you really have to drag your ass just so you can find one that’s classier and more elegant.
I knew it wasn’t going to be fun. I mean, my search for the appropriate dress and shoes and accessories.
Did I mention I belong to the round side? No? I do.
So double the effort as there only few plus size clothes as there with common sizes.


While I am not at the dress section, I was looking for nice pair of shoes, all for good five days now. Obviously, I have issues and should start seeing therapist now. I don’t know what makes me happy anymore. And those price tags? they kill me. Before it was style before the prize, now it’s the prize first before the style. All these anxieties for just one occasion. Since when did I become shallow? I think that’s what happened when you get older. You get fashionably vain.

After “talking myself down”, I decided to just let my mind wander and think of something else.

And just like that, I realized how fixated I am at times.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Does She?

Do you know what is just downright odd, friends? You know, not being able to be closed with a person. I know two people and they make me believe that they are real friends. And I'm a bit jealous. And I have virtually NO idea why? I'm sure you can relate, right? Well, at least a poem came out of it, I suppose...

Your simple acts and lack of demands
Are what make you dear to everyone
You don’t impose, you just give suggestions
To conflicts, you always stay on the ground

Occasionally, you argue but never rude or proud
But at times you keep your wall as if no one is allowed
Those were moments I stayed at a distance
For I don’t want to break in on anyone

So I guess, respect came first before our friendship
A prelude, may be a space I thought you need
However, time passed and we became accustomed to it
I realized the coldness, the distance no, not this!

You carry songs so very well,
Your two-part harmony we can never do without
But what’s good in telling
For few days from now you’ll be leaving

But all is not spoiled though for I know
In a way, you had me inspired; you had me wished to grow
In singing, in serving, in believing what I can still do
To my one sister-in-Christ, that’s true, that’s you

While we are not itchy with each other, we just didn’t hit it off, so to speak. We belong to one group, but I don’t feel closed to her. I arrived into conclusion that sometimes there is a kind of friendship that needs more time before it fully blossoms. While there are relationships that come so naturally, there are others that require special care and attention. And then there’s also this kind that never grows at all.

So what if you are not the “best friend”?

Inside, I feel not really sad but more like puzzled as to why we didn’t click. This can be really awkward at times. So what do you do while you stare at her ever so cozy, warm and close with others than she is with you?

Honestly? Nothing. You cannot force closeness, like you cannot force love.

You can only be happy for them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rain or Shine?

Have you tried walking in the heavy rain yet? You know, not because you were caught by it but because you want to enjoy it? Did you ever try playing in the cold, murky flood and dig your toes in the sand below it? Would you ever drink rainwater? You hate the icy rain all over you, but isn’t the rush of water feels soothing and relaxing to your soul? And if you are all for the fun and pleasure of it, you may want to go hide and seek, play “habulan” or just simply walk over that tiny bridge and stare at the stream of water underneath. Suddenly everything looks and feels natural, isn’t it?

While we attempt to hide our childish fantasies, we tend to lose them along the way. And then we somehow became as confused as to what makes us really happy and content. I know people who get lonely when it’s raining. They have, by some means, associate it with tears and loneliness. And by the way, who would not get upset of rains on a special event say, wedding day? Actually in most occasions, rain is never a good sign. As there ever been a mainstream pop voice so effortlessly melancholy as that of Karen Carpenter? Written in her classic Rainy Days and Mondays song:

"What I've got they used to call the blues
Nothin' is really wrong
Feelin' like I don't belong
Walkin' around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.."

But I say, nothing in life can make you miserable unless you allow it. Everything has its ups and downs. The Bible says you have the power to choose between a blessing and curse. So? Learn to enjoy your present. Accept that there are always two sides of the coin. Rain or shine, they are both your blessings.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

If I Have No Fear

If I have no fear, I would take my family and go on vacation and squander all the little savings we have.

If I have no fear, I’ll leave my job and work full time as mom and wife.

If I have no fear, I’ll say to people how I really feel the moment I feel it, just so one can truly know me.

If I have no fear, I’ll try air gun, with bruises, scratches, screaming and all.

If I have no fear, why am I in the same job for the last 10 years?

For others, it is so easy to put an act and make things look great and happy and cheery. But if you dig a little deeper, scratching below the surface ever so slightly, things — and people — may not always come up roses. We owe ourselves logical explanation as to why we are ever so afraid to try radical, off-the-wall ideas. All too often, we are quick to say,

“Oh I’m fine.”
“I can’t complain.”
“I’m good. And you?”

But in real, you are aching for changes but just too afraid to step out of comfort zone. Sometimes, we are extremely consumed by worries, all fueled by unknown fear. We keep making up excuses and stories just so we can defend our actions. No one is to blame though. It is not anyone’s fault. We are made to believe by a pesky rumor that we should not fix what is not broken. But beneath a fresh coat of paint, there lie ugly truths of low self-esteem, lack of perseverance and yes, poor guts to create difference in life. This has somehow transforms us like little hermits on our own island.

Sadly, there has to be some point where we realize that’s not healthy anymore. Ultimately, we should try to be the person what we really want to be. No matter what people, or our own ego will say. There will always be standards and obligations to follow and fulfill, but at the end of the day, we owe ourselves genuine happiness and a life worth living.

As for what I do with the fears I have, I guess I need to start somewhere. Why not with the easiest one? Air gun, please…

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Like No Other

We celebrated Father's Day at the church yesterday. I had a feeling that its not going to be like any other Sunday. Thess, the one who is more creative than anyone of us, managed to come up with a simple program, that well, kept us crying for more than 2 hours. What was supposedly just simple short greetings, it became more like a retreat, or a recollection. One thing was common: we all missed our fathers. Everyone had stories to tell and each one did not leave the pulpit without tears in the eyes. One story that did touch me was the story of Melody. Her father left them for another woman and because she was still young then, each Father's Day was always a struggle. Because the card she made at school, she didn't know whom to give it to.

If only we can make father custom-made. Fathers that will fit our needs and wants so you'll only have good memories to tell. But dad, like life, is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you'll gonna get. But i believe it's not really about having the worst or the best kind of father, its about what you do with the father you have now, flaws and all.

Happy Father's day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

50 Things About Me

“I’m beautiful in my way, cause God makes no mistakes..- Lady Gaga

1. I love music and singing is my passion.
2. I wish I can read music notes and play instruments.
3. I like the song I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt
4. I can sing I Simply Live For You and Here In My Life by heart.
5. I love learning new things.
6. I love blogging.
7. I believe knowledge is power.
8. I love to eat.
9. I love cookies, chocolates and ice cream
10. I love to cook but I am not good at it.
11. I believe friends are important.
12. I have a hard time expressing my feelings sometimes.
13. I'd rather be hurt than hurt someone else.
14. My family is my world
15. My husband came in opportune time.
16. My greatest perks? my children.
17. I am bound to love them forever.
18. My dream place is Greece.
19. I wish I could speak another language like French or Spanish.
20. I miss the days were I can go anywhere, spend anyhow and have fun anytime.
21. I am always workaholic.
22. I work best under pressure.
23. I'm a multi-tasker.
24. I have a huge crush on Chris Evans before.
25. I want to be the Filipino-version of Darlene Zschech
26. I'm sensitive and emotional.
27. I believe there is nothing wrong with crying.
28. I would rather give my things to those who need them than sell them.
29. I believe in God.
30. I take it that things happen for a reason.
31. I was 24 when my father passed away.
32. I got my first job when I was 21.
33. My first favorite movie was A Walk To Remember.
34. But my all-time favorite movie is Fireproof.
35. I wish I knew how to sew clothes, accessorize and put make up on.
36. I believe knowledge is power.
37. I dream Big.
38. I believe communication is essential to any lasting relationship.
39. I believe teaching manners is important.
40. I'm not a morning person, and I hate Mondays.
41. I don't like people who drink liquor.
42. I like to browse the internet.
43. I like to watch TV.
44. Best time of the day is sun rise and best day of the week is Friday
45. My other talent is story telling.
46. My secret dream is to become a writer.
47. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology.
48. I am yet to finish my post graduate course
49. I am now 36 and was born June 6.
50. My life now is work and home

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Missing Father

Not all the time I want to talk about my childhood, especially the part where father left us. We practically grew up without him, and nobody cared to explain why. I didn’t ask anyone either because I thought it was forbidden to talk about it. So, I was left alone to surmise things for myself. I figured out that maybe if I don’t discuss him, missing and longing would not be real. So why only now, you might ask, bringing it out into open? For some strange reason, it just struck me.

The first few months were extremely raw for me. I was dealing with grief in different ways. As for my other siblings, I'd like to think I was the closest to him. That's why when he left,I was the one really affected. But no one knew about it. Outwardly, I looked fine but in the inside, I was developing insecurities. My mother, then, became so consumed looking for means to feed us. She would get her hands on anything just so we can continue with our studies.

Father taught my first ABC. He was just so patient; I would not be able to do the same thing if I was on his shoes. He would scribbled my name on the first line of a Grade one pad paper and have me filled up the whole page, back and front, with my large, bold-print handwriting. He was my first teacher in math too. We own a small sari sari store then and he would ask me to give the loose change. Unluckily, I never grew love for numbers. I also remember contacting skin infection before my school age. I would scratch my arms and legs until they turned red. I was once, covered with sores and lesions and father did all he could to soothe and relieve me. He would boil few guava leaves and bathe me with it. He would also tuck me neatly to bed after falling into sleep while waiting for him to finish his boxing on TV. I hate the sports when I was a child, but now I shriek, yell and shout every time Pacquaio made a hit.

Untold til now, I was in the comfort room when I heard him and mother fighting. No, he didn’t hit her, but they were cursing and calling names and then I saw him walk out of the house. I can't imagine how my young heart handled it. There was emptiness I can't explain. He came to school a few times but that’s were all to it. He showed up some 13 years later at my brother’s wedding, but only to leave again. Until news came that he died.

I kept rationalizing with myself that I had every right to be mad. Life wasn’t supposed to be this way – my father was supposed to watch me graduate with my college degree. He was supposed to give me fatherly advice to send me on my way to the “real world.” He was supposed to be one that walked me down the aisle at my wedding.

My father had swiftly moved out of our lives, like a movie scene of mysterious men on horseback making a mad escape into the dark night, leaving only a swirl of dust in their absence. But now that I’m of better age and understanding, even though my life still feels like a jigsaw puzzle sometimes in which the pieces don’t quite fit, I’m in a good place right now. I have my own family to cherish and take care of. True, that sad thoughts come in every now and then, but I’m slowly letting them all go. Surely, I will miss him all my life..

Monday, February 21, 2011

What I Almost Forgot

It was this last Valentine that my husband took me out to dinner. The first time after seven years. When we were still single, we were inseparable. We will hang out in some place else after work. No special occasions that we were not together. But things changed when we got married, especially when the children arrived.
End of the two of us. It is always been four of us since then.

I cannot account if it’s because of the budget, time or who’s- going-to-be-with them if we will have our “us” time. So seven years went by and I hardly remember how to feel smitten, infatuated, love-struck by my ex-boyfriend. Ex because he is already my husband.

But that night, we went for it. Alone. No kids. Just the two of us. But believe me; the feeling was kind of strange. Several times I asked him if we can fetch and take the kids with us. He thought for awhile and said okay. But later on we’ve decided that it was our night, our date.

So there we were, at Food Choice in Glorietta Mall in Makati, surrounded by heaps of pasta. From carbonara, to pesto, to something like sweetened flat spaghetti. They go with two pieces of chicken, one with corn sauce and another with what looked like a hickory sauce. It was no candle-lit dinner but the pleasure of being with your faithful and loving husband made it all the more fun and exciting. And oh, did I ever mention that he gave me 3 roses with 2 Cadbury bars? Although our conversation was not as romantic as before, we talked for three good hours.

Because of some faulty thinking, I thought parents don’t have any right to enjoy life and have fun. Now I know better. A day will come when our kids will grow up and leave us. And one day, we will be left alone in an empty, quiet house. Now that we haven’t lost the interest, the fun, the love of spending time together yet, I promised to take care of not losing it. For I don’t want to be left with a cold, distant, bitter husband later on.

So husbands and wives? Your relationship needs time.
Either you pay now or pay later.
When you pay later, it always costs more.
I suggest you pay now.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heart Matters

Have you ever prepared for a birthday party before?
It’s always hard work.

But who said love isn’t hard work? As I am aware, love is about dirty hands, not just beating hearts.

Relationship is like a birthday party. You prepare, plan and pray that everything will go smoothly. But the thing is, there is no relationship that did not meet hardships and difficulties. Something will always come up to ruin it. Boredom, money, indifferences, lack of time, etc. Banished the idea that you two are exact pieces of a puzzle. A peg in a hole. Remember that you were different individuals until you decided to marry. So like a party, there is a constant threat of broken dishes, spoiled desserts, dull and boring moments.

Five husbands?! Remember the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman? When Jesus met her at the well, she was told to go home and get her husband. But the Samaritan replied, I have no husband. And the Lord said, yes you are right. You have no husband, because the man you’re living with right now is not your husband. And you have had five husbands already.

How sad to get through five heartaches, how depressing to be left alone not once or twice but five times! I remember my most hurtful break up with a man. I was literally shedding bucket full of tears. Every single night. It was so painful I thought I was going to die. Talk about hitting rock bottom. And like me, she must really have felt ugly, unattractive, fat and totally replaceable,five times over! But I knew that God has other plans for me. He let me hit rock bottom to find my way to true love.

For the long and short of it, nothing guarantees a perfect relationship. And no book can ever prepare you to achieve it. It’s a journey and test in itself. You have to put in all the hard work, without expecting any return. And like throwing parties, taking care of relationships can be hard and very frustrating.

If you’re reading this, wondering if it’s really worth starting, keeping, saving the kind of relationship you have right now, let tell you: you life, your feelings, your desire are God’s business too. He loves you more than you can imagine.

Receive His love today.
And learn to throw more parties in your life.
Your relationships need them badly.

Proverbs 30:18-19
There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman. (NLT)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Can't Help Growing Old

Have you heard the song, “Grow Old With you” by Adam Sandler? You know, the one from the movie The Wedding Singer. That sounds sort of cool, isn’t it? I wonder if it’s really like that. For someone who will not really mind seeing you wrinkled, saggy and lined? Is there really such kind of devotion that left you blind to thinning hair and bulging stomachs. Still find you adorable even if you have frequent tantrums and grumpiness because you are aching all over? That’s a tad incredible. And sounds a bit, well, out of this world, might I add. But then, knowing me, I’m in love with love. I can believe all matters of the heart.

I wanna make you smile when you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad…

…Oh, All I wanna do is grow with you.

So you go from first kiss to your wedding day and, later, you discovered that things are a lot different. When you were single, there’s a bitter sweet feeling when you split up. And I suppose you could say that you missed him already seconds after he left. But now that you live under one roof, and found out that he snores like a cow, you wish you live world apart. Certainly, you know that things work differently sometimes.

I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks

…Oh, it could be so nice
Growing old with you.

But here’s an interesting thought: he sticks with you at the delivery room, cleans the house a bit when you don’t and shows genuine concern when you’re sick. I remember contacting UTI and had fever that reached 40 degrees, my husband went out of his way to bring me to the doctor and left only when I’m okay. And looking back over the last several years, he would always let me get inside the bus first before he does, takes the danger side when we’re in the street and hold my hands no matter how sticky and sweaty they sometimes are. He also takes pride at our little family. He would always mention how tall my eldest gets each day and the youngest, how she looks more her mother as the days pass.

Need You
Feed You
Even let you hold the remote control…

…Oh, All I wanna do is grow with you.

I can't think about the day that I will be away from him without getting a huge lump in my throat. I pray that we will grow into greater understanding of each other. And that there is no way that any gray hair, arthritic hands or drooping eyes bags steps in the way.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Better Year Ahead

Many people cram for their resolution. I, for one, am contemplating what to do this year. However, there are still boundaries that are yet to cross. By now, I already realized that I can’t be lower than 100 pounds not unless I suffer from eating disorder. I can’t shoot, swim, or run fast enough. I hate walking lengthy distance and don’t consider working out a happy experience. Diet? I can go as far as oat meal and cereal bars just don’t take dinner out from the schedule. So the idea of getting thin and on top form is probably reserved for next life, err, I mean next year. Others would suggest opening a business. Well why not if you have the time, money and inclination for it. As for me, I can only do it as a sideline but not really a source of living. Taking a vacation is also a good resolution. However, it should be at barest minimum, within the budget and with immediate family only.

But then, not all resolutions are difficult and stressful. You can actually make them simple. Here’s what I learned from Bo Sanchez in his recent blog:

Cut TV watching. Replaced it with reading books, playing with your children or listening to your spouse’s stories.

Be the kindest person you can be. Offer your seat and learn to put others’ needs before your own.

Listen to understand, not to reply. While it is liberating to express yourself; it is more healing to know that there are other people who are in a tougher position than you are.

Learn to save, invest and to tithe. This may not be the easiest times but saving a portion of your salary will help keep you afloat when in great financial difficulties. No matter how small. 10% or not, it’s between you and your God.

Keep dreaming. I once read that idle mind is a Satan’s workshop. So? go ahead. It will save you from catching Alzheimers.

Have a blessed year everyone!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How I Feel in Photos

"Say the word and I will sing for You
Over oceans deep, I will follow
If each star was a song
And every breath of wind, praise
It would still fail by far to say
All my heart contains" - Hillsong