Sunday, September 30, 2012


I‘ve been less than grateful these past months. Looking back, I was very preoccupied with so many financial, home, work obligations, I feel I am eaten alive by them little by little. In fact, I was loosing hair,I could almost believed Kris Aquino about her hair fall proof shampoo. Really, Kris Aquino? She’ll swear she went to the moon and back.

And coupled with PMS, I turned to so many things. I get depressed, I eat peanut butter, I get depressed, I have urge to fight everyone competes with my desire to be liked, I get depressed, I have urge to turn into seclusion, I get depressed. Didn’t I mention I get depressed?

Hello, Levity? You’re welcome to come back anytime.

When I was a kid, I had this idea that people became more calloused and cold-hearted as they got older. It turns out that the heart softens as you age. I am obviously a melted pat of butter now. By the time I am 80, I'll be little more than those sweet tapioca you see in the bottom of Zagu.

And today, I came across this blog that takes on a series of finding grace even on littlest things. Please visit blog site here. Sometimes we tend to see what we want to see, and forget about the mountain of blessings we benefit from everyday. The grace of the Lord doesn’t always come in a life-changing event. They also come to life in every gorgeous weather, warm hugs, and honest apologies.

In more mundane ways, these are the graces I found.

    1. Garlic longganisa with garlic fried rice for breakfast
    2. I loved the friendly drizzling shower of rains this morning
    3. How happy to gaze at my two still sleeping kids can make me
    4. The incredible thing even a short prayer does
    5. I made peace with PNR train because they were on time today
    6. A pleasant Sunday afternoon spent turning old acquaintances as better friends

Now go forth and count your own blessings!

Friday, September 21, 2012

This Train Experience

Did you ever have a chance of riding the train? Not the MRT or LRT but the old, clanky, sometimes stinky and mosquito infested, where Tutuban-going people ride? I do. Everyday either off to work or way back home I use the PNR train. And riding it is like signing your own death warrant. Either you are pushed, bumped, pulled, scratched that you can almost pass for recovering drug addict or alcoholic once you get out of it. Yes. Everyday is a full one.

Last night was a misnomer.

It’s not a train. It’s a purgatory. Ready to test your patience and values, all the hopes and optimism so life will not leave you.

I’ve waited for one full hour at the Buendia Station, in Makati. They said the train is delayed. Okay, Regine can keep me company. As well as handful of angry birds on my cellphone to while away the time.

After one hour, my train arrived with its hair pulling people.

I am a person who does not readily complain. I keep my cool as long as I can. I tried my best not to be anyone’s hater, basher, crazy maker or user. You know I usually feed my brain with peaceful stuff although my husband sometimes look at me like I was Atilla the Hun.


We arrived at the next station, just a millilisecond away where we boarded. And that’s where “purification” happened. What I thought would be few minutes of waiting, turned out to be hours. Standing and hungry, I love how my legs supported my aching body. I though I m going to have a panic attack. I just wished that PNR people will pay for my therapist.

On the sound system, came repeated apology because there was a train somewhere that went crazy and can’t pull itself forward. So we have to wait for it to pass before we can go. I just felt that too many things are wrong. First my bad hair this morning, and then my dry skin and then this. I hope this is not genetic. I wish for Yana all the good stuff. Not this.

But I pursued. I waited for the thug and the time that we will leave the place soon. And have my dinner and sleep.

And in that moment I realized that not all bad stuff is forever. That even this horrible experience came to pass. And I'm going to laugh at all the craziness that I see on the faces of people, telling me the world is also fun and not all sad or scary. I may still feel desperate inside. But all feelings ebb and flow. Even kidney stones eventually pass, right?

May be last night was a mess. But I know its all part of my history. That life, like this headbutting experience train ride, is only what it is. An experience we need to get through to make us tougher, stronger, and wiser.

So may be this PNR train sucks but I will still ride it anyway. In fact, I am riding it again tonight.

Monday, September 17, 2012

How I Feel in Photos

Here are great pictures made by Joel Robinson, a famous photograper in the online community. Take a peek at his whimsical abstractions of the reading experience and the joy of books. You can visit his website, Boy Wonder's Photostream at Flickr here.

So imaginative, so visual.

                      The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, 
                      a feeling, a way of looking at things – that you’d thought special, particular to you. 
                     And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, may even 
                     someone long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.

On Wants and Needs

It’s difficult to have a new house. Your old things no longer look desirable.

So the lists are starting to come in.

“Ma, let’s have Wi-Tribe” (P1,000)

“Or cable?” (P600)

“I want cable!”

“Mahal, we really should replace that table.” (P2,000) “What we really need for the new house is for the boy to have his own bed” (P3,000). “I need new school shoes” (P500). “Also, hub’s health insurance” (P 1,000). “And Yana’s nanny ” (P1,000). Church’s Building Fund is due! (P1,000) “The credit chard is billing us P1,200 for the membership." (P1,200) “What do you mean our portion of the electric bill is P1,500!? (P1,500)


I know we are not alone here. The "I wants" are always part of the expenses. The "I needs" are part of life.

Funny enough, I am not worried.

Stressed, yes. Worried, no. Because I can always ignore the wants and just focus on the needs.

I know there will always be ways to overcome financial problems. We just came out from a very big financial responsibility, and I thought we wouldn’t be able to do it. My greatest fear is to stop the construction halfway. I was not prepared but through my family’s unconditional support and high optimism, yes we’re able to finish the house construction and live in it comfortably at the very least. By “finish” I mean the kitchen sink and toilet bowl were already in place, and with running water and tiled floor. Forget about the windows because we covered the holes with plywood.

But the debt is still a debt, right?

So we need a plan.

If we cut everything to the bone, we could pay off our loans half by next year. But that would mean no eating in restaurants, no movies, no cable, no Wi-Tribe, no additional gadgets, or major purchases all year.


And more importantly, giving 10% of our income, even if it looks like a stupid thing to do when you are trying to get out of debt, could be the smartest thing we could ever do. Although we were really trying our best to squeeze it in our budget, we became unfaithful these last three months. I say, we failed to handle it perfectly.

But we could do that. We will do that -- if we have to.

With debts or without debts.

He should always be part of our lives, much more our finances. Budgeting, borrowing and debt, saving, tithing and other financial topics are important, but our attitude about money is more important. Once our way of thinking about money lines up with God’s, it’s much easier to tackle the practical matters.

Need I say more?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How I Feel On This Monday Morning

Happy Monday, dear friends! How was your weekend? Are you doing anything exciting this coming week? Really where did the two days off go? Sometimes just by staring at my house chores, two days seem not enough. Oh yes, they’re short, they’re sweet and yep, they end. Oh well I will not veer into rant mode. Because every time I think how anti-climatic Mondays mornings I always remember…

    *That our days will be better and will not be as difficult as they are today
    *We can control our lives, therefore we can also control our finances
    *And even if things are unstable right now, everything will be as it should be
    *That the only disability in life is a bad attitude
    *And negativity can only feed on negativity therefore, feel good, look blessed and share!
    *And finally Christmas or not, surprises abound!
    *Thanks Margj!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Christmas Is Early In This Part of The World

I was sweeping the floor when I heard a Christmas song suddenly played on the radio. Well what do you know, its Christmas time once again. Who wouldn’t like the thought of happy times one more around? Really if there’s one favorite part of the year, this is it. The part where I always contemplated on buying a dreamy 45 inches flat screen but always ended up buying an electric fan.

I wonder if that will happen this time.

May be not. I’m flat broke.

Our future money is enough to pay our debt, and so we really can’t plan something big this time.

Since Monday we’re living on loose change. And I am always in search for cash left somewhere else. In fact, I hardly look at my wallet these days . I only see it when I pull out the plastic card. Gah.

Building a house cost a lot. It drains every bit of your soul. If that’s a metaphor, that’ s the metaphor I’m feeling right now.

But broke and all, we love our new built house. Even if we have to weave in and out of the piles of things that we have left everywhere. For instance the other day, I put my door keys down and I collapsed on the chair and stared at the TV. The next day, I couldn’t find them anywhere!

And by "anywhere" I mean the little side table and shelf. Ahem.

Hubs was certain that I must have left them under the stairs, and his argument soon convinced me that that's exactly what had happened. And then I moved a pile of crap on the floor yesterday--three days after "losing" them-- and there they were. Hubs may have psychic power somedays.

Ok, back to the story. Sorry for all of the tangents, but because this is the most tearful post about money and the lack of it, I'm overwrought and words just fly away. Like what a drunk person does.

So to Hubs

*throat clear*

Thank you for going with me through all these. You are my support system. Oh please I will make you lunch everyday but just don’t think of buying that flat screen. I need all your paychecks until end of the year.

To my children

You know I love you most deeply, and most strongly. So may be we can have our next trip to your favorite toy store, say, next year? Don’t worry, I’ll save enough for your chichiria.

To all my godchildren

I have a heart of gold. I care very deeply about many different things. And I care about all of you. But please come next year.

And finally to Santa,

You know I’ve been especially good this year. Oh let's go straight to my point.. can you pay off my loans?