Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, inspirational, journeys, photography, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, journeys, life, Padre Pio, photography, St. Padre Pio Chapel in Libis QC on April 14, 2014 |
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Woke up at an ungodly hour of 3:30am. Son has to leave the house at 5:00am so for three days each week, it’s a struggle to open my eyes and try to ignore the alarms from my two cellphones on my night table. This morning, I felt as though I haven’t slept for over six hours so I went back to bed and woke up at 7:30am. So much for dreaming of catching at least 3 more hours of rest.
Our two dogs are at the door waiting for breakfast and my plants are waiting for that much-needed morning shower. It is definitely summer here and it’s hot. The previous week has been a busy one so far and it’s now Holy Monday. Holy Week began yesterday with the blessing of the palms. I was at the church early because yesterday, one of our new junior admins at our Catholic page visited me. Ninia and I had a good laugh exchanging news and some tidbits of her life in Hongkong away from her family. Sharing with friends is such a joy, never mind that sometimes, the topic was serious and painful enough and the tears fall, unheeded. Doing an online apostolate is definitely fulfilling. As you journey through, you also grow in faith and yes, in your own little way, you get to inspire others. We will be celebrating our fourth year of being online this coming Friday. When I think of the times when we were just making our presence felt with a little more than a thousand members, I am grateful that so many people from all walks of life found our page. We now have almost 66,000 members who visit the page each day and share our posts.
I would love to go back to St. Padre Pio Chapel this Holy Week, they have several things lined up for the celebration. My only problem is I am afraid to mingle with a big crowd because I have to wear face mask and I can’t stay under the heat of the sun for long. We are planning to have Visita Iglesia on Holy Thursday maybe in some churches in Manila if we have the time.
This is the facade of Saint Padre Pio Chapel in Libis, QC. It’s visited by thousands of Padre Pio devotees from all walks of life.
The prayer room of St. Francis of Assisi.
I am always touched watching the flickering candles at the chapel. The symbolism of having pure light, penetrating darkness and illuminating one’s path is so uplifting.
Some people say that the facade of the chapel is an exact replica of the Shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. Last week I watched a feature on Mang Ramon Rodriguez, founder and president of the Philippine Center for St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Inc. He is a devotee of Saint Padre Pio and was cured of partial blindness years ago . It’s the reason why he put up a small chapel which is now a house of prayer visited by thousands of pilgrims all year-long.
Church of Santa Maria della Grazie, containing Padre Pio’s tomb and cell. (Photo credit: sacred-destinations.com)
Have a blessed Holy Week!
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blogging, books, friends, friendship, life, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blogging, books, friendship, life, literature and Fiction, thoughts and ramblings on March 22, 2014 |
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I haven’t visited this corner for a while. No particular reason though except that I’ve been busy the past days. It’s Lent and I have to make advance posts and do some research for my apostolate at Apostles Filipino Catholic Community in which I am one of the admins. We now have an astounding 51,000 members with a total reach of around 5 million views daily. We’re definitely growing.
Last Wednesday, some friends and I had a wonderful lunch at Max’s in SM Megamall. One of our members came home from Canada and she treated us to lunch. I love bonding with them, we could talk about any topic under the sun, catching up on each other’s lives after almost three years – precious moments filled with laughter and sharing. One day is not always enough for all the things that we have to catch up on. Friends are wonderful gifts from above. It was also my first time to visit the chapel located at the 5th floor of Megamall. One of these days, I would love to attend a mass at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord.
One thing that I always notice every time there is a slack in my blogging is, it’s quite hard to write again. One somehow loses the momentum of sharing one’s thoughts. Oh well, sometimes, I feel so lazy to sit in front of my computer and think. Apart from doing research, I have gone back to reading e-books. Who knows, I may even reach my goal of 70 books to read this year. I am keeping tab of it so I would know. Right now, I am on my 17th book and just finished a wonderful one yesterday entitled The Help. I am less inclined to make a review though because I am excited to read the next book on my list. Finally, I was able to watch the movie adaptation of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. Read it four years ago and it was one of the best read I ever had. One can’t compare the movie versus the book because definitely, the book is more detailed but the acting is also superb and charming. Sophie Nelisse is perfect as the protective and loving Liesel. I cried reading the book and watching it onscreen is equally touching.
It’s my grandson’s 16th month today but that would be in another blog.
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, city gardening, Close to Nature, Closer to God, inspirational, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Close to Nature, Closer to God, inspirational, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts on March 12, 2014 |
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My Mokara orchids are blooming nonstop, same with my Hoya. I noticed two more buds while the last bloom is drying up. It’s such a joy to watch them unfold into lovely blooms. When you are lucky to have Nature’s gifts, you can’t help but smile. I am using most of my shots to make quotes for our Catholic page at Facebook. This is one of them.
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Posted in Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blessings, inspirational, journeys, life, QUOTE, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, inspirational, life, quotes, silence speaks on January 26, 2014 |
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One of the joys of sharing at our Catholic site are the comments and likes that I see every day. I think that no matter how simple our posts are, sometimes, there will always be someone who needs a loving and positive word to go on and the journey becomes light and easy and the joy gives way to hope for a better tomorrow. This quote has earned 586 likes and 171 shares two weeks ago. And it’s fun to make your own quote. Try it!
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Posted in AFCC Global Tambayan, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, blessings, blogging, Closer to God, entertainment, food, friends, friendship, guilty pleasures, journeys, photography, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Closer to God, Faith, food, friends, friendship, get-together, guilty pleasures, life, photography on January 14, 2014 |
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Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
- Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
I’ve been a lazy bug lately. No, don’t get me wrong. I am just resting my weary body from fatigue. The last few days, I was so busy that I was not able to check my blog and post something. Finally, I found time to sit here for a while and update my blog. When you haven’t been blogging for a week, it seems as if you’re starting all over again.
It’s all worth it though because our little potluck lunch party was a success – lots of food, laughter and sharing. Those precious and priceless moments that only friends can enjoy together, something worth-reminiscing and the thought of it makes me smile. We were joined by two priest friends, Fr. Tacky, a Franciscan and Fr. Boy, a Dominican. Not that it matters that they belong to different congregations because they both studied in Rome and met there. We took lots of pictures of course, what’s a party without those wacky poses and shots that make us laugh. We even have to use a tripod so we could all fit into the frame. There is this picture window at our house that never fails to attract our friends and visitors to have their pictures taken there. Believe me, it has become some sort of trademark for the members of our Catholic community who drop by when they are on vacation.
We had an exchange of gifts just for fun. Imagine the laughter we had when we simultaneously opened them and found things like a roll of tissue paper which Darlene said she will take with her on her trip back to Abu Dhabi, a small bottle of efficascent oil from Reena which Matt got, packs of marshmallows and so many more. What do you think, the gift should only be worth P30 and what can you buy with P30? Reymon, aside from bringing three whole roast chicken gave us individual bags of gifts from Bench.
They were surprised to learn that eating green mango with the skin on is the best way to eat one. I asked Joan to bring me some and when they saw me eating a slice, they all tried it except Matt :) Endless laughter!
We can’t get enough so the party extended on to early dinner with ice cream, Fuji apples and suman na pinipig (the best suman I’ve tasted) for desserts. And they all said, “sa uulitin”. Until next time guys.
One of the best gifts that we could ever have is the gift of friendship.
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Call me a little OC when it comes to entertaining but as much as possible I see to the tiniest details that are sometimes overlooked when one is a bit busy in the kitchen. This morning, I made a list of the things I need to do and posted it where I could check everything before my friends arrive tomorrow. Earlier on, we have decided on a potluck lunch and merienda but I will prepare baked macaroni with meatballs and marble potatoes with ham and cheese spread. I was busy the whole day despite an occasional headache that makes me rest after each task that I finish. They say they are okay with disposables – paper plates, plastic spoons and forks and whatever you can use to save on washing later. I am not used to it though so I washed two dozens of china ware, several Pyrex trays, three dozens of spoons and forks and lots of drinking glasses. Never mind that there will be chaos when the party is over, I just don’t want to balance my food precariously on a delicate paper plate, one wrong move and everything topples over. Neither do I want using plastic spoon or fork that sometimes breaks in the middle while you are eating. I think that’s more practical when you are attending a children’s party or a pica-pica type of food, when kids can’t handle a big plate nor hold a glass safely in their hands.
I’m looking forward to meeting all of them again. Hopefully, this would be a success. There is always a certain kind of joy in meeting friends, kindred souls who would make you smile even if they tell and share with you the ugliest anecdotes , repeated stories that become longer with the retelling. At least four of them are coming here for the first time.
I am excited.
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Posted in Christmas 2013, family life, guilty pleasures, season of advent, silence speaks, tagged Apostles Filipino Catholic Community, Christmas 2013, Christmas countdown, Christmas music, family life, guilty pleasures, silence speaks on December 2, 2013 |
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We’re into the first week of the Advent season and I’m just like a child waiting for Christmas. And did I say, I have my countdown? It’s Josef’s day off so we had the chance to do some honest to goodness cleaning. I was pleasantly surprised when he showed me his room with a functioning 14-inch color television complete with a DVD player. He brought them down when he cleaned up our upper cabinets. I have completely forgotten about them, they’ve been there since typhoon Ondoy and that was more than four years ago. We sorted out a box full of CDs, DVDs, some favorite movies that Nissa collected and songs of yesteryears which are still so good to hear and listen to.
And it’s time to bring out those treasured Christmas albums and sing along with the likes of The Gunter Kallmann Choir, Jose Mari Chan and the upbeat Tagalog Christmas songs of the Dyna Ensemble. A friend who was a former DJ asked me if I have an album of The Gunter Kallmann Choir. I just learned from him that it is no longer available locally. It’s the best album there is that I have treasured listening to through the years. It makes me feel nostalgic just listening to the music and remembering Christmas past. We have Nate now and it would surely be a happy one for us. It’ll be his second Christmas with us and I am sure he can now appreciate the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree and the sound of Christmas carols that he could dance to.
I was thrilled when I saw the number of likes, comments and shares on this simple message which was culled from one of my previous Christmas blogs here at WordPress. Last Sunday, I posted it at our Catholic site which I help maintain at Facebook. As of today, it earned 34 tags, 1,603 likes, 798 shares and 73 comments. Amazing. Maybe they found the message uplifting. I am sharing it again here:
It’s the Holy Season of Advent and we’re now celebrating the first Sunday. Every year, we look forward to the coming of Jesus and pray those beautiful prayers of longing and waiting and sing those beautiful songs of hope and promise.
The Advent season is full of God’s blessings for all of us. He makes us realize and remember to look back at the whole year that is about to end and to look forward to a new and hopeful year that is about to begin. Are we ready to take Him into our hearts? Are we ready to accept Him in our lives? True, we always say time is gold and we should not waste it but we also need to take stock of what is more important, a quiet contemplation, a moment of silence, a minute of giving thanks. Let this be a season of joy for all of us, awaiting a most precious event of the season – a baby born in swaddling cloths to save mankind.
Wow, it’s 23 days to go before Christmas!
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