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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’


“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” – Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen, another favorite writer has exactly describe what a real friendship is – those moments when just being there for a friend would be enough, those moments when just holding their hands is a comfort in itself.

I meet lots of people at the Catholic page I manage with a priest friend and a lay minister, most of them OFW workers from different parts of the globe. Through the years that I help manage the site (it’s been four years now), I have met a few who have become close to me where we manage to see each other once in a while. When we do,  the day is not enough to catch on with each  other’s news. We share on how life has been but often we  talk about our beliefs and our joy in our journey with God.  Last Saturday is one such day I will treasure in my heart. Visiting Padre Pio Chapel always gives me a wonderful feeling of peace and happiness and it was even more magnified spending it with a few close friends that I treasure.  They call me Ate, Tita, Mommy and Ms. A. I don’t mind really because they are affectionate ways  of telling me I am loved. It’s more  of  sharing and laughter, sometimes we cry at those moments of weakness remembering what we’ve been through, sometimes we laugh our hearts out telling simple stories. We cry, we laugh and embrace each other in a show of faith  and love.

Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House at Eastwood City

Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House at Eastwood City

Pho Hoa is a Vietnamese restaurant that serves authentic Vietnamese food. We tried their Pomelo Shrimp Salad (the best there is) with a simple dressing, fresh spring rolls, grilled chicken and grilled pork with fried spring rolls, noodles, mango crepe with ice cream, buko pandan salad.  I love the banana fritters with caramel.  As if the fulfilling lunch was not enough, we had a quick snack at Yellow Cab Pizza. We laughed at some remembered moments during our first two gatherings at Sto. Domingo Church, we talked of catechism 101 (seriously).

Yellow Cab Pizza, Eastwood.

Yellow Cab Pizza, Eastwood.

Moments of bliss. And when friends meet, hearts warm.

BTW, this is my 1490th blog per WordPress count. Happy Tuesday to all :)

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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!

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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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“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

I always love reading and re-reading The Velveteen Rabbit, a poignant and deeply touching  story about friendship and love. The book is an endearing and simple story on what love and loving is all about.

What is real in your life?

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We stand here encompassed by winter; the barren trees with their fallen leaves, the silent riverbed. Nothing is more certain in life or nature than death. We accept it as the way of things. Perhaps we are able because we have faith in spring. Yet somehow it seems different to us when death comes early. Much as we might bemoan an early winter, we feel robbed of something due. We feel cheated. Sometimes we rage. And sometimes we blame. And in doing so, we say to God, “My will be done, not Thine,” and we forget about the promise of spring. In the cold of our soul’s winter, we bury our hearts. And when we wonder why it is dark and why we feel alone. and we risk spending so much of our lives occupied with our loss and what we have not, that we forget the beauty of what is and what we still have. And this is sometimes, the greater loss. – richard paul evans

A week ago, I cried at the loss of an online friend who has been a part of my life for the past five years or so. We have known each other exchanging comments and views at our Multiply sites  learning life’s angst and lovely dreams of tomorrow.  Bella was so supportive of me when I underwent chemotherapy around the time we were so active at Multiply. We formed a close group, some of whom I eventually met personally.  Even then, she always said that she had a delicate health, she came home from a teaching job in Thailand  and enjoyed gardening and writing about her thoughts on family life, love of music and anything that we could touch under the sun. You might wonder, is an online friendship possible?  YES, it is. My only regret is that, I only talked to her once, over the phone, a surprise call which she appreciated very much.  Reading the outpouring of grief and offer of prayers on her wall at Facebook, I realized that when you are not afraid to reach out to people, those same friends would remember you with fondness and love.

Life is short. We always say  that and it is more felt when we lose someone dear to us, the feeling of loneliness is so acute that you recall your own pain and you cry silent tears of goodbye.  Then you begin to see at some inspired moment that you are lucky you’re still alive, well and kicking as they say. You begin to see that life is a life of second chances. You begin to appreciate the things that you somehow take for granted because they are always there at an easy reach.

What makes one happy?  Friends give us that feeling of being special,  more so when they appreciate what we do and what we share. And no matter what mundane things we do, there is always that feeling of joy because our friends accept us as we are and  give us words of encouragement to go on. Happiness depends on our outlook in life. We could choose to be in misery or always to be happy, because in the end, happiness is a choice.

Life is short, value it. Happiness is sometimes fleeting, grab it. Trite as it may sound, the blue sky is just behind the clouds.

 

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Friendship needs no words – it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness. –  Dag Hammarskjöld

I love this shot. It is one of several photos that I took  in Tanay during my first road trip two weeks after my final chemotherapy session almost three years ago. Time flies – but it holds a promise  that no matter how painful it is – life goes on!

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