Archive for June, 2009

My eyes were glued to the TV screen

Telling me you were gone

“Gone where?”, I asked

Or was it just denial on my part

My friends were all so quick

To upload your songs,

Sharing their own experiences

How you touched their lives

In one way or another.

I was one of them

A child of the 70’s

Finding myself singing I’ll Be There with you

Stomping my feet to the tune of Thriller

No one seems old

When it comes to music…

How sad to know that sometimes,

A person is best remembered

When he is gone from this world.

Goodbye Michael –

May you find true peace in the world beyond!


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You come to me

Innocent enough to flatter

My egoistic self

In the sweet smile of a child

In the melodious tune of a song.

You come, flapping your wings

high and low

And the way I see it

I want to fly with you too.

I did fly and for a while

I saw the world through your eyes

Then you entered the periphery of my soul

And I saw the whole of you

Slowly opening your tiny hands

Welcoming me home.

On this the eve of your birthday

Please stay with me

Until my day is done

Until I’ve sung my song

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Love Defined

The first time we went out of ourselves

to reach another – that was  Love

the hesitant touch

– the guarded phrase

Each was an attempt to express

the inexpressible.

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It has been thirty years since I left the portals of UST, how time has flown! I was about eight or nine years old when I first set foot at the University when my father took me to his office (UST High School) one summer break. What left an indelible mark was the vast field of greens and the imposing and awesome facade of the UST Main Building. I promised myself that won’t be the last time that I would visit the place because I wanted to study there too.

That dream was nurtured by my father’s desire for all his children (my three brothers and I) to embrace a good Catholic education. And so in the summer of 1969 (you might say, it’s so ancient), I took the high school entrance exams at the UST Education High School. I remember, I had it at the office of the principal, Mrs. Gloria Hernandez since I was late for the official date of examination for new students. Graduating from a public school during my elementary years and from the province at that really made me quite nervous. I never thought I would pass the qualifying exams for incoming high school students. That started my nine years of stay at the university.

Back then, UST High School which we know as “pay high” was a one-storey affair at the back of the Main Building fronting what used to be called the Resto. I was already in college when that building was burned down and it was then that the present High School building was erected. My father worked there for almost thirty two years and he retired from office in 1987. For those who are not aware, UST has two high schools, one of which is the Education High School, a training institution for graduating students at the College of Education. It extends support to bright but financially handicapped students by means of lower tuition fees. The former building of Educ High was located in front of the UST Hospital. I think it was only during our sophomore year that we transferred to the present site, the Albertus Magnus Bldg. (Education Bldg.).

What I remember most during my student years? Plenty – the ice cream vendor near the Canteen of the Education building, College Inn in Espana, “cornik” and “mani” laced with hot and spicy oil in Dapitan, “banana q” at P. Noval, the knee-high deep waters during typhoons, the evening walks along Espana while waiting for a ride home with some classmates and friends, the early morning masses at the UST Chapel, the occasional walks at the quadrangle area with classmates, the fear of not passing the qualifying exams for Economics majors, (thank God I did it) the struggle of solving problems in our Statistics class, the research works and feasibility studies in our Economics subjects and a lot more. But what really made my stay in UST worthwhile was my three-year stint as a student librarian at the Humanities Section of the UST Main Library. If you ask me, I would say, those were the best years of my teenage life. It was there that I met all my wonderful friends, it was there that I learned the value of work, it was there that I got to know that there is a different world out there – the world of books!

I had a chance to go back again and took pictures of the place last Saturday, February 14, 2009. Some moments to treasure, a few minutes reminiscing on the UST that I knew which is indelibly etched in my mind.

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Lend enough love out and you’ll be paid back all your lifetime. – Rod McKuen

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First time I’ve met this multi-talented Filipino artist – painter, sculptor, printmaker, writer and book illustrator. He has contributed many designs for reproduction on UNICEF’s Christmas greeting cards. He has held several one-man exhibits in various museums and galleries not only in the Philippines but in cities around the world. His paintings depict scenes in simplified geometric forms with a folk art character. He recently designed the Greenbags being used by SM Supermalls. In 2007, together with Eduardo Castrillo, he received the Thomasian Meritorious Achievement Award given by his alma mater, Univ. of Santo Tomas. Wow, proud Thomasian.

Two of his paintings, Fruits of Labor and Good Harvest were reproduced in cross stitch arts by DMC in their exhibit entitled Out of the Box held at the Atrium, 2nd flr., SM Megamall last March 25, 2009.

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I Know You Are There

There is a great happiness in knowing that you don’t suffer alone

When the strength of God’s love is always with you

God doesn’t give us crosses that we can’t bear…

One thing that gives me strength amidst trials and tribulations

Is God’s presence in my heart!

Help me oh Lord

to know  You

allow me to seek

and love You more!

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It was back in the 90’s when I was introduced to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books by the bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.  I have about five volumes in my shelf, mostly gifts from close friends who are also book lovers like me.  I enjoyed every story contained in those books – stories that really warm the heart and uplift the soul. I even entertained the idea of contributing some articles back then but for some reason or another, they never materialized.  Every now and then, I go back reading those books though, life’s lessons are always touching, they give you that certain feel of being in touch with your inner self, they teach you to be the best of what you are and what you can become.

Last night, my daughter surprised me with a volume entitled Chicken Soup for Mother and Daughter Soul. It was on loan from their Stress  Management office.  So I began another journey – stories of a special bond between a mother and a daughter.  In the words of Jacqueline Mitchard, the author of The Deep End of the Ocean (another book in my TBR list); “the first bond, primal and durable and fraught, the relationship some of us believe will cut the pattern for all other relationship life ever offers, is displayed in this volume.  And the bear witness to motherhood and daughterhood in ways that we are powerless to resist. We laugh, we cry, we identify. We remember!” Oh yes, I could definitely relate.

I have a 26 year-old daughter, presently working as Asst. Manager in the oldest bank in the country.  I can still vividly recall the time she graced our lives one September morning  twenty six years ago.  I got complications when I got pregnant with her. It was touch and go for a while for both mother and child.  We prayed hard for her and it was an answered prayer.  During my seventh month of pregnancy, I was hospitalized due to pre-eclampsia. I stayed in the hospital for one long month until her birth was induced on the advise of my OB-Gyne.  She was a fragile baby, born prematurely at eight months, a tiny 3.9 lbs. at birth.  Looking back, I am reminded of the things we went through and I am very proud to have  a loving, sweet, and a very responsible daughter.

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I received this beautiful prayer from a close friend who lives in Vancouver.  I deeply appreciate all your moral support and words of encouragement.  Thank you!

Dear  Lord,

Every single evening
As I’m lying here in bed,
This tiny little Prayer
Keeps running through my head:

God  bless all my family
and loved ones
Wherever they may be,
Keep them warm
And safe from harm
For they’re so close to me..

And  God, there is one more thing
I wish that you could do;
Hope you don’t mind me asking,
Please bless my computer too.

Now I know that it’s unusual
To Bless a motherboard,
But listen just a second
While I explain it to you, Lord.

You see, that little metal box
Holds more than odds and ends;
Inside those small compartments
Rest so many of my friends.

I know so much about them
By  the kindness that they give,
And this little scrap of metal
Takes me in to where they live.

By faith is how I know them
Much the same as you.
We share in what life brings us
And from that our friendships grew..

Please take an extra minute
From your
duties up above,
To bless those in my address book
That’s filled with so much love.

Wherever else this prayer may reach
To each and every friend,
Bless each e-mail inbox
And each person who hits ‘send’.

When you update your Heavenly list
On your own Great CD-ROM,
Bless everyone who says this prayer
Sent up to GOD.com


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Think Caviar

It’s one of those highly-priced commodities that I would not think of buying, not even for the sake of curiosity. I only get to see it when I watch Iron Chef America once in a while. How ignorant can one get, I thought there was only one kind, those black fish roe pearls resembling our very own small sago, but I was wrong. There are as many varieties as there are many fishes that produce them.

I was reading the December issue of Foodie, a cookbook magazine and I got curious when I saw one of their articles on caviar. Mock caviar, how’s that? Yes, it might not be a substitute for the real thing but the picture in the magazine sure looks like it.

You will need:

2 pieces large eggplant

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

Grill and mash eggplant then toss in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate then serve with toast or crackers.

Gonna try this one of these days!

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