Archive for October, 2011

Here’s a portion of a paragraph culled from my blog at Multiply more than three years ago. It exactly echoes what I feel now while listening to the same Christmas songs of old.

I was listening to Christmas carols yesterday while having a short chat with a friend. I told him that every time a Christmas song is played, it makes me feel somehow nostalgic and lonely, why is that? He just laughed, short of saying I am really getting old. He is probably right, when one begins to reminisce and bring back to mind the good old times, then you think twice and ask, “what have I accomplished in my life?”. I do think there is no barometer where you measure happiness and success because they all depend on your attitude towards life itself.

One more week to go before my birthday,  twenty-five days before my daughter’s big day and sixty-seven days to go before Christmas. Why am I even counting?

The days grow too short sometimes, like the sand in an hour-glass that lets you count the seconds, not the minutes, not even the hours. And the days are gone before you have even blinked. Sometimes, you lose yourself in sorrow and happiness seems out of reach. But like a child aiming for a star, you get up and dream again. And reliving the past is quite like a balm to your bruised heart.  You are a survivor and the desire to rise up again and pick up the broken pieces are stronger than your sorrow.And having enough faith in a loving God will always see you through.

I believe. I surrender. I am blessed. I am loved.

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I posted these three questions at our AFCC Tambayan group: Do you give in to impulses? Do you act on intuition? What is your take on fidelity?

Just  watched another episode on KrisTv  early this morning and she had Lucy Torres (my favorite), Anne Curtis, Vicky Belo and the director of the much-talked about movie No Other Woman. It was a lively discussion on fidelity  and being true, loyal and honest to the person you are in relationship with.  And I am reminded of the things that people do on impulse in the name of love, so to speak.  A news report a few days ago said that a jealous wife shot her husband and his paramour when she caught them together inside a mall. Crazy, isn’t it but sometimes when we act irrationally, that’s what happens.

Impulse is defined as “the influence of a particular feeling or mental state or a sudden , involuntary inclination prompting to action.  It is also a instinctual urge  and a compelling drive towards something that induces motion.” Loosely defined, it’s that act by which there is no particular thought involved, never weighing things before acting on them. And an impulse, to most of us, usually connotes something destructive but not all impulses are like that, right? I must admit I am quite impulsive when it comes to buying things that I don’t readily need. I am quite impulsive when I visit bookstores and  buy books right there and then. I am quite impulsive when sometimes, hubby and I decide to eat in a place where extra budget is required. The reward of course is a big smile on your face once you realized that you’ve done something that made you happy.   Sometimes, in a fit of anger, you do things that you regret later, you utter words that hurt other people – you act on impulse, that’s what.

Is it true that women are more intuitive than men? It’s pure intuition to know something without prior knowledge or reason. It’s an immediate insight, and there is an immediate apprehension by sense.  I remember Anne saying that when there is something wrong in a relationship, you get to know and feel it even before it stares at you right in the face. Right, even sometimes a meaningless text (to your husband) makes you a little apprehensive, where is this going to. I was laughing out loud when Lucy shared that she actually forwarded a text to  the girl texting Richard and pretended that it was his new number. How clever….hahaha! You can imagine the rest, next text would be right to Lucy’s cellphone.

Ah fidelity, my artist friend at our Tambayan page said that he is loyal and he loves his wife (that’s written in big, bold letters) and that giving in to temptation is not his kind of thing. Loyalty is one thing we do expect from our friends, children and especially from our husband/wife.  Once trust is broken, it would really be difficult to bring it back.

I made this unconsciously long  again. They are just plain observations on impulse, fidelity and intuition. So I go back to my earlier questions.

Do you give in to impulses?

Do you act on intuition?

What’s your take on fidelity?

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While I was on my way home last Wednesday after viewing the exhibit on Blessed John Paul II, I passed by the new terminal of buses going to the Southern part of Luzon.  Familiar names like Lucena, Bicol, Tagaytay  met my eyes, enticing places that one would want to visit and just relax and enjoy. Believe me, I had this sudden urge to hop in one air-conditioned bus and let it take me to Tagaytay or to nearby Batangas. 

How nice it would be if you could take life so simply like that. Go wherever your  feet take you and just feel what nature brings. But life, no matter how simple we treat it, is sometimes  complicated. One has responsibilities that need to be done,  and other people in your life who need to be considered.

I miss going on road trips and it’s  my dream to go on one taking a public bus for a change. A friend of mine who recently went to Bicol to visit a relative took a bus going there, an overnight trip that costs P700  pesos one way.  And she said that the trip was really convenient because there was a clean restroom inside the bus.  I wish I could do that, go on a trip alone and visit some place away from the madding crowd, so to speak. Living in a frenzied world like the city, it’s a novelty to spend one’s time in a quiet place.

The question of “what if” and “when” always seem to be at the back of my mind, rearing its head time and again. What if I take the bus and spend my time just exploring? What if I take a ride just for the mere pleasure of it? Feasting your eyes in countryside scenery, discovering new places , conquering your fears of traveling alone on a long road trip – they may open your eyes to new vista and make your heart leap for joy.

It always is a pleasure getting re-acquainted with places you have visited in the past, see what’s new and what story it unfolds. And having a camera to record such event is an added bonus. And how lovely it would be if you could write and update your journal when you are on the road.

 And Samuel Johnson has described it more aptly when he said “There is scarcely any writer who has not celebrated the happiness of rural privacy, and delighted himself and his reader with the melody of birds, the whisper of groves, and the murmur of rivulets.” 

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My seven-year old niece (she’s turning eight in two months) came for a lightning visit yesterday with mom, my brother and sister-in-law. She embraced me tight and said, “Na miss kita Tita.” (I’ve missed you Tita). I’ve missed her too. I seldom see her but I try my best to call her over the phone at least once or twice a month. My mom needs to see a doctor so they  left her behind. While we were eating lunch she said, “Tita, alam ko na kung saan galing ang Bobic”.” referring to her nickname which I fondly gave her when she was still a baby. So I asked her how she came about it. I was laughing out loud when she said, “two words.” Then she explained that the first syllable came from the name of our dog Boo and the second one from a fat pig. I told her that the dog was not yet with us when she was born and she smiled with that all-knowing look that seems to say, “I don’t believe you Tita.”

She saw the big box which has her Ate Nissa’s wedding dress and she squealed in delight. She promised that she won’t tell that I showed it to her since she was of the belief that her Ate Nissa will get angry if she looks at what’s inside the box.  With those  saucer eyes, she shouted, “ganda”. She lovingly touched the beading of the dress and told me that it looks like her gown. She’ll be Nissa’s little bride on her wedding day and the design of her gown is quite similar to Nissa’s. She was puzzled though why there was a long train separate from the gown so I showed her how it will look attached to the gown itself. Her oohs and aahs were such that she  had us laughing so hard. The simple joys of a child. She’s now convinced that she’ll be playing a big role when her Ate gets married.

It’s another lovely Sunday. We attended the 5pm mass today, a bit late from our usual 9am mass.  It was a busy day for all of us. We even have to do our monthly groceries before going to the  church.  I met a friend whom I haven’t seen for quite a while since her family migrated to the United States. We agreed to keep in touch. It is such a joy meeting old friends.

How was your day?

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He is the new Archbishop of Manila. And here is his status update on Facebook:

“His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI appointed me, a humble servant , to succeed His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to the Metropolitan See of Manila. I face this heavy responsibility with much trepidation. Leaving the Diocese of Imus, my beloved home, at the threshold of its Golden Jubilee is not easy. But faith in the gracious Lord and love of the Church give me strength. I know that I would find much good will and zeal for mission in the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Manila. In our openness to the Holy Spirit, we could render a joyful and robust witness to Jesus Christ, all for the glory of the Father and the good of the Church and of society, especially of the poor. I entrust the Archdiocese of  Manila and my ministry to the loving care of our Lady, Mary Immaculate.”

+Luis Antonio G. Tagle
13 October 2011

Congratulations Archbishop Tagle. We are one with you in prayers.  I haven’t had any personal encounter with him but I admire him a lot. I always look forward to Kape’t Pandasal and The Word Exposed.  He is helping a lot of people through his TV programs. 

Thank you Archbishop!

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Oh well, the past few days have been simply that – happy to some extent. What a difference a day makes and what lovely thoughts one holds in a heartbeat.

  • receiving an e-mail from a friend whom I haven’t seen for the last ten years.  She said she reads my blogs and I was surprised. “So I am updated on what’s happening in your life more than you know.” It’s indeed so touching to learn that although you don’t  talk much and communication is just a text or two once or twice a year, she never forgets.
  • hugging a recently found book that I dreamed of buying for the last few months and it turned out that I enjoyed every page and was delighted in every stringed word. It’s one such delicious read that the characters linger long after I have read the last page and closed the book.  Sigh with a smile :), and that reads,  “Could I ever write something like that in my lifetime?”
  • waking up early to see the sunrise I’ve missed for so long because the rains chose to linger, drenching everything in the garden. Even the Koi are probably happy to feel the sun on their backs while they are busy swimming back and forth, back and forth  until I give up watching because my eyes hurt.
  • thinking of that one summer that I felt the touch of raindrops on my face, diffusing the heat for a while.
  • counting the days till Christmas. I’ve blogged time and again that the Christmas season is my favorite time of the year.  And these are happy times that one cherishes and treasures.
  • making my countdown on the big day – my daughter’s wedding. I am excited to see her walk down the aisle with the man she loves. A lot of friends are teasing me, “Would you  cry during her wedding day?” I probably would but they would be tears of joy.
  • the joy of meeting new-found friends and seeing them finally after several months of online chats.  I could still remember the shared laughter and the spark in our eyes just being together – no holds barred, no rules followed.
  • reading a tweet from someone I  never thought would read my silly posts on Twitter. 🙂
  • experimenting with a new recipe in the kitchen and having that big smile on my face because the hubby and the kids like it.
  • replenishing my TBR list and remembering to jot down lovely quotes while reading.
  • ah, yes, eating dirty ice cream in  a hamburger bun instead of ice cream cone. It makes me remember those high school days in UST when having one during recess time is total bliss. That was how simple life was back then.
  • dreaming of having my favorite Jubileum ensaymada for afternoon snack. It’s the best in town.
  • Sunday mornings with hubby and the kids – lingering on the dining table while sharing cups of coffee, scrambled eggs and hot pan de sal.
  • playing with our dogs in the garden – the errant Suki always trying to find an opportunity to run wild outside when the gate is open, our half-breed Rottweiler dog Meatloaf  slowly inching her way inside the house and stopping at the rug near our kitchen door, waiting for a signal that she could come in and stay inside for a while. Our aging dog Boo which has been with us for I don’t know how long. She’s the only one that never venture out of the gate because she’s really growing old. And of course, our youngest dog Gray always wagging his tail and sticking out his  tongue until we call his name.
  • the sweet scent of Gardenia in bloom and the flowers growing in our garden. I recently bought some hanging plants and they are thriving nicely despite the rain.
  • listening to the sound of those tiny birds outside our bedroom window early in the morning.

I could go on and on, there are just so  many things that make my day complete. Life is good, thank God!

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The weather is such that you can’t help but be lazy and just read, read, read! This is not a book review though, it’s just a continuation of my quite overly long blog yesterday. Apart from being so happy seeing the exhibit on Blessed John Paul II, I visited two branches of National Bookstore in Cubao and I was quite disappointed that the book Before Ever After that I am planning to buy was out of stock in both branches. A staff of NBS told me that a lot of people were also looking for a copy.  Then I remember the copy which I wanted to buy this weekend at NBS-Ever, because one of their staff suggested that I come back during the three-day sale. What if there are no more copies left by the time I decide to go back and buy one? So right there and then, I thought of going straight to NBS-Ever and would you believe, the one on display is their last copy. Yeay, I was just in time.

Sorry for this very short post,  apparently, I can’t put the book down.

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I did a lot of walking today and my legs are killing me. But it’s all worth it because today is something I call blessed. God blessed me with the opportunity to view and visit the exhibit on the life of Blessed John Paul II.the Holiness BEATUS, Embracing The Holiness of Blessed John Paul II, started on October 9 and will end on October 21. The relic and photo exhibit which is held at the activity area of the Gateway Mall is part of the Araneta Center and Diocese of Cubao’s celebration of the first feast day of the newly Blessed JPII whose actual feast falls on October 22, 2011. Beatus means “blessed” in Latin.

I left the house at around 9:30 in the morning and reached Gateway Mall after almost an hour of jeepney ride from our place. Hubby is not around so there is really no option but to commute. First stop was at National Bookstore at Ali Mall because I suddenly thought of buying the book Before Ever After since I was already there. If you are following my posts, I blogged about it almost a week  ago. Can you imagine, it’s out of stock and  has been for quite a while.

I was deeply touched when I saw the exhibit on JPII. After spending a few minutes in prayer, I have to go to another branch of National Bookstore (the largest in the area) nearby to buy a small notebook and ballpen. I have to take some notes on the exhibit and I didn’t even bring a ballpen. I took plenty of pictures and copied lots and lots of homily quotes  by JPII in various places he ‘d been to.  I wish I could upload them here but as usual, the laptop I am using is my son’s and there is always a problem of opening pics from my cam. Among the relics are the wooden  papal chair used by John Paul II at the Araneta in 1981, another papal chair he used during the meeting with Asian bishops at the San Carlos Seminary,  his chasuble, skull-cap, chalice, rosaries, pontificate seal, corporal, icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa (Patroness of Poland), an image of Our Lady of Loreto which he blessed, brick from the Jubilee door of St. Peter’s Basilica which he also blessed, a replica and relic of the Holy Grail which he used and blessed, a Sanguine blood which is considered a first class relic, a replica of the Cross in the Pastoral Staff of JP II and lots of photos during his various trips in so many countries.

The Araneta Center, is a Facebook page which has an album on the event  and is sharing them publicly so I am posting the link  here. I copied some portions of his homilies posted along with several pictures of the places he’s been to. And here are some of those quotes that really touched me.

On Youth

Dear Young People,

I entrust the cross of Christ to you. Take it to the world as a sign of our Lord Jesus’ love for humanity and proclaim to one and all that only in the dead and risen Christ is their salvation and redemption. (Homily on his last World Youth Day in Rome on April 04, 2004).

On Politics

Life is the first gift which God has given us. It is the first resource which man can enjoy. The Church is called to proclaim “The Gospel of Life”. And the state has its primary task precisely the safeguarding og human life. (Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See on January 10, 2005)

On Peace

Form consciences to the culture of peace. For peace to be possible, it is also a duty. (Homily on January 01, 2004)

Apostolic Visit to Portugal where he prayed infront of Our Lady of Fatima – May 13, 1982

If someone or something makes you think that you have reached the end of the line, do not believe it. If you know the eternal Love who created you, you also know that there is an immortal soul within you. There are various seasons in life; if by chance you feel winter approaching, I want you to know that it is not the last season because, the last one will be spring: the springtime of the Resurrection. Your whole life extends infinitely beyond it early limits: “Heaven awaits you.”

On March 30, 2005, Wednesday of Easter Week, shortly after 11am he made his last appearance at his window in the Apostolic Palace. He died on April 02, 2005 at 9:37pm on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.

Gosh, I made this blog unconsciously long. That’s how I love Blessed John Paul II. I am praying that he’ll be a saint in the  very near future.

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“So is the story true?  The pain, the loss, the grief, the process, the conversations, the questions, the anger, the longing, the secrets, the lies, the forgiveness…all real, all true.  The story in particular… fiction… but….  Then there is God who emerges so very real and true, unexpected and yet not unexpected, but surprising and…       

So… is all this real?  Is all this true?  I suppose each of us has to decide for ourselves, don’t we?”

I am about to read The Shack. It was on my to-be-read list for quite sometime now but it is still in its original plastic cover. A friend from our book group highly recommended it years ago but I got hold of a copy only this year. I am glad I waited because it’s a trade paperback copy. I bought it when National Bookstore went on sale this year. The original price was pegged at P495.00 but they slashed it in half. The author is not familiar to me so I googled him up and found this site. I am quite excited to start it since the subject is a little  different from the other books that I am used to.  Here is a good review I found  on the net. I am planning to buy two more books before my birthday. I always give myself a birthday gift every year, no matter how simple it is. It’s a plain reminder how I spent my previous birthday.

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“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”- Anais Nin

Things always get a bit hectic during Mondays.  Since  we consider Sunday as family day, we just relax and enjoy each other’s company but when Monday comes, household chores are a little tiring. But with it comes little surprises that gladden the heart.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear from a friend whom I haven’t seen for quite some time. Leng, also used to work at Bank of the Philippine Islands but she left ahead of me, I think. She recently subscribed to my blog here at WordPress and told me that she regularly read it every week.  Joey, who is still with BPI, Leng and I were carpool buddies aside from working at the same bank in Makati. Everyday, we would go home together and an hour of travel, (make that an hour and a half when there is traffic) usually becomes a lively sharing, or a heated discussion or plain laughing with each other while remembering some old jokes.  Our favorite topics of course are our respective families. There are times when we come to the office early and spend the morning sipping hot coffee and eating burger and fries at the Jollibee branch at Enterprise Center.  Those were the days that I miss today.  And I wish I would be able to see them both sometime.

Another friend shared a lovely video by the group Bread. I am listening to it as I write this.  Clouds – a favorite song from way back and I just love the intro music . He personally dubbed it. Clouds, aside from flowers are my favorite subjects in photography. They always fascinate me.


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