Archive for October, 2012

I could still remember the very first time I kept a journal –  it was almost 38 years ago. It was a pink, ordinary notebook but on the cover was written Journal in black letters. I still have it until now, all tattered at the edges and the cover is already detached from the spine.  And I wrote these quotes on the first page.

“Your idea of me is fabricated with materials you have borrowed from other people and from yourself. What you think of me depends on what you think of yourself. Perhaps you create your idea of me out of material you would like to eliminate from your own idea of yourself. Perhaps your idea of me is a reflection of what other people think of you. Or perhaps what you think of me is simply what you think I think of you.

These are quotes from Thomas Merton, one of my favorite authors when I was in college. I think it was from the book No Man Is An Island. I am  lucky to have one of his books, Thoughts on Solitude which I received on my birthday together  with nine more books that I have on my wish list.

I digress. That was the start of my love affair with pen and paper.  Back then, snail mail was something to be treasured and writing your thoughts daily was some kind of magic, the magic of stringing words into something  worth-keeping and worth re-reading. The fascination of keeping one never waned all these years and collecting journals became an obsession. I must admit though that I now prefer writing my thoughts through a blog, an easier way  but it has become public.  For the past three years, my daughter has gifted me with those lovely journals from Bank of the Philippine Islands where she works  with pictures of artworks/paintings  in their own collection by world-renowned Filipino artists. Some close friends who know  of my fascination for collecting journals gifted me with some.

You see, I have this ambitious dream of writing (by hand) all the entries I posted here at WordPress, all 1,072 of them and that’s just for Dreams and Escapes. I still have two more blogs that I don’t often update.

There is something nice about writing with pen. Just feel the smooth touch of pen to the pristine pages. It’s more personal and more appealing to one’s eyes and senses. Do you agree?

I remember those years when I used to buy scented pens  and what dreams I have shared  in all those notebooks. I use them now for my reflections and short prayers at our Catholic page and for some quotes that I find worth sharing.

This afternoon, I went to National Bookstore to buy plastic covers for my new books and look what I found, two lovely boxes which I could use for my arts and crafts projects or  maybe  for those stationeries, ribbons and greeting cards that I keep  all year round.

I keep old letters in shoeboxes covered with gift wraps at the sides but these look more sturdy to use and they are more spacious.  I simply can’t resist  these colorful rose designs 🙂

A few years ago,  I found this lovely rattan box in one of my forays at Dapitan Arcade. How I wish I bought more. It is so handy as an organizer for my journals.

October is about to end and I am looking forward to another lovely month of fulfilled dreams and surprises. Happy All SaintsDay everyone!


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One of our members from Rome sent this pic to our group. I simply love it.

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When you think of life as one long road to travel, think of it instead as a lovely journey to discover. And there are more surprises along the way, something that would make the journey worthwhile.

Everything is grace!

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I am sure you’ll either laugh or just find the title a bit ridiculous blogging about new year when it is not even December yet.  It’s actually the eve of my birthday and I vividly recall what a friend told me before that having another birthday is also a new year of celebration in one’s life.  I could not begin to describe the happiness I felt the past few days when some friends chose to celebrate my birthday early.

Tuesday was one of those days I’ll never forget. I’ve finally met Odette, an online friend  who is also a member of our Catholic page at Facebook. She came over together with two more members of our group. I haven’t seen them for more than a year and it was such a joy to reminisce and talk about, what else, but  our online apostolate. We touched on  the early days of AFCC when Fr. Louie and I were just busy inviting members to join our page. As they say, the rest is history because after more than two years , we now have almost 11,000 members – people who share the same faith and love for God.

I am now a proud owner of a dozen books most of which are on my wish list, six thick journals for my writing (with matching pens to boot)  and other lovely gifts which they brought with them. It is so overwhelming to be showered with all these blessings. I guess those books deserve another blog. I don’t even know which to read first because I like them all.

The day was not enough for all the “kwentuhans”. Just imagine a group of friends just enjoying  each other’s company with home-cooked food to go. It really was a lovely  early birthday celebration.

The following day, we trooped to Saisaki/Kamayan/Dad’s  at SM Megamall to have lunch with other members invited by Odette. We all enjoyed the buffet lunch of course but the company was even better. It felt like we haven’t seen each other for such a long time. We had games  and sharing initiated by Fr. Louie and it was fun. Even Fr. Louie’s mom was game enough to join us.

Fr. Louie and Odette seeing each other at last. See the joys on their faces.

And this sketch of St. Therese is an original artwork by Paul (in red shirt),  professional artist/painter/photographer  in our group. It’s a gift for Odette who is based in the US.  And if that is not enough, he also gave Charlene another sketch. Charlene is a St. Therese devotee so it was really a welcome gift for her.  When they give, they truly give with their hearts.

Here’s one of our group pictures,we were not complete here since some of them haven’t arrived yet.  The highlight (at least for me) was when the group at Saisaki sang a birthday song and two Beatles songs. We were all smiling  when

they could not even recall the exact lyrics of the songs. It was part of the fun though. I didn’t know that Odette bought a birthday cake for me with matching candles to blow. I was so touched I was teary-eyed. Well wishes for health and happiness, I could not ask for more.

And to think, my birthday was two days away when we had our lunch at Saisaki. This is one of the most fun-filled birthday celebrations ever.

Look at our happy faces. Fr. Louie said, “make a wish, make a wish“. I did of course, why not, wishes do come true right? Much as we want to linger and have more fun, the buffet lunch was only open until about 2:30pm. It was all worth it though, seeing each other again was such a blessing!

This is not goodbye, it’s more of “till next time”.

And what a way to celebrate a birthday 🙂

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This is one of the best news we learned yesterday when Archbishop of Manila, Most Rev. Luis Antonio G. Tagle, D.D. was included in the new list of cardinals nominated by Pope Benedict XVI.  You can follow this link for his nomination:


Aren’t we blessed? Just four days ago, we had a newly proclaimed saint and now we have a new cardinal.  Pilipinas, mabuhay ka!

It’s barely a year since he was installed as the new Archbishop of Manila. And I even blogged about him several times here. And here is one of his official photos that I posted in my earlier blog.

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I am sharing this cover photo of our page, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community. Today is the much-awaited canonization of our second Filipino saint, San Pedro Calungsod.

We thank you Lord for the gift of faith. We thank you for giving us San Lorenzo Ruiz and San Pedro Calungsod.

Nothing is really impossible with God.

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And I thought that silhouette shots are poorly done so I didn’t give them much thought until today. I did some silhouette shots while experimenting with light and shadows. It was a hit or miss, mostly  the latter 🙂

Nuestra Senóra de Candelaria Church in Mabitac, Laguna. This is the bell tower of the old church. I took this  during our Visita Iglesia in the towns of Laguna.

One of my favorite places….Caleruega.

I was actually fascinated by the cloudless blue sky with our old avocado tree in the background.

Transfiguration Chapel, a part of the beautiful landscape of Caleruega in Nasugbu, Batangas. This is one of my favorite destinations.

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I knocked
I saw your face
I am home!

Our eyes met
You smiled
I found a friend!

My bromeliad  bloomed today
Welcome to my garden!

Mornings are getting colder
Today – I saw new signs of life in my garden
December is  almost here –
And Christmas is near!

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We no longer use these frames as Christmas decorations. I remember that they are included in the earlier cross-stitch works I did many, many years ago. The Aida  cloth  I used in one of the frames is now yellowed with age.  I still keep them of course, for sentimental reasons. They are part of beautiful memories from past Christmas celebrations we had.

Sometimes, memories slip through our fingers  but they remain buried somewhere in our hearts, never to be forgotten but always remembered with pleasure.

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Every year, ABS CBN, one of the largest TV network in the country comes up with a Christmas station ID that we always look forward to. It signals the start of  a long, long Christmas celebration in the Philippines. It’s  the timeless Parol. Kris says, you can actually buy one at Kultura for the price of P1,800.oo  and a part of it goes to the charity institutions which ABS CBN helps.  I love the message it conveys. Maliwanag ang mundo natin pag bukal sa loob ang pagtutulungan.

(this video remains the property of ABS CBN).

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