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Archive for November, 2014


I am bringing back my month-ender blog and saying hello to a new month. Welcome December!

Tomorrow is another start in the liturgical calendar. It’s new year, the First Sunday of Advent. It is always a joy to greet the start of the Christmas season.  I attended the anticipated mass held at Our Lady of Light Parish a few hours ago. They have lighted the first Advent candle – the expectant waiting and the preparation for the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. These are usually busy days for my apostolate, updating our page with Gospel readings and reflections for the Christmas season. Fr. Louie, my co-admin at the site is busy with the preparation of the coming visit of Pope Francis in UST come January 2015. Pope Francis will be the third Pope to visit our alma mater and the fourth time that it will be visited by a Pope. It was first visited by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1970, I was in high school then and he was the only Pope I saw personally. It was followed by St. Pope  John Paul II in 1981 and during the World Youth Day in 1995.

Lately, I noticed that there are lots of views on my previous posts about the Advent season.  If there is one thing that I’ve often blogged about the last five years, it’s Christmas. I love listening to Christmas carols, I think it’s time to bring out my collection of Christmas CD albums. One of my favorites is the Gunther Kallmann Choir.  The album is a priceless collection of Christmas songs that remind you of some lovely childhood memories.  Nostalgic but happy. A close friend recently asked me how I still find time to smile and show  a happy face despite everything that happened in my life. All I can say is, happiness is and will always be a choice. Then I remember a blog I wrote about finding happiness three years ago as part of my Post A Day 2011 challenge.  I am reposting it here in case she visits my blog and read it.

There was this story of a little boy who ate worms because he felt no  one would mind if he did.  No one would care if he gets sick because he has no friends.  How many of us feel that way? We feel abandoned and alone because no one would say, “Don’t, you’ll get sick if you do that.”  How many of us feel that our life is useless because no one cares?

We seek that elusive thing called happiness but there is really no cut and dried formula or rules by which we could say, “follow this and you will be happy.”  Since time immemorial, man has searched for that one special something that would permanently put a smile on his face,  a lift of the heart and a feeling of joy everyday of his life. But do you think life would be interesting if we don’t encounter those small barriers that give its meaning? Problems are meant to spice up life just as search for happiness is. They say that happiness is a state of mind and it is a result of events and circumstances  that have positive effect in our well-being.  I don’t think we need to search for it because it naturally follows when something good or something inspiring happens in our lives.  Some people would be happy with just a few pesos in their pockets but some  need millions stashed in their bank accounts to make them feel secure and happy.

Happiness comes easy to those who look at the sunrise and think that it is another golden opportunity to shine while it does not come easy to those who think that it is another day to hurdle. In the end, happiness is how we make it, it depends on our attitude towards life, whether we choose to enjoy it or choose to be miserable. Happiness is infectious while misery is not. Think of happy thoughts always.

November is about to end, and December will always be a favorite month of the year. Happy new month dear friends.

 

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“In the sweetness of friendship; let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” – Khalil Gibran

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I don’t normally blog about daily news and happenings here in our country  except for occasional posts on some politicians that I just can’t tolerate and the 42 days that I watched the daily hearings with mom when our former Chief  Justice Renato  Corona was impeached.  I did a daily post on that until the last day.  This morning, I was listening  to  the AM news and this caught my attention. A Metro Manila Development Authority traffic constable was assaulted by a guy driving a Ghibli Maserati. The traffic enforcer accosted the driver when he was trying to do a left-turn in one of the major streets in Quezon City. The motorist then went straight  ahead but made a U-turn, went to the traffic enforcer’s post, and gave him the dirty finger at the same time snatching his cellphone and punching  him on the nose three times while the car was cruising on auto pilot. He held him by his uniform and managed to drag him at least 10 meters from his post. The enforcer also recalled that the  driver removed his grey-blue shirt and threw it at him so he could wipe his bloodied face.

Does having a multi-million car in your possession gives you the right to disobey traffic rules and ignore a man in uniform? Does being rich makes you untouchable that you can do all you want  when you are out on the streets? MMDA Chairman Tolentino was fuming mad when he learned about this and with the help of the dealer of Maserati cars here in Metro Manila, they were able to trace the name of the car owner/motorist. According to reports, there are only two buyers/owners of such luxury sports cars so late this afternoon, they were able to zero in on the man. Come to think of it, his car doesn’t even have a car plate number.  There were several instances before very similar to this one, some of them even taking out their guns to instill fear on the hapless traffic enforcers.

Where is this world coming to? I hate to think that when money speaks (and I include our corrupt politicians here), good manners and values go to the dogs.  I am not generalizing since there are more moneyed individuals who help our economy grow. I am referring to those who lose their values when they display  what money can do for them.  They equate money with power. What they don’t know is, they could not bring it to their graves.

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experiment2

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Sometimes you wake up and realize how alone you feel and your world seems a grey place. Sometimes you wake up and you  think of the times you were happy in some far off place and it puts a big smile on your face. Sometimes you wake up remembering a dream that keeps recurring and you don’t even know why. Your thoughts are just jumbles in your head. The best times are those moments seeing the beauty of the dawn, when the morning light slowly shows its face and you realize that even in  darkness, you can see the light, a wonderful vista of  twinkling stars. Somewhere up there,  you can see the brush strokes of a great Master and you feel blessed to be alive, to enjoy another day, to drink another cup of blessings.

It’s what I love about gardening, the hours spent quietly in the company of your own thoughts  – the stillness of the moment, the silence of the hour, a therapeutic  contemplation of the days gone by. Yesterday, it rained for a while and my rain lilies were happy. I smiled when I saw a few blooms while trimming the carabao grass. It is always a pleasant surprise to see something unexpected. It puts a smile on your face and the dogs think they are in for a treat. They are happy too when they roam around the garden and bark excitedly at every passersby that they see.

Rain lilies in bloom...

Rain lilies in bloom…

The last two days, I was engrossed reading two books.  Still Life With Bread Crumbs  by Anne Quindlen, my first time to try one of her books, a moving story, a journey into the life of a woman, her mind, her dreams, her career. It’s an e-book and e-books are sometimes hard to read. I read another fiction book , one of my stash from Books for Less. Imagine the joy of not expecting something lovely but it gives you  more than that, a feeling of joy  because you found a treasure.  Blessings! I would like to thank my good friend Pete Johnson for including my blog in his list and wrote an inspiring paragraph about it.  Visit his blog here. It’s a lovely and inspiring read.

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Yesterday,our little Nate turned two and we celebrated it quietly at home with a birthday lunch. Today, Josef and I visited their place to share another celebration with my son-in-law’s family. He finally got  to blow  a candle on his cake and mingle with other kids and his cousins. I think he enjoyed himself blowing the  #2 candle several times while Nissa took pictures. We’re teaching him how to answer  “I am two years old” with matching  index and middle fingers raised like a  letter V.

Did I tell you that I am afraid to take a commute alone when going to far places?  Most of the time, when Josef is free, we go together. After attending the early morning mass, we met at the EDSA Shrine. He came straight from a night shift  and it would save time than for me to wait for him to come home.  Going to Manila even on a Sunday is quite a challenge to one’s patience. I thought, people were out of the streets since for every scheduled Manny Pacquiao fight there is no traffic. It was the exact opposite though so we took the train (MRT) from Ortigas to Taft Avenue, another connecting train ride  (LRT 1) to Tayuman where we took a 10-minute jeepney commute to go to Tondo. On our way home, we  did the same,  taking LRT 1 to Doroteo Jose station then transferred to LRT 2 until we reached Santolan, the end station on the eastern side of Manila.  Josef laughingly told me that finally, I have  experienced going around all the stations of the  metro rail and light rail transits. Hooray!  Honestly, it is a bit hard to climb stairs to get to the next connecting ride.  Oh, my poor knees! Why are all the escalators not functioning? I can imagine the hardship of everyday ride for our public commuters but I  guess, it is the best option than taking a bus which also takes forever because of the traffic. Metro Manila is so congested.

So what’s new? Every year the government thinks of expanding the roads (and they do causing more traffic) but every year there are new cars too, truck bans are out of this world, smoke belching is an accepted norm and yes, sometimes traffic enforcers are not doing their jobs well.  If I can help it, I don’t like being in  a crowd of commuters, bumping elbows, jostling one another although at times it is more practical to commute than to bring a car where you’ll be stuck in traffic. The Metro Manila Development Authority and the big shopping malls in Metro Manila have agreed to adjust their opening time from 10am to 11am and they close at 11pm. I guess that is only for the Christmas season.  The big question is, will it change the traffic situation?

By the way, congratulations Manny! I wonder what Mayweather is thinking now.

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